LONDON – A Christian minister and TV show host was attacked Monday in what police are calling a "faith hate" crime.
The Pakistan-born Rev. Noble Samuel, 48, was driving to the studio for his Asian Gospel Show in North London, when another car with three Asian men pulled over in front of him. One of the men got out of the car and asked him for directions in Urdu.
According to the minister, the man then "put his hand into my window, which was half open, and grabbed my hair and opened the door. He started slapping my face and punching my neck. He was trying to smash my head on the steering wheel. Then he grabbed my cross and pulled it off and it fell on the floor. He was swearing. The other two men came from the car and took my laptop and Bible," as reported by the London Daily Mail.
They also threatened to break his legs if he returned to work on his gospel program.
Samuel, however, went on to present his show as usual. The Muslim owner of the TV station came on the air during the show to condemn the attack.
During the last few weeks, Samuel – minister of Heston United Reformed Church of West London – noted that a number of Muslims had been calling in on his show to oppose his views.
"They were having an argument with me. They were very aggressive in saying they did not agree with me," he said. "I said those are you views and these are my views."
The police have given panic alarms to his family in the event of similar troubles. The minister said he was afraid for the safety of his wife and 19-year-old son.
"I am frightened and depressed … My show is not confrontational."