A SURGEON who was stabbed outside a mosque in Hale says he has ‘unequivocally' forgiven his attacker.

Consultant Nasser Kurdy made a plea for everyone to unite and to put hate to one side.

Dr Kurdy was attacked as he entered the Altrincham Muslim Association Centre on Grove Lane, Hale at 5.50pm on Sunday.

He suffered a wound to his neck and was treated at Wythenshawe Hospital, where he works. His wound needed four stitches in a three centimetre wound.

The police are treating the attack as a hate crime and two men aged 54 and 32, were arrested within an hour of the attack.

Mr Kurdy told Messenger at his Hale Barns home: "I was entering the mosque and suddenly I felt a blow to the back of my neck.

"I was not immediately aware I was stabbed.

"When I turned around this person was quite aggressive and threatening. I ran away towards the main hall of the mosque.

"When I entered there were two ladies in the mosque. I grabbed a chair as protection because i thought he was coming after me but he wasn't there. The two ladies called 999."

Mr Kurdy, aged 58, said: "Three or four minutes later I became aware I was stabbed when someone said I was bleeding."

He said of his attacker: "I forgive my assailant, unequivocally and absolutely.

"I have no anger, hate or animosity towards him or anyone who assisted him.

"The incident highlights what can happen when hate takes over people's emotions and actions.

"We can't have this. I was lucky but the next person may not be quite as lucky."

Mr Kurdy, who is vice chairman of Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association, added: "We have a strong interfaith community in Altrincham.

"We can't have people on the margins. we need to build bridges and get rid of that hatred.

"We should be able to disagree in a civil way. that is the hallmark of a civilised democracy.

"Anger leads to hate and hate leads to tragic consequences."

He continued: "I am fine.I feel extremely lucky and grateful to God."

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said of the incident and police investigation: “'This is a very nasty and unprovoked attack against a much loved local man. We have made significant progress with the investigation and have arrested two people.

“We consider that these arrests are significant and with the information that we have at this stage, we are not looking for anyone else in relation to this attack

“People will want to know why the attacker did this and we are treating this as a crime motivated by hate. It is difficult to say more than this at this time but there is nothing to suggest that this is terrorist related.

“There will be increased police presence in the area in the coming days to reassure local people.”

If anyone has witnessed this incident or saw anyone hanging around Grove Lane at this time, please contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 quoting reference number 1646 of 24/09/17 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.