Arizona police stepped up security on Friday near a mosque for a planned outdoor protest that includes drawing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, weeks after a similar competition in Texas came under attack by two gunmen.
Friday's event is set to run concurrently with evening prayers at the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. Many Muslims believe it is blasphemous to create pictures of the Prophet Mohammad.
"Dealing with this type of activity is a challenge that is facing law enforcement across the country," Phoenix police Sergeant Trent Crump said in an email response to questions.
"Dealing with groups of protesters and opposing views is not the difficult part. Our goal and the real challenge are trying to anticipate unlawful activities that might occur in conjunction with these events," he said.