In the worst example of synergy since that Duck Dynasty/Looking crossover episode, bikers in Phoenix, Arizona have arranged a protest for Friday night that will feature hundreds of armed bikers holding a Mohammad cartoon contest outside a mosque. According to the Facebook page for the event, almost a thousand people have committed to attend, with another two-hundred still on the fence. If you're naturally wondering what kind of food trucks will be there, and whether there will be an afterparty, the group has thought of everything (emphasis mine):
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 second amendment right at this event just incase our first amendment comes under the much anticipated attack.
1. Date will be Friday May 29th @ 6:15pm. This is when they normally host a large prayer.
2. Pre Rally meeting at Washington Park located at N 23rd Ave and Ocotillo Rd. in Phoenix just south of W Glendale Ave.
3. There will be a Muhammad Cartoon Contest and the winner will be announced at the Rally.
4. We will not have food vendors at this event because we don't want this to turn into a carnival. People can bring snacks and water but please keep the neighborhood clean.
5. There will be no after party!
Thank you all for your Support.
The protest comes on the heels of an attack on a Mohammad cartoon contest that left two gunmen dead in Garland, Texas, and a biker shootout in Waco, Texas that left nine bikers dead about two weeks ago. The protest has drawn the attention of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the White House.
At Friday's White House daily briefing, Reuters White House Correspondent Jeff Mason asked Press Secretary Josh Earnest for reaction to the event, and Earnest defended the rights of biker cartoonists, while assuring reporters that the White House is monitoring the situation:
"Even expressions that are offensive, that are distasteful, and intended to sow divisions in an otherwise tight-knit, diverse community like Phoenix, cannot be used as a justification to carry out an act of violence, and certainly can't be used as a justification to carry out an act of terrorism.
"The Department of Homeland Security is aware of this event, and as they were in advance of the previous event that was convened earlier this month, I believe, the Department of Homeland Security has been in touch with state and local law enforcement authorities, and we're going to continue to monitor this situation."
What Earnest didn't really address, because Mason didn't ask, was the complicating effects of having armed bikers participate in the event, and of holding it in front of a Muslim community center. If the mosque's attendees decide to have a parking spot raffle, all hell could break loose.
This latest event has the virtue of stripping away the artifice that this is anything but an anti-Muslim campaign, which, as Earnest pointed out, does not change the freedoms that these people enjoy, but which at least casts their "heroism" in the appropriate light.