(CNN)White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday that there is "no justification" for violence at an anti-Islam rally in Phoenix Friday night.
White House says no justification for violence ahead of Mohammed cartoon contest
"Even expressions that are offensive, that are distasteful, and intended to sow divisions in an otherwise tight-knit, diverse community in Phoenix cannot be used as a justification to carry out an act of violence," Earnest said.
Earnest added that Department of Homeland Security officials had been in touch with Arizona and Phoenix officials ahead of the planned rally.
The rally has been called to oppose Islam and includes a Mohammed cartoon contest, similar to one held in Garland, Texas earlier this month, which resulted in a gun battle and the death of two assailants.
Jon Ritzheimer, the organizer of the Phoenix rally, has been sporting a T-shirt that reads "F*** Islam!" He also urged attendees to bring guns to protect themselves.