A doctor was stabbed in the neck on his way to a mosque by attackers who shouted Islamophobic comments at him in an apparent ‘hate crime’.
Dr Nasser Kurdy was on his way to the Altrincham Islamic Centre in Greater Manchester, when he was attacked in broad daylight at around 6pm on Sunday 24th September.
It is alleged that the attackers shouted Islamophobic comments at the orthopaedic surgeon before crossing the street and stabbing him in the back of the neck. The incident, which is now being treated as a hate crime, has shocked the local community with the mosque advising worshipers not to travel alone to prayers.
According to Greater Manchester Police, Dr Kurdy, 58, was on his way to the mosque when he noticed another man cross the road:
“A short time later he felt an injury to the back of his neck."
Dr Kurdy ran into the community centre and the emergency services were called. A video has emerged on Facebook showing the victim in the immediate moments after the attack. Dr Kurdy can be seen holding his neck whilst people attend to him.
Assistant Chief Constable, Russ Jackson of Greater Manchester Police described the incident as:
“A nasty and unprovoked attack against a much loved member of the community.”
He also added, “people will want to know why the attacker did this and we are treating it as a crime motivated by hate.”
Dr Khalid Anis, spokesperson for the Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association and friend of Dr Kurdy, later claimed that the incident could have been “very, very serious” and that the attack had “shocked the whole community” noting “it’s not just a criminal act against the Muslim community or an individual, it’s the people living in Altrincham, I think we all feel that.”
Dr Kurdy was taken to hospital following the incident and was later discharged requiring only stitches for his injury. He has been described as a “much loved man” who has led Friday prayers at the mosque on several occasions. Dr Kurdy has today stated that he “forgives” his attacker and “feels no negative emotions.”
Although the attack is being treated as a hate crime, police have stated that there is nothing to suggest that it is in any way terrorism related. Two men, aged 54 and 32 have now been arrested. Police are not looking for any other suspects but are calling for witnesses to come forward with any information regarding the vicious attack.
This attack can also be viewed in the wider context as a rise in anti-Islamic hate crime over the last year. There have been several indications of this rise, including the rise in terror related attacks as well as the Brexit Vote.
The terror attacks can often leave people angry and upset and wanting to find a soft target to blame. Similarly some have suggested that the Brexit Vote has allowed those with right wing views on immigration the validation to air such thoughts or to act without any recrimination.
However, if we stop and think about situations abroad, in Syria, the majority of the fighters fighting ISIS are Muslim and in northern Syria a third of the fighters on the frontline are women. These points should challenge the way we see Muslim men and women in our own country, but it is often not reported in the wider media as greatly as it could be.
How can such attacks be prevented?
Rubin Italia, Director and Solicitor in Duncan Lewis’s Crime department, believes prevention starts with education:
“In my view it needs to start at school within religious education. If we are all given a good grounding in all faiths, this allows one the ability not only to respect that faith but also the knowledge to challenge those who would suggest that certain teachings condone killing.”
Duncan Lewis Crime Solicitors
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