NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — People protesting Islamic law and counter-demonstrators expressing support for Muslims clashed verbally Saturday in New York City, where police have stepped in between the two groups.

The protests unfolded amid similar demonstrations around the country.

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The anti-Shariah demonstrators yelled, “Commie scum!” The counter-protesters shouted, “Nazis!”

Organizers of the anti-Shariah law rally told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern they don’t hate Muslims, but others who do showed up anyway.

“I’m completely anti-Muslim. I’m against Muslim immigration. It’s the most hateful ideology ever to have come on the face of the Earth,” one man named Dave said.

Across the street, NYC Loves Muslims rallied as well. A man told Stern the group is against “people who ignorantly believe Muslims are taking over the country, that spew hateful rhetoric.”

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After some of the New York counter-protesters crossed a street and approached the rally, officers stood between the groups.

Later, a man collapsed while watching a speech at Saturday’s anti-Shariah ACT for America rally. The fire department said he went into cardiac arrest and was taken to a hospital.

Participants in the anti-Shariah rally say they’re worried that Islamic law could influence U.S. courts and harm women, among other concerns. Counter-protesters say the rally is stoking unfounded fears and stirring racism.

Both groups had small turnouts with more noise than numbers, Stern reported.

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