Nasser Kurdy, the imam and surgeon who was stabbed outside a mosque in Greater Manchester on Sunday, has forgiven his attacker.
Ian Anthony Rook has been charged with wounding or causing grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon. The 28-year-old, of no fixed address, will appear at Finsbury Crown Court on October 23.
Mr Kurdy, a father-of-three from a Syrian Jordanian family, is already getting ready to go back to work after being treated for stab wounds. And in a media interview he revealed that he has no negative feelings whatsoever towards his attacker.
He said: “He is not representative of what this country stands for. 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.”
Mr Kurdy has served as a doctor for 40 years after he came to Britain to study medicine in 1977. He worked in Perth, Dundee and Northampton before settling in Manchester in 1991.
He expressed his concerns about the increase in hate crimes against Muslims and blamed it on terror incidents, including the Manchester Arena bombing and the Parsons Green Tube attack. He also stressed that hate crimes are getting serious for the perpetrators no longer restrain themselves from physical abuse, and this is raising people’s concerns.
“People need to know there are Muslims like myself. I’ve worked hard, I’m a surgeon, I treat people. I have a wonderful community. My colleagues at work respect me and value my contribution,” he said.
“I don’t think I can see anybody more integrated than I am. I get invited to sit on services in the synagogue, service on Remembrance Sunday; I’m always in the church at All Saints. I’m sure people don’t get to see that, all they get to see is those crackpots.”
This is not the first attack that Altrincham Islamic Centre has suffered in recent years. In the past a brick has been thrown through its windows, graffiti has been daubed on its walls and a rubbish bin has been set alight.