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Muslim surgeon forgives man who stabbed him in neck outside mosque

Photo: MEN Media

A top surgeon who treated victims of the Manchester Arena bombing has described the moment he was stabbed in the neck as he walked into his mosque in an unprovoked attack police are treating as a hate crime.

Just hours after the horrific ordeal, Nasser Kurdy, 58, said he had already forgiven his attacker.

The consultant orthopaedic surgeon, who works at Wythenshawe Hospital, was stabbed in the back of his neck as he walked into the Islamic Cultural Centre in Hale shortly before 5.50pm on Sunday.

Unaware the knifeman had fled, Mr Kurdy picked up a chair ready to defend other worshippers at the mosque.

Credit: MEN Media.

The father-of-three stemmed the bleeding from his own wound before the emergency services arrived.

He was rushed to Wythenshawe where he was treated by colleagues before being allowed home.

Mr Kurdy suffered a three-inch wound to the back of his neck, and says he is lucky not to have been been seriously injured.

“I was just going to the centre on Sunday evening on my own for mid-afternoon prayers. I was a couple of minutes late and only just entered the grounds when it happened.

"It happened from behind me. I was told later it was a knife in my neck. It was painful. As a surgeon, I could tell immediately none of the vital structures were affected. I just put pressure on my neck.

I probably only bled a little bit.

“Looking back I was pragmatic about it because of my profession and my age. We phoned for the police and the ambulance and a lot of the other worshippers at the centre were supporting me.

"My main concern was that he wasn’t going to come in.

“I think it was a toally non-personal random attack. I was just the person at that time. Waking up this morning, I would say I’m extremely lucky.

"You have major nerves in your neck that work your arm. None have been affected. You have vessels going up to your head. None of those have been affected.

"It could have gone to my lungs. It could have involved nerves along my spine and it could have gone into the neck itself. Thankfully, none of that happened. It was a random attack and if it’s going to end up the way it has then I’m extremely lucky.”

– Mr Kurdy

Mr Kurdy described how colleagues, including his trainee, treated him for about three hours at the hospital, cleaning the wound and stitching it up.

Revealing he has already forgiven his attacker, he said:

I have absolutely no grievance, no hate and no anger or any ill-feeling towards the perpetrator. I’m not angry so I don’t want other people to get angry on my behalf.”

– Mr Kurdy

Married Mr Kurdy, who has two boys, aged 13 and 20, and a girl aged 22, is a UK national of Jordanian and Syrian heritage. He is vice-chair of the Altrincham and Hale Islamic Association which itself is part of the Altrincham Interfaith Group.

Praising staff at the hospital, where he has worked since 1998, he said:

All the emergency services were absolutely brilliant yesterday and the staff at the hospital were incredible. They were supportive, professional, courteous.

To be on the other end of my profession was an eye-opening experience. The support I have had from the community has been imense. I have had emails from India, Pakistan and the Middle East, all praying for us.”

– Mr Kurdy

Two men, aged 54 and 32, have been arrested in connection with the attack and were still being quizzed by detectives.

Trafford council leader Sean Anstee has spoken of his shock at the attack on Dr Kurdy describing it as a "senseless and cowardly attack on a respected member of our community".

Councillor Anstee continued:

The local community are understandably shocked and concerned by this attack, which happened in an area known for its good community relations and is generally considered very safe.

"I would like to reassure people of our ongoing discussions and continued work with police, community and religious leaders to review and improve safety in our borough. My thoughts are with Dr Kurdy and his family and we wish him a full and speedy recovery."

– Councillor Anstee

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson has said there will be increased police presence in the area in the coming days to reassure local people.

Rob Smith has this report: