Churches are not places to ask questions, we all know that. If you doubt what the church believes, if you challenge the “wisdom” of the Bible, if you poke holes in the pastor’s arguments…let’s face it; you’re not the type of person they’re looking for.
So you can guess how things went in Perham, Minnesota when Fikri Rahmat (from Indonesia) and Elshan Mirzazade (from Azerbaijan), both Muslim exchange students, attended a church service featuring speaker Walid Shoebat, a Muslim-turned-Christian who now goes around claiming (among other things) that Islam equates to terrorism. The boys wanted to go because they knew Shoebat is notorious for saying crazy things about their faith.
You can guess how this turned out. During the Q&A, the boys challenged Shoebat, and the church, in expected fashion, kicked them out:
“Our message is not to argue with him but to say to people that what he says is wrong,” Mirzazade said.
The boys heard what they say are mis-truths and distortions coming out of Shoebat, and so during question and answer time, they questioned Shoebat, and quickly were told to leave.“He got mad because he was afraid of the truth, one of his assistants said, ‘Out, Out.’ Rudely said to us,” Rahmat said.
“They ushered us out and asked us to leave and I shouted, ‘Good way of promoting peace, bravo, bravo,'” Mirzazade said.
Of course, the church is saying the boys were being belligerent and that’s why they were kicked out… it totally had nothing to do with challenging the authority of a guest speaker who was spreading lies. Because if the boys were respectful with their facts and citations, the church would’ve been fine with it, I’m sure.
As the news report even points out, the boys were on the right track — Shoebat has little-to-no credibility and he’s known for spreading bullshit, which you can get a sense of from watching this speech below about “Bible Prophecy and the Islamic Antichrist” (there’s some crazy stuff around the 35:30 mark):
Meanwhile, the pastor had no criticism of Shoebat at all. The only people criticizing the lies of the speaker were the exchange students, and the pastor punished them for doing it.
I can guess what the pastor must have been thinking: I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for the meddling kids!
(Thanks to Chengis for the link)