By Jonathan Petre
Last updated at 4:39 PM on 15th March 2009
Church Security Incident: A Christian minister who has had heated arguments with Muslims on his TV Gospel show has been brutally attacked by three men who ripped off his cross and warned: ‘If you go back to the studio, we’ll break your legs.’
The Reverend Noble Samuel was driving to the studio when a car pulled over in front of him. A man got out and came over to ask him directions in Urdu.
Mr Samuel, based at Heston United Reformed Church, West London, said: ‘He 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.’
The Metropolitan Police are treating it as a ‘faith hate’ assault and are hunting three Asian men.
In spite of the attack, Mr Samuel went ahead with his hour-long live Asian Gospel Show on the Venus satellite channel from studios in Wembley, North London. During the show the Muslim station owner Tahir Ali came on air to condemn the attack.
Pakistan-born Mr Samuel, 48, who was educated by Christian missionaries and moved to Britain 15 years ago, said that over the past few weeks he has received phone-in calls from people identifying themselves as Muslims who challenged his views.
‘They were having an argument with me,’ he said. ‘They were very aggressive in saying they did not agree with me. I said those are your views and these are my views.’
He said that he, his wife Louisa, 48, and his son Naveed, 19, now fear for their safety, and police have given them panic alarms. ‘I am frightened and depressed,’ he said. ‘My show is not confrontational.’