US

Suburban Dallas mosque draws protest, counter-protest demonstrations

  • Armed anti-Muslim protestors, who did not want to give their names, prepare to take a position across the street from a mosque in Richardson, Texas on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    Armed anti-Muslim protestors, who did not want to give their names, prepare to take a position across the street from a mosque in Richardson, Texas on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)  (The Associated Press)

  • An armed anti-Muslim protester waves to counter protesters outside a mosque in Richardson, Texas on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    An armed anti-Muslim protester waves to counter protesters outside a mosque in Richardson, Texas on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)  (The Associated Press)

  • Anti-Muslim protestor David Wright, left, has a discussion with counter protestor Vincent Simon, right, a Muslim, as Melissa Yassini holds as sign during protests across the street from a mosque in Richardson, Texas on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    Anti-Muslim protestor David Wright, left, has a discussion with counter protestor Vincent Simon, right, a Muslim, as Melissa Yassini holds as sign during protests across the street from a mosque in Richardson, Texas on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)  (The Associated Press)

About 20 people, half of them armed with rifles, rallied outside a suburban Dallas mosque against Islamist violence and Syrian refugee resettlement.

The demonstration organized by the Bureau of American-Islamic Relations drew a counter-demonstration by about 50 people. An Associated Press photographer reported that while there were frequent discussions between both sides, they were peaceful and intervention by the dozen police officers wasn't needed.

The protesting group included members of the "Three Percenters" who consider themselves patriots protecting the homeland from Muslims. They previously organized armed protests outside a mosque in Irving, another Dallas suburb.

Hundreds participated in a "United Against Racism and Hate" rally at Fair Park in Dallas. The demonstrators marched a few blocks to the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center to protest anti-Islamic activities and rhetoric.