Knoxville man bridges the gap between anti-Sharia Law protesters

Published: Jun. 13, 2017 at 5:26 PM EDT
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It's a clash between cultures, a war with words, and a clear divide in America.

William Coley, founder of Muslims for Liberty, said, "Every generation has their scapegoat, and this generation--it's the Muslim's turn."

Coley, a Muslim man from Knoxville, said he's disappointed at the way Americans treated each other at a protest in New York over the weekend.

On one side, people protested Islamic law. On the other, demonstrators expressed support for Muslims.

Coley said, "Prejudice exists, I fight prejudices. I'm not a victim. I'm a warrior."

Coley fights with a simple defense: love.

His compassion was tested when he thought one of the anti-Muslim protesters, Frank Morganthaler, died at the rally.

"A friend of mine was like, 'wouldn't it just be the greatest if you could put the money together to pay for his funeral expenses?' and I'm like, 'no, that would be brilliant,'" Coley said.

The $10,000 he hopes to raise isn't going to cover the funeral, but it will pay for Morganthaler's hospital bills after he suffered a heart attack during the protest.

Coley said, "If I raise $10,000 and one person decides they would rather have a friendly, cooperative and productive relationship with their Muslim neighbors than one of prejudice, then it's worth it to me."

Coley wants this simple act of kindness to reach beyond race, gender and religion. And most importantly, he wants to strike out hate.

Coley said, "I have my faith, and you have yours, but there's no reason we have to hate each other because we believe differently."