San Francisco: In a shocking incident, a 66-year-old Buddhist monk was assaulted in the US by an attacker who apparently mistook him for being a Muslim.
Kozen Sampson, a Buddhist monk, said he was attacked during a visit to Hood River in Oregon state. The brown robe-clad Sampson's car door was kicked into his head by a man who abused him and then fled on foot, according to the Hood River Police Department.
Police described the assailant as a white male with brown hair. Investigators are probing the incident that took place on February 29 as a possible hate crime.
Sampson told the New York Daily News he suffered a small cut, some memory loss and was "stunned for a minute or two" after the man attacked him on his trip to take his dogs to obedience training.
"I know that that was an angry thought that this person had, but Muslims have to deal with this every day," said Sampson.
"Could you imagine living with such anger? Our hope is that we can find a way that people can release this anger and fear," he said.
"It's really not about me. It's about loving kindness and taking care of all of our people," Sampson said.
He said the man, who seemingly thought he was Muslim based on his clothing, attacked him for no reason.
"I pulled over, someone ran up and yelled. I turned around, they kicked the door, hit me in the side of the face and knocked my head into the frame of the car," Sampson was quoted as saying by KATU-TV. He said the man also abused Muslims.
But instead of anger and hatred towards that man, Sampson said he only feels forgiveness and compassion.
"I don't know the Islamic faith well, but I do know that Muslims are our brothers and sisters and I would encourage everyone to just take a hard look at how supportive are you of all God's children," Sampson said.