Buddhist monk attacked for being ‘Muslim’ has totally Zen response to Islamophobes
Kozen Sampson, who dresses in traditional brown robes and shaves his head in accordance with his faith, was on his way to walk his dog when he was attacked.
Sampson was getting out of his car when someone the he described as a white man with brown hair shouted and ran up to him.
Hey, America!!!! Stop saying your Muslim problem isn't a racist one. You're attacking Sikhs and Buddhists... https://t.co/YytMR8BbJy— Spaced Maiden (@Space_maiden) March 9, 2016
“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,” he said.
The man called him a “F**king Muslim” before he left.
Thanks to his spiritual training, Sampson felt sympathy for his attacker.
“Can you imagine living your life in fear and anger? Can you imagine wanting to do something that you had to hurt somebody?” he said.
The attack left Sampson, who is also a registered nurse, with a bleeding gash on his head, but he didn’t go to the police until a few days later.
“I hadn’t planned to say anything, but a friend said if it happened it needs to be on the record, which I agree with,” he said.
The misguided hate attack has led to some good. A candlelight vigil will be held on Friday to promote peace and tolerance.
Police in Hood River say that fights involving racial slurs in the town aren’t uncommon, but they rarely happen in broad daylight.
"The extent that Mr. Sampson was attacked is a little more rare than what we usually see," said Hood River Police Sgt. Don Cheli, according to KGW.
Islamophobic incidents are on the rise in the US after the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks. With Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spouting hate speech against Muslims and other minorities, they are bracing for more.
My sister came home from school & said "Mom people in my class said if Donald trump is president all the Muslims will go back to Asia."— mamí ♛ (@jazzicattt) February 24, 2016
My history teacher said that trump made good points about not letting Muslims in BC they're "terrorists"... I hate private school teachers..— Giselle (@MinahMinx) January 31, 2016
“There are some politicians who have people riled up as they seek to build their power base. They are not seeing everyone as a part of the human family. We need to find a kinder way to approach our differences and look at the rest of life,” Sampson said.
Sampson isn’t the first victim of mistaken religious identity either.
In December, a Sikh man had his turban punched off his head in Poland because when he was mistaken for a Muslim and, in Michigan, another Sikh man was shot in the face and called a terrorist.