Journalist Jawaad Faizi says he can still feel broken glass showering over him in his car as he fended off blows from a cricket bat in a surprise attack he blames on "religious fanatics."
A writer for the Pakistan Post, Faizi said he was beaten by three men because he mocked a Pakistani cleric in a column.
Faizi said the men smashed the windshield and driver's window of his car as he arrived at his editor's home about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday. He said he was struck by the cricket bat and was cut on his forearm.
"They were smashing and smashing, hitting and hitting," Faizi said. "I could not stop them."
Faizi said both he and his editor, Amir Arain, recently received phone calls warning them to stop writing defamatory articles about the religious group Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran and its leader, Allama Tahir-Ul-Qadri.
Faizi said he wrote a column two weeks ago mocking the cleric, who he said told a gathering in Pakistan "that he could write the name of Mohammed on the moon with his finger."
"He is always trying to fool the people," Faizi said.
The columnist said his three attackers screamed at him in Punjabi and Urdu to stop writing about Minhaj-ul-Quran.
He said they fled when he dialed 911 on his cellphone. He was treated at Mississauga's Trillium Health Centre and released the same night.
Constable Jodi Dawson said Peel Region police have assigned the case to detectives in 12 Division.
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, a Toronto-based association of more than 300 journalists, editors, publishers, producers and students, condemned the attack.
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