Phoenix ready for trouble at ‘Draw Muhammad’ exhibit, rally near Islamic center

Things could get hot in Phoenix on Friday.

A former Marine in the Arizona city that was home to the two jihadists killed while attacking the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas, on May 3 is planning to hold a similar event on Friday, ABC10 reported.

And one-upping the organizers in Texas, Jon Ritzheimer is holding his contest outside the Islamic Community Center in north Phoenix.

As provocative as that appears, it gets better — the two dead Muslim gunmen who attacked the Texas exhibit attended this center.

But Ritzheimer is not apologizing, and said he bears no responsibility if things turn violent.

“We’re just out utilizing our First Amendment,” he told the ABC affiliate.

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A Facebook page for the event says it will be “a PEACEFUL protest,” but warns folks to come armed.

“People are also encouraged to utilize [their] Second amendment right at this event just in case our First amendment comes under the much anticipated attack.”

The page also notes that the scheduled 6:15 p.m. time is “when they normally host a large prayer.”

Ritzheimer held an anti-Islam rally outside the facility a few weeks ago, but this is the first to feature a Muhammad cartoon-drawing contest. He said that event was peaceful.

It’s not clear if a permit is required, or if Ritzheimer acquired one, but police are aware of the planned event.

Tom Tillison


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