STABBED surgeon Nasser Kurdy has been 'overwhelmed' by the support and help he has received from the community since the incident last month.

Dr Kurdy was stabbed in the neck outside the mosque on Grove Lane, Hale, on September 24.

He says he is 'very thankful to God that I was spared a serious injury'.

He said of the response to the incident: "The messages of support from the local community have been overwhelming, especially the get well card signed by the local residents of Grove Lane and the cards signed by all the 9D and 9MK students at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls."

He continued: "I remain very grateful to our wonderful emergency services and for the excellent treatment I received at Wythenshawe Hospital.

"I am also very appreciative of the swift response of our local police, providing me with support and maintaining a visible presence at our centre to reassure the Muslim community and our neighbours along Grove Lane.

"It is a credit to everyone that we were back to our normal lives so quickly following such a horrendous event."

He believes the response to the incident demonstrates the strong links and understanding between communities in the borough.

"The response of the different faith community leaders was overwhelming and comforting. Messages of support were received from the Bishops of Chester, Manchester and Stockport, as well as from other Ministers, Rabbis and priests. At the peace and unity gathering the following day, we had representation from people of all faiths and none.

"There was representation and messages of support from Trafford Council and from Graham Brady MP.

"Baroness Susan Williams attended the gathering and provided reassurance that the Government will continue to tackle hate in all its forms, including anti-Muslim hate crime, which has significantly increased in recent years.

"It is impossible for me to thank everyone in this short message, but I and my family have been humbled by the love and affection expressed by so many. Every single card, letter, text, email and tweet has had a significant influence on my recovery from such a dreadful attack. This support only reinforces my belief that we have much more in common than that which divides us.

"We are blessed that in Altrincham and in Greater Manchester we have strong relationships of understanding and trust between communities. Extremism and hate will never divide us and we remain united. Long may this continue."

* Ian Anthony Rook, aged 28, of no fixed abode, has been charged with a section 18 assault and possession of a lethal weapon. He will appear at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester on October 24.

* See Letters page, page 10.