A “Draw Muhammad” Contest has been held outside the former mosque of two Muslim men who attempted to ambush a prior event in Texas, the Daily Mail reports.
Jon Ritzheimer, an anti-Muslim activist, had encouraged attendees to bring guns for the occasion at a Pheonix mosque.
He also said that there would be armed bikers on the scene for security, and that the event would be “peaceful.”
The bikers plan met in Denny’s parking lot near the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix at 5 pm, around the time of congregational prayers.
Then they travelled to the centre and began to draw their pictures outside the mosque.
Ritzheimer printed commemorative T-shirts with the phrase ‘F*** Islam!’ embossed on the front.
“There’s going to be plenty of them,” he told WFSB before the event. “I have a whole fresh order coming to the rally.”
“I want this to be about pushing out the truth about Islam,” Ritzheimer told NBC 12, also before the event. “I’ve read the Quran three times… the ones flying the planes into the tower, those are Muslims following the book as it is written.”
Ritzheimer’s other motivation for the event was laid out on Facebook, as he posted: “This is in response to the recent attack in Texas where 2 armed terrorist, with ties to ISIS, attempted Jihad. Everyone is encouraged to bring American Flags and any message that you would like to send to the known acquaintances of the 2 gunmen.
“This Islamic Community Center is a known place that the 2 terrorist frequented. People are also encouraged to utilize there second amendment right at this event just incase our first amendment comes under the much anticipated attack.”
He added: “This is not about race or any other side agenda that the Liberals are making it out to be. This is purely 100% a Freedom of Speech Rally. Stand Tall and show that we can PEACEFULLY protest our rights that are under attack. That is the sole cause for this Rally and Islam wants to silence us.”
This was the third event Ritzheimer has held in the city since Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi drove to an event in Dallas, Texas on May 3 and attempted to ambush participants at a “Draw Muhammad” contest there.
They managed to shoot one security guard, who has since recovered, before being shot dead.
Ritzheimer selected the site of the contest, the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, because Simpson and Soofi formerly attended the mosque.
They had not been to the Community Center since 2010.
Speaking before the event, Usama Shami, the president of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, said he has been aware of the event and been contacted by both local police and the FBI.
“Everybody has a right to be a bigot. Everybody has a right to be a racist. Everybody has a right to be an idiot,” said Shami.
He also said that prayer services are still planned and that members have been encouraged to attend despite the contest.