British surgeon stabbed for being Muslim

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LONDON: A Muslim surgeon, who was stabbed outside a mosque in Manchester, said he had forgiven the attacker.

Dr Nasser Kurdy, 58, was attacked from behind as he arrived for evening prayers at the Altricham Islamic centre in Manchester, UK. He sustained a three inch knife wound in his neck and was treated by colleagues at Wythenshawe Hospital, where he works as a consultant orthopedic surgeon. He was allowed to return home.

In a press conference, Kurdy insisted that the man was “not what this country stands for”. “I have absolutely no anger or hate towards him. I have declared it, I have totally forgiven him.”

Kurdy, who treated victims of the Manchester Arena bombing in May, said: “As I entered the grounds of the premises, I felt that pain and the blow to my neck.” He continued to explain that although the wound was painful he knew immediately that it was not life threatening.

The father of three, from a Jordanian – Syrian family, came to Britain in 1977. He worked in various cities in the UK including Perth, Dundee and Northampton before settling in Manchester in 1991. He is vice chairman of Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association and part-time Imam at the Altricham Islamic centre, giving occasional sermons.

He was preparing to return to work as the police investigation continued. Police are treating it as a hate crime.

Kurdy thinks hate crimes against Muslims are spiraling as a result of the terror attacks. “It must be acknowledgment that hate crimes against Muslims are on the increase and they are becoming more physical,” he said.

‘Tell Mama’, an organisation that records hates crimes, agrees with him. They said that hate crimes against British Muslims had increased fivefold in the seven days following the May 2017, Manchester Arena terrorist attack. A total of 139 cases of ‘anti-Muslim hate’ were reported in comparison to 25 the previous week.

A seven-year-old British born girl was among the victims of verbal abuse that included 61 Muslims told to “go back to your country “and branded “child killers”.

The police have arrested two men aged 32 and 54, in connection with the attack and said they were treating it as a hate crime.

Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said: “This is a very nasty and unprovoked attack against a much-loved local man.”

Muslim leaders have condemned the attack.

Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association Spokesperson Dr Khalid Anis said: “The fact they attacked an orthopedic consultant who devoted his life to helping others is really quite poignant.”

Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council Britain, said: “We are shocked to hear of the stabbing of a prominent Muslim surgeon outside Altrincham mosque.” He urged British Prime Minister Theresa May and British Home Secretary Amber Rudd to implement its Government’s Hate Crime Action Plan.

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