There was a stand-off in front of Parliament House on Saturday as an anti-Islamic protest was met with a counter protest in Canberra.
Protests were held in capital cities across the country by a group called Reclaim Australia.
The Facebook page for the event claimed the rally was organised to "stop minorities changing our country".
Canberra organiser of the Reclaim Australia event Daniel Evans said the group who gathered for the rally were not racist.
"We're not a racist rally," he said.
"We're against what's going on in Australia with the laws that aren't protecting us.
"The message is to the government to start protecting Australia against extremists and extremist groups with the political ideology that comes hand in hand with Islam.
"We're not against Muslims… we totally do not want Sharia law, and we just wanted to make that clear."
Opponents of the Reclaim Australia rally chanted "Muslims are welcome, racists are not" throughout the walk to Parliament House.
Refugee Action Committee member John Passant said he attended the counter rally to send a message Muslims were welcome in Australia.
"I'm disappointed that people turn out under the banned of Reclaim Australia, which is basically a racist banner, to push Islamophobia," he said.
"I think it's an abuse of the Australian flag to use it for what is essentially a racist purpose, to ignite hate against Muslim people."
Standing in solidarity with the counter protest was Aboriginal Tent Embassy caretaker Roxley Foley.
He said he joined the anti-Reclaim Australia rally because he is opposed to the drumming up of ignorance and fear.
"It's good to see people coming out and standing up against the promotion of bigotry and hatred," Mr Foley said.
"We can understand that some people are scared of some of these elements, but they have to understand that the vast majority of the Muslim community is absolutely nothing like that."