A far-right movement in the western state North Rhine–Westphalia (Pro NRW) has initiated a German wide “Muhammad cartoon contest”, displaying provoking Muhammad cartoons in front of mosques. On May 1st, Pro NRW gathered a group of its adherents in the German city of Solingen. The German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich had previously raised concerns about these activities, which would provoke violent clashes and threaten German security.
Some 30 radical Islamist Salafists used this opportunity to protest against the anti-Islamic cartoons. The Salafist protest turned to violent confrontation, when some radical Islamists begun to attack German police by throwing stones and wielding poles from protest banners.