PHOENIX – About 500 protesters gathered outside a Phoenix mosque as police kept two groups sparring about Islam far apart.
The rally initially was organized by a Phoenix man who believes Islam is a violent religion. On Friday, he led about 250 people who carried guns, American flags and drawings of the Prophet Muhammad to the mosque.
That group was met by an equally sized group of protesters, some holding signs promoting love and peace, who came to show their support for the Muslim community.
Police estimated 500 protesters showed up. There were no reports of injuries or arrests.
The protest came weeks after a shootout outside a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas. The two men who showed up at that event with assault rifles formerly worshipped at the Phoenix mosque.