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RICHARDSON (CBS11) – Mosques across the country were on alert Saturday after a call on social media for protests against Islam.
Richardson Police had a heavy presence outside the Islamic Association of North Texas after protestors announced plans to rally there.
The protestors assembled along the sidewalk, and they were careful to stay off mosque property. Police were closeb y throughout the demonstration to keep the peace between the protestors and another group that assembled in opposition.
The small group of protestors holding signs on the corner of Abrams Road and Centennial Boulevard told us they could only speak for themselves, but a group calling itself the Global Rally For Humanity took to Facebook asking supporters to organize outside mosques everywhere.
“To bring awareness. Even my own friends and family, some of them don’t understand it. They don’t realize what’s going on,” protestor David Wright said when asked why he had come.
Wright says he brought his 12-guage shotgun to the protest to send a clear message to Islamic extremists.
“We are armed, and we are not going to take it lying down. We will fight back. Self-defense only, of course, but if they come at us, we’re ready,” Wright said.
A few feet away, a group of Muslims and their supporters had a different message.
“We absolutely support the right of these people to protest. It is part of the constitution, and as an American muslim, I love the constitution, and I love the bill of rights,” Hadi Jawad said.
But one protestor who asked to be identified only as, “Tiffany” says the tone was often tense between the two groups.
“They have been glaring at me very evily all day long walking up and down the fence, especially me, probably because I’m a woman and I’m holding a sign that says, ‘Mohammad was a pedophile,'” Tiffany said.
Inside, a Unitarian minister stood side by side with the mosque’s imam calling for solidarity across faiths.
“The overall majority of people are very loving. They’re welcoming, and I think that what we’re seeing is a very small fraction of people that have some issues,” Imam Shpendim Nadzaku said.
Richardson Police tell us the protests ended peacefully after a few hours with no arrests.
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