Armed bikers are planning a protest outside of a Phoenix mosque on Friday.
The event will take place at the Islamic Community Center, which was once the place of worship for the ISIS-inspired attackers of the Draw the Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Dallas in early May.
Elton Simpson attended the mosque over a 10 year period, but stopped going to services there a few months ago. His fellow jihadist, Nadir Soofi, went infrequently and stopped going altogether about a year ago.
The center’s president, Usama Shami, told local NBC affiliate 12 News: “We are not educating people to do violent acts, so why are we being held responsible in the minds of some people?” He recently received a death threat in the mail against himself and his family, which the FBI is investigating.
The organizers of the anti-Islam rally, Jon Ritzheimer and Flash Nelson, stated the center was chosen because of Simpson’s and Soofi’s former affiliation.
The Facebook invitation to Friday’s “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” reads:
ROUND 2!!!!!!! This will be a PEACEFUL protest in front of the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix AZ. 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 [sic.] second amendment right at this event just incase [sic.] our first amendment comes under the much anticipated attack.
A ‘Draw Muhummad Cartoon’ contest is planned as part of the event, with the participants asked to display their artwork in front of the Islamic Center.
Ritzheimer told 12 News: “I don’t condone any threats being made to the mosque.” Nevertheless, he does have strong feelings about the Muslim faith. He posted a picture of himself on Facebook wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words “F— Islam.”
When asked about the shirt, he said: “I’m a Marine. I am outspoken. And I’ve just had it.”
Ritzheimer believes the Quran at its core incites violence. “It’s not that some people are out perverting this religion. It’s these guys are following the book as it is written.”
Shami is encouraging members to ignore Ritzheimer and his supporters on Friday, saying that they were not looking for an “intellectual conversation.”
He said: “”Everybody has a right to be a bigot. Everybody has a right to be a racist. Everybody has a right to be an idiot.”
“They are looking to stir up a controversy, and we’re not going to be part of it,” Shami added.
Approximately 250 people have indicated they plan to attend the biker rally on Facebook.
Phoenix police and the FBI are aware of the rally. The police have not commented on the security measures that will be in place.
h/t: Gateway Pundit
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth