A TV debate on whether Shiite books should be banned at a Cairo international book fair turned ugly when Salafi cleric Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mallah called his opponent an "idiotic madman" who is "proficient in the art of stupidity, idiocy, and the defense of superstitions" and threatened to "hit him in the face with a shoe." Islamic researcher Yasser Farawila responded that he would retaliate "with 30 shoes." Eventually threats turned into action, and cups of beverages and chairs went flying in the studio. The TV host, while trying to separate the sparring guests, apologized and thanked the viewers for watching, as the credits rolled. The debate aired on the Egyptian Alhadath Alyoum TV channel on February 2.
Host: "A war of words has erupted between Salafi sheikhs, or people who object to the proliferation of Shiite books, and between people who defend the selling of these books in the Cairo International Book Fair."
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mallah: "Some books were confiscated, and some publishers in the Cairo International Book Fair were arrested.
"These books are bought and sold, spreading the rotten terrorist Shiite ideology at the fair, and then you tell me that there is terrorism in Egypt?! First do away with this terrorism at the Cairo International Book Fair, and then come and talk to me about (Sunni) terrorism."
Host: "Do these books pose a threat to the Egyptian religious identity?"
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mallah: "Of course they do. They are filled with terrorism, nonsense, myths."
Yasser Farawila: "If these books are nothing but nonsense and myths, and since there are people to defend the true and powerful faith, why do you care if the (Shiites) believe in their ideas and their books?
"There are real scholars in Al-Azhar - scholars whose books don't deal with breastfeeding an adult, sex with dead people, and chopping people's heads off."
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mallah: "Yasser is proficient in the art of stupidity, idiocy, and the defense of superstitions."
Yasser Farawila: "You are an insolent lowlife. Cut this bullshit."
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mallah: "Me? A lowlife?"
Yasser Farawila: "Of course. You called me an idiot."
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mallah: "You are supported by Iran. You are a Shiite thief operating in Egypt, dealing under the table.
"You are an insolent man with no honor. You brought me an idiotic madman here."
Host: "I didn't 'bring him,' Sheikh Muhammad. I'm moderating a debate here."
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mallah: "By Allah, all the accusations that you are hurling at me... If I weren't a respectful man, I'd hit you in the face with my shoe..."
Yasser Farawila: "And I would hit you in the face with 30 shoes."
Host: "Answer him, Sheikh Muhammad. He accused you of receiving foreign money."
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mallah: "I'll answer him with a shoe to his face and to the face of whoever gave birth to him."
Yasser Farawila: "I will beat you with 30 shoes for your insolence."
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mallah: "You are impudent and have no honor. Shut up or I'll tear down the studio all over you."
Yasser Farawila: "Oh, shut up."
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mallah: "You'd better shut up and not incite against the Egyptian state. You are implementing a foreign agenda..."
Yasser Farawila: "A foreign agenda?"
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mallah: "Shut up. Enough with this stupidity."
Host: "People, we can't go on like this. No, no, no... People, I beg you..."
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mallah: "Who is this stupid idiot you brought me?!"
Host: "People, this can't go on. I have to stop the show here. I apologize to the viewers for what has just happened. This is inacceptable, Dr. Yasser. This is wrong, Dr. Yasser. Dear viewers... Dr. Yasser... No, this is wrong... Dr. Yasser!!!! Sheikh Muhammad!!!! This is wrong, people! I thank our viewers..."