Foreign exchange students say they were booted from Minn. church


Two foreign exchange students attending high school in Perham, Minn., say they were kicked out of a church for questioning a speaker who said "Islam equals terrorism," WDAY reports.

The Muslim teens, Elshan Mirzazade, from Azerbhjan, and Fikri Rahmat, from Indonesia, say they were booted from the Assembly of God church in Perham as part of a question-and-answer session during a presentation by Walid Shoebat, who claims to be a former terrorist and anti-terrorism expert. (CNN in 2011 reported that no one can prove the claims of Shoebat, who makes a lucrative career of speaking engagements. Shoebat called the CNN piece a "hatchet job.")

Rahmat told WDAY, "I would conclude in my mind that he got mad because maybe he was afraid of the truth. One of his companions came to us and said, 'Out, out,' rudely to us."

Mirzazade said, "Our message is not to argue with him, but to say to people that what he says is wrong."

Dirk Currier, an Assembly of God pastor, said the teens were not removed because they were Muslim. "The dialogue wasn't a dialogue. It was turning into kind of a shouting match," he told WDAY.

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