Protesters gather outside church, rally against Act For America group
SAN ANTONIO - Dozens of people rallied outside a Northwest Side church protesting a controversial group that was meeting inside.
“How could a church allow this?” says Sarwat Husain, President of CAIR.
Protesters lined up along the sidewalk to share their message outside the Village Parkway Baptist Church.
“Right here in San Antonio there are so many attacks against Muslims,” says Husain.
Members of the Council on American -Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other local organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace( JVP), and Iraq Veterans against war (IVAR), claim Act For America is a hate group against Muslims.
The San Antonio Chapter hosted a private event tonight inside the church.
“As a Christian, it makes me really ashamed," says Carl Hughes, a protester.
On Facebook, the Act for America San Antonio page states, “Supporting the US Bill of Rights, the US Constitution and educating others on the threat of Islamic ideology to our culture, way of life and our freedoms.”
“They cannot just pick one religion up and say it is not even a faith,’ adds Husain.
Despite the rally, church members defend the group.
“These are good people they are not hateful if there was they wouldn't be allowed here. We deal with some issues of national security. I'm friends with many of the guys I have assisted and helped them and let them use my facility on occasions,” Pastor Steve Branson, Pastor Village Parkway.
However, protesters say it comes down to conversation.
“I say if they want to talk to us. We are here. Come out and talk to us. Why don't they talk to us,” says Husain.
The local Act For America group had no comment for media.
Several Congressman including Joaquin Castro, Lloyd Doggett, Dist 34, and Rep. Diana Arevalo, Dist. 16, along with some city leaders, shared statements in support of the rally.