Jalal Uddin: Imam 'murdered by IS supporters' over 'black magic' healing

Jalal Uddin Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption Jalal Uddin was found with a serious head injury in a children's play area and later died in hospital

Two supporters of the so-called Islamic State group murdered an imam because they viewed his practice of Islamic healing as "black magic", a jury heard.

Jalal Uddin, 71, died after suffering head injuries in an attack in a children's play area in Rochdale.

Mohammed Hussain Syeedy, 22, and Mohammed Abdul Kadir, 24, were said to have developed "a hatred" of Mr Uddin, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Mr Syeedy, of Ramsay Street, Rochdale, denies murder with another.

The jury was told Mr Kadir fled abroad in the days that followed Mr Uddin's death, on 18 February.

The prosecution claims the Bangladeshi national was targeted after he left a mosque where he usually prayed, ate a meal at a friend's house and then walked home.

Mr Syeedy and Mr Kadir were said to have taken offence after discovering he practised Ruqya healing, which involves the use of amulets.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Uddin was found injured by two young girls, who then raised the alarm, Manchester Crown Court heard

It is alleged the pair mounted surveillance of Mr Uddin, who was described as "quiet, dignified and well-respected", before he was killed in an attack, thought to have involved a hammer.

Opening the trial, prosecutor Paul Greaney QC said: "Who hated a decent man like Jalal Uddin with such virulence?

"The answer to that important question is to be found in the twisted ideology of Isis, sometimes known as Islamic State.

"Jalal Uddin was a practitioner of a form of Islamic healing called Ruqya.

"Isis regards this practice as black magic and adheres to the view that those who engage in it deserve severe punishment, even death.

"Mohammed Hussain Syeedy, the defendant, and an associate of his named Mohammed Abdul Kadir, were supporters of Isis and so they subscribed to the view that those who practised Ruqya deserved such punishment."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Uddin had been praying at a mosque before he was attacked, the prosecution claims

Mr Greaney said Mr Syeedy will claim he does not support Isis or violent extremism of any kind.

He told the jury: "Your task will be to determine whether that defence may be true.

"Our submission is that once you have heard all of the evidence, you will be sure that it is not true."

He said it was the prosecution's case that Mr Syeedy drove Mr Kadir to the gates of the park, knowing full well Mr Kadir intended to attack Mr Uddin.

Mr Kadir was said to have landed "repeated forceful blows", including to his mouth and teeth, which left the victim with a skull fracture.

He then dashed to the exit on the other side of the park, where he was picked up by Mr Syeedy, the court heard.

Two young girls discovered the unconscious Mr Uddin at about 20:45 GMT.

He was rushed to hospital where he died a short time later as a result of a killing "of hatred and intolerance", Mr Greaney said.

The trial continues.

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