When two Muslim foreign-exchange students in rural Minnesota heard that a well-known critic of Islam was coming to town to speak, they armed themselves with information and showed up at the Assembly of God church venue, apparently prepared for a confrontation.
The speaker, Walid Shoebat, is a Palestinian former Muslim who converted to Christianity and now devotes himself to exposing the infiltration of supremacist Islam in the U.S.
During the Q&A time that followed Shoebat’s talk at the Assembly of God church in Perham, Minn., one of the students, an Indonesian, began by calling Shoebat a liar.
Shoebat repeatedly asked the student, Fikri Rahmat, to respect the format and ask a question. When Rahmat continued to make statements and talk over Shoebat, a church member intervened and asked him to leave.
Rahmat was at the event with fellow exchange student Elshan Mirzazade of Azerbaijan. The two are being hosted in Perham at the home of Mary Anderson.
Now, claiming they were unjustly kicked out, the students have enlisted the help of the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington, D.C., lobby group. CAIR claims to be a civil rights organization, but as FBI evidence shows, it was founded as a front group by the Muslim Brotherhood to further its ultimate aim of destroying Western civilization and replacing it with Islamic law.
More than a dozen CAIR leaders have faced criminal charges or been convicted of crimes related to terrorism. The group itself was named by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest-ever terrorism-financing case in the the U.S.
Fight back against CAIR’s attack on First Amendment by making a contribution to WND’s “Legal Defense Fund.” Donations of $25 or more entitle you to free copy of “Muslim Mafia” – the book so devastating to CAIR the group is trying to ban it.
CAIR’s Minnesota chapter charged the two students were “kicked out” for “questioning the anti-Islam bigotry of the speaker.”
Describing Shoebat as a “notorious Islamophobe who claims ‘Islam is the devil,'” CAIR Minnesota announced March 5 it was calling on the Assembly of God church leaders to meet with CAIR so they could be provided “with accurate and balanced information about Islam and Muslims and to arrange for a presentation on the faith to church members.”
“We hope the church will help promote mutual understanding and strengthen interfaith relations in our state by meeting with us and then offering an opportunity for its congregation to hear about Islam directly from Muslims,” said CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Lori Saroya.
‘Two Muslims came to church’
Shoebat told WND the claim that the two were thrown out without cause is false.
“My statement is simple: Two Muslims came to church, and during the question-answer time they were obnoxious, and were asked to leave, and they left,” he said.
Shoebat said the students didn’t ask any questions, but “started off with insults and began to make long statements.”
“I basically interrupted them and stated that these are not questions, you are allowed to ask a question and not make long statements,” Shoebat told WND.
“They continued to read from a paper what seemed like endless statements,” he explained. “They then were asked to leave, and they left, out the door and down the road.”
WDAY-TV in Fargo, N.D., reported that when the students heard Shoebat was speaking at a public forum, they wanted to go.
“Our message is not to argue with him, but to say to people that what he says is wrong,” Mirzazade told the TV station.
The report said the boys questioned Shoebat because they heard him tell untruths and make distortions.
“I would conclude in my mind that he got mad because maybe he was afraid of the truth,” Rahmat said. “One of his companions came to us and said, ‘Out, Out,’ rudely to us.”
Mirzazade said organizers at the church “ushered us out and asked us to leave and we said, ‘OK, OK.’
“So when I was leaving, I shouted, ‘Good way of promoting peace, bravo, bravo,'” the student said.
Dirk Currier, pastor of Assembly of God church, Northwoods Assembly, contended, “Nobody was kicked out because they were Muslim.”
He told WDAY the boys were asked to leave when emotions escalated.
“The dialogue wasn’t a dialogue. It was turning into kind of a shouting match,” he said.
The boys’ host, Anderson, was displeased.
“I thought I was sending my boys to a house of love, and I am disappointed that hate was being taught there,” she said.
WDAY said the students are in the U.S. as part of an international program that educates Americans about other cultures and religions, and helps international students learn about life in America.