Stabbed Manchester Muslim Surgeon Forgives His Attacker

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Dr Nasser Kurdy is s the vice-chair of the Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association and a lay imam.

Frances Perraudin

A surgeon who was stabbed as he arrived at a mosque in Greater Manchester has insisted his attacker does not represent “what this country stands for”.

Dr Nasser Kurdy, 58, an orthopaedic surgeon, was stabbed in the neck from behind as he arrived at the Altrincham Islamic Centre for evening prayers at about 6pm on Sunday.

He sustained a 7.5cm (3in) knife wound and was treated by colleagues at Wythenshawe hospital before being allowed to return home. Police confirmed they were treating the attack as a hate crime.

Speaking about the attack, Kurdy, who treated victims of the Manchester Arena bombing in May, said although the wound was painful, he could tell immediately that he had been lucky and it had not caused serious damage.

“God was merciful to me yesterday. It could be a nerve, an artery, a vein, the gullet. The neck is the contact between the body and your head, but fortunately it was just the muscle,” he said.

“As I entered the grounds of the premises, I felt that pain and the blow to my neck. I turned around and saw this gentleman in a threatening pose. I did feel threatened, I did feel vulnerable.”

Kurdy, who is the vice-chair of the Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association and a lay imam, said while he could not say what his attacker had said to him, he was in no doubt that he had been targeted because he was entering the Islamic centre.

“He is not representative of what this country stands for,” Kurdy said of his attacker. “I have absolutely no anger or hate, or anything negative towards him. I have declared it, I have totally forgiven him. He could be a marginalised person within his own community.”

A 28-year-old man was charged on Monday in connection with the attack. Ian Anthony Rook, of no fixed abode, will attend Manchester magistrates’ court on Tuesday where he will be accused of assault and possession of a lethal weapon. A second man was released with no further action.

Kurdy, a UK national of Jordanian and Syrian heritage, has worked as a doctor for four decades since coming to Britain to study medicine in 1977. He worked in Perth, Dundee and Northampton before settling in Manchester in 1991.

Following the attack on Manchester Arena, the number of hate crimes in Greater Manchester rose from 614 reported incidents in April to 960 in May and 1,068 in June.

Over the summer, the number of reported hate crimes started to fall again, with 857 recorded in July and 725 in August, still above the 573 and 470 recorded in the same months in 2016.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews issued a statement expressing its solidarity with the mosque. Phil Rosenberg, the organisation’s public affairs director, said Kurdy and the community were in their thoughts and prayers. “These terrorists may wish to sow division, but they only succeed in bringing us closer together,” he said.

Beverley Hughes, the deputy mayor for policing and crime in Greater Manchester, said the attack had been a profoundly shocking event that had “no doubt affected many people in the local community and across Greater Manchester”.

“It is clear that the victim is someone who has given a huge amount to his community,” she said. “I wish him a speedy recovery and my thoughts are with him, his family and friends.

“This attack runs contrary to everything Greater Manchester stands for and has demonstrated over recent months. There is no place for hate crime in Greater Manchester and I am sure that like me, people across our city region will condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms.”

A Sikh Council UK spokesperson condemned the “cowardly hate crime”, saying: “We are heartened to read his comments showing compassion and forgiveness towards the attackers, who were motivated by hate and attacked him outside his mosque.”

The Rt Rev Libby Lane, the Bishop of Stockport, said she was horrified to hear about the attack. “I am thankful for the contribution the Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association make to our community, and pleased and privileged to count members of the association as friends,” she said.

“I join the chorus of condemnation of all such violent, hate-filled crime and commend the gracious and reconciling response offered by Altrincham Muslim Association.”

Courtesy: Guardian

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