Hundreds of protesters gathered at the Dec. 2 memorial near the intersection of Orange Show Road and Waterman Avenue Saturday to denounce Sharia Law.
The event organized by Act for America was held hundreds of feet away from the Inland Regional Center, where Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people during a Christmas party on Dec. 2, 2015.
Denise Zamora, a member of ACT and Latinos for Trump, said she and others decided to organize the event to denounce Sharia, which she considers to be at the root of Islamic terrorism.
“Terrorists themselves have said there is no difference between Islam and Sharia Law,” Zamora said. “They’re both the same.”
The rally began around 10 am and saw heated moments between Anti-Sharia law proponents and Anti-Trump counter protesters. The tensest moment came later in the afternoon when Anti-Sharia law protesters broke the windows of Anti-Trump counter protesters as they attempted to leave.
San Bernardino Police spokeswoman Eileen Hards said they apprehended three people for the vandalism but did not release names.
The San Bernardino rally was one of several organized across the U.S by ACT and other right wing groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels ACT as a hate group–an entity that attracts white supremacists and neo-nazi sympathizers.
Alex Sanchez of Alta Loma agrees, admitting that he considers ACT as a “white supremacist” group.
“This anti-muslim group could have their rally wherever they want, but not here,” Sanchez said. “Not at a hollow ground. Their hateful rhetoric will not be accepted.”
Zamora claimed the San Bernardino rally was peaceful and not anti-Muslim in nature.
“The opposition seems to think we’re against all Muslims,” she said. “Well radical Muslims are killing their own people. That’s what we are against–the radical ideology that they are practicing.”
Leaders of the region’s Islamic community held a counter rally several miles away from the Anti-Sharia demonstration, explained Fauzia Rizvi, General Secretary of the Islamic Society of Corona-Norco.
Rizvi said she was disappointed that “such a hateful rally” took place at the Inland Regional Center.
“What does Anti-Sharia even mean? There’s no such thing,” Rizvi said. “You cannot counter hate with hate.”
Rizvi believes ACT and other conservative groups should become better educated about Sharia and Islam.
“The Qu’ran teaches us that if you kill a person, you kill all of humanity,” she said. “We stand by the principles of love, peace, and coexistence. It’s important for people to understand that.”
Approximately 200 people participated in the San Bernardino protest; San Bernardino Police reported no further incidents.