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Photos: Anti-Islam protest held outside Islamic community center in Phoenix

Around 500 people gathered in front of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix on Friday in two opposing groups: one protesting the center and the other supporting it, the Associated Press reported.

Men carrying rifles attend a "Freedom of Speech Rally Round II" across from the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Arizona May 29, 2015. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters.

Men carrying rifles attend a “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” across from the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Arizona May 29, 2015. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters

Approximately 250 people gathered in front of the center during Friday night prayers, carrying signs decrying Islam as well as Sharia law and terrorism.

Organizers of the anti-Islam protest named the event “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” and suggested that protesters bring guns to defend themselves in case of a retaliatory attack, according to the event’s Facebook page.

A demonstrator shouts and carries a "Stop Islam" sign while another rips pages out of a Quran during a "Freedom of Speech Rally Round II" outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Arizona on May 29, 2015. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters.

A demonstrator shouts and carries a “Stop Islam” sign while another rips pages out of a Quran during a “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Arizona on May 29, 2015. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters

Jon Ritzheimer, a former marine who planned the anti-Islam rally, wrote on his Facebook page that he organized the protest “in response to the recent attack in Texas,” Reuters reported.

Ritzheimer was referring to the May 3 shooting in Garland, Texas, in which two men who had attended the Islamic center shot a security officer outside of a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest.

Protesters attend "Freedom of Speech Rally Round II" across the street from the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters.

Protesters attend “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” across the street from the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters

A roughly equal number of counter-protestors showed up to defend the mosque, chanting “Go home Nazis!” and carrying signs with slogans like, “Stop the hate, provoke peace.”

Counter demonstrators look over to those attending the "Freedom of Speech Rally Round II" outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Arizona May 29, 2015. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters.

Counter demonstrators look over to those attending the “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Arizona May 29, 2015. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters

People counter the "Freedom of Speech Rally Round II" outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Arizona on May 29, 2015. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters.

People counter the “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Arizona on May 29, 2015. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters

Two demonstrators stand in front of the Islamic Community Center to oppose the "Freedom of Speech Rally Round II" across the street in Phoenix, Arizona May 29, 2015. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters.

Two demonstrators stand in front of the Islamic Community Center to oppose the “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” across the street in Phoenix, Arizona May 29, 2015. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters

Despite tension between the two groups, who were separated by a line of police officers, there were no injuries or arrests reported.

A police line separates people attending the "Freedom of Speech Rally Round II" from counter demonstrators outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. Police were on high alert because of a shooting at an anti-Muslim event in Texas in early May. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters.

A police line separates people attending the “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” from counter demonstrators outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. Photo by Nancy Wiechec/Reuters

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