Recently, I was involved in an impromptu and unexpected (on my part) "debate"/exchange on the status message/comments section of an acquaintance's FaceBook profile, with a friend of his. For those unfamiliar with FaceBook, one can let your friends know what you're up to by writing a "status message," e.g. "Christopher is...reading."
This acquaintance was looking for a particular essay by 'Ali Shari'ati, a prominent Iranian Shi'i intellectual during the 1970s. I posted one of several links where he could find this essay ("Red Shi'ism"). One of his friends then began making allegations about Shari'ati, that his family was "not Iranian" and that Shi'i Islam had been forced onto Iran's predominantly Sunni population in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by the Safavid dynasty, whose founder declared Twelver Shi'ism to be the new state religion. I replied by saying that while forced conversion did occur, the extent to which the transformation of what we now know as modern Iran (the nation-state) from a Sunni to a Twelver Shi'i-majority state was the topic of continued research and debate among the scholars who specialize in medieval Iranian and Safavid history. His friend, who I shall call "Khan" to save space (their surname), said no, ALL Sunni Iranians had been "forced" to convert, and they then proceeded to list a random collection of quotes from books, both scholarly and non, travel web sites, and biased sources (speeches of Baha'i and Zoroastrian, and pro-Pahlavi shah writers and officials who have an interest in denigrating Iran's long Islamicate history). Khan did quote a few scholarly books. However, as I said previously, this is a subject which is debated in the scholarly literature. Khan later crowed that s/he had won, after I declined to debate "it," due to the polemical (polemically Sunni and anti-Shi'i) nature of their tone (it's often useless to try and have an intelligent discussion with such people).
I was not going to engage anymore with Khan, but the debate continued with another person, a Shi'i. Khan and the Shi'i exchanged blows. Khan then made a slew of polemical, biased accusations against Shi'is, Iran, and Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran:
KHAN: Al-Islam is a bigoted site [the site I originally linked to] which promotes hatred of Sunni Muslims. If you can't see that perhaps you should check your own views about Sunni's. It spreads the sort of terrorist hatred which results in people being killed in
Do you believe in theocratic totalitarian states ?...Totalitarian state as preached by [Ayatullah Ruhollah] Khomeini...Do you believe in Khomeini's teachings?