MANCHESTER – Dr Nasser Kurdy, who treated victims of Manchester arena attack earlier this year, has forgiven the attacker who stabbed him yesterday in front of a Manchester mosque, saying he feels “no negative emotions”.
“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,” Dr Kurdy 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.”
The attack occurred as Dr Kurdy was reportedly arriving at the Altrincham Islamic center, Grove Lane, for evening prayers at 6pm when someone stabbed him in the neck from behind.
A video posted on Facebook purportedly shows the victim immediately after the attack.
He sustained a 7.5cm (3in) knife wound and was treated by colleagues at Wythenshawe hospital before being allowed to return home.
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 center.
“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 marginalized 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.
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”.
“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,” he said.
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.”