Muslim Boys Kicked Out of Church for Challenging Guest Speaker

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.

Trust me. I’m Christian.

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)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Too bad the students didn’t know the rules of Faith Club.
    Rule 1: You do not talk about philosophical and/or logical inconsistencies in Faith Club.
    Rule 2: You do not talk about philosophical and/or logical inconsistencies in Faith Club.
    Rule 3 : If someone says “Why” or questions orthodoxy, the Faith is over.
    Rule 4: No two guys in the Faith (can have sex with each other).
    Rule 5: One Faith at a time, and for life. Otherwise the eternal suffering, yes?
    Rule 6: No shirts, no shoes, other than the ones that are allowed.
    Rule 7: The Faith goes on for as long as it has to. DON’T INTERRUPT WITH QUESTIONS!!
    Rule 8: If it’s your first time at Faith Club, you HAVE to Faith. Even if you’re an Exchange Student who might not want to Faith as hard as someone else.

  • Rain

    So the pastor hires an obvious con artist to speak at his church. Wow, sounds like a really bright pastor. Remind me not to have him work on my car.

  • The Other Weirdo

    …he’s known for spreading bullshit…

    Isn’t that kind of redundant? He’s a speaker in a church.

  • Octoberfurst

    Shoebat is a total fraud and a con man. Even though his claims of being a former terrorist have been debunked by both the CIA and Mossad he continues to be a popular speaker at right-wing churches and synagogues because he tells them what they want to hear. To the Jews he tells them that ALL Palestinians are terrorists–even though he is a Palestinian himself—and that God gave the West Bank to Israel.
    To the Christians he says basically the same thing except that he tells them that ALL Muslims–not just Palestinians– are terrorists and not to be trusted. He also says that Israel is God’s special nation and that to not walk in lockstep with whatever the Israeli government wants invites God’s judgment upon our nation. Of course the fundies just eat this stuff up. I have heard him tell his “conversion” story. He claims he was a radical Muslim terrorist who just so happened to marry a born-again Arab Christian. (Mind you that makes no sense. Interfaith marriages in that part of the world are almost unheard of and the idea that a FANATICAL Muslim would marry a Christian is absurd. But I digress.) He then decided to prove that his wife’s faith was false and began reading the Bible. Well supposedly he saw the light and became a born-again Christian too. He then realized that his people have no right to their land and that the Israelis are God’s chosen people–blahh, blahh, blahh. So he makes money traveling around the country spreading bullshit to gullible religious nuts. Ain’t America great!

  • icecreamassassin

    I’m not sure I’d consider being kicked out of a church as being a ‘punishment’ :)

  • chicago dyke

    lol. i tend to agree. but as a political statement, esp in the great white north, young muslims are doing the right thing, calling this asshole out. he’s a con artist. i hope they eventually recognize that racism is the real battle, and not theological purity arguments. i am encouraged by their example and hope they eventually come to Reason. there’s a long Islamic tradition of that, in muslim history. they can become unbelieving intellects like some of their forefathers were in the Golden Age.

  • A3Kr0n

    Challenging the authority of a guest in a church is being belligerent. Their house, their rules. Good reason not to go to church.

  • cipher

    Reminds me of the Caner bros. They were brought up as nominal Muslims, but converted to evangelical Christianity and now make a living as Christian apologists and validating all of the paranoid opinions Christians have of Islam. They’re particularly belligerent as well; one of them bills himself as “The Evangelical Pit Bull”.

  • Tak

    I haven’t met many Muslims but I have read some of their apologetics and they’re truly pathetic. My guess is that they were probably really being obnoxious and got removed. If an atheist were to go around disrupting church services where the pastor was saying crazy stuff about atheists I would say that’s inappropriate and I’d be appalled at their behavior! Why is anyone applauding these students?

    I have to also say that this article comes off as more anti Christian than friendly atheist. Really it has nothing to do with atheism at all. Christians bad! Look how they squash dissenters! C’mon … like Muslims don’t do the same jerkish things. Are you saying that it’s okay to disrupt church services now? Just because they have a Q&A this is an invite for anyone who disagrees with the speaker to engage in douchebaggery?

  • Camorris

    I look at churches merely as clubs for like minded individuals, and all clubs have procedures for managing their get-togethers. The church service is not an appropriate time to challenge the beliefs of the club – the members will likely become irritated and not consider the argument. However, if the club holds an event with a guest speaker that allows a Q&A then have at it. Another appropriate time for questioning would be at “bible study” sessions – but I expect that arguments won’t be appreciated here either.

  • Octoberfurst

    Asking questions during a Q&A is not “disrupting services.” How do you know the Muslim students were engaged in “douchebaggery”? You make a lot of assumptions based on little evidence. Maybe you should read more of the articles here before you complain about our “Christian bashing.” Actually we are not “bashing” Christians . We are just exposing their lies, hypocrisy and general idiocy.

  • Randay

    Also, the only thing dumber than believing in a religion is converting to another religion. You at least have the excuse that you were indoctrinated in the first.

  • MJ

    YOU weren’t there, you have no right to say a thing. I was there. These two boys were very disruptive and causing a scene. They asked him to quote his source, he quoted to them from their own Quran and Hadith. They refused to stop, but kept getting louder. They were asked to leave, and kept getting louder. That is when they were escorted out. If I went into someone’s place and started causing a scene like that, I would expect to be escorted out too, I don’t care what kind of meeting it is. If you’re not an eye witness, you’re a false witness.

  • Larry Valenti

    You are more then an Atheist, you are a bigot and a lost one at that.


    “If you’re not an eye witness, you’re a false witness.”

    I assume you aren’t a Christian, then. Otherwise, you were actually there at the crucifixion of Jesus… or you are a hypocrite. I wonder which it is?

  • Bdole

    I look at these sitations as Alien vs Predator. Whoever wins, reason loses.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    You’re so kind.

    Jesus would be proud.

    For some reason this old song lyric keeps going through my head: “Judge not, lest ye be……”, something? I keep forgetting.

  • berts

    Sounds like the muslim way to me. lol ~ just SHOUT LOUDER !

  • crusade 2013

    Why the fuck does an atheist get butthurt over a cpl of islamic muslim filth…for sum ome espousing no belief in a higher being, u sure as fuck gettn ur period on for this, the most despicable religion, prophet n god going…we let them in our churches, a christian tryn to enter a mosque, n speaking like that wudnt get out alive…n u fuckn know it.fucking apoligist.

  • berts

    I don’t trust this article, stinks of bias.

  • billybob

    right, let’s see what happens when Christian boys walk into a mosque and start questioning the speaker, lol…lmao at you idiots…