Hundreds of people attended an interfaith rally at a mosque in Phoenix on Monday evening, three days after activists staged a controversial "Draw Muhammad" contest outside the center.
Monday's rally at the Islamic Community Center drew just one protester, who yelled at people who had gathered as the mosque in support of Muslims, according to NBC affiliate KPNX.
Bill Schweers, an attendee of the “Love Is Stronger Than Hate Rally,” said the protester had the right to say hateful words, “but I have a right to turn a blind ear to him too.”
Many participants came with flowers to leave at the mosque as a symbol of peace. Some wore shirts that read: “Prays well with others.”
At least 20 organizations took part in the rally, according to its organizer, the Arizona Faith Network.
“We are so glad that everyone is willing and ready to share a message of love with our Muslim brothers and sisters who have received multiple messages of hate recently and let them know that they are a valued member of the community, too,” the organization.
Amar Mustafa, a Muslim attendee, said the gathering was encouraging. “I saw the community and the level of love around me, and it inspired me,” he said.