Attacker charged but surgeon Dr. Nasser forgives him


MANCHESTER: A 28-year-old man has been charged with assaulting a surgeon who was stabbed outside a mosque in Greater Manchester. Ian Anthony Rook, of no fixed address, is accused of grievous bodily harm and possession of a lethal weapon.

He was detained after Dr Nasser Kurdy was injured outside Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association on Grove Lane in Altrincham on Sunday night.

Mr Rook is due to appear at Manchester City Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said. A GMP spokesman said the force does not believe there was a racial motive to the attack. A second man has been released with no further action, the force confirmed.

Officers were called at about 17:45 BST on Sunday, after Dr Kurdy, 58, was taken to hospital with a stab wound to the back of his neck. He was treated for his injuries and discharged shortly afterwards

Consultant Nasser Kurdy, who operated on those injured in the outrage in May, was stabbed from behind with a knife as he walked into Altrincham Islamic Centre in Hale, Cheshire just before 6pm yesterday.

The 58-year-old victim suffered a three centimetre wound to the back of his neck and was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital for treatment, where he works as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon.

Giving the details of attack, The Asian Image reported that on Monday the father of three, from a Syrian Jordanian family, was preparing to go back to work to treat his patients as the police investigation continued.

He said: “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. “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.”

He rushed inside and, fearing the attacker may follow, grabbed a chair and dashed outside, but his attacker had fled.”Police later made two arrests and said they were treating the incident as a hate crime.

Mr Kurdy has worked as a doctor for four decades, after coming to Britain to study medicine in 1977 and working in Perth, Dundee and Northampton before settling in Manchester in 1991. He was going to the Islamic Centre for mid-afternoon prayers and a committee meeting, as he is a lay imam, sometimes giving sermons, and vice chairman of Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association.

Mr Kurdy said, ahead of giving a police statement that he could not say what his attacker said to him, but was in “no doubt” he was attacked because he was entering the Islamic Centre. But he added he feels no anger towards his attacker.

Other Muslim leaders condemned the attack.

Harun Khan, secretary general of the MCB, said on Sunday: “We are shocked to hear of the stabbing of a prominent Muslim surgeon outside Altrincham mosque today in what the Greater Manchester Police have described as a hate crime.

“We are relieved to hear that the victim’s injuries are not currently critical.

“Our prayers are with the victim, his family and the local community.”

He called on the Prime Minister and Home Secretary to implement the Government’s Hate Crime Action Plan.

The minister for countering extremism, Baroness Williams of Trafford, a borough which neighbours Hale, said: “I am shocked and sickened to hear Dr Kurdy was attacked on his way to a mosque in Altrincham in an incident which police are treating as a suspected hate crime.

“There is no place for hatred in our society and we must continue to stand together to defeat it.”