A former imam was bludgeoned to death in a children’s playground by two Islamic State supporters who believed he practised “black magic”, a court has heard.
Jalal Uddin, 71, was murdered by two alleged Islamist extremists who harboured a “hatred and intolerance” of his form of Islam, jurors were told.
The respected community leader was targeted as he made his way home from a mosque in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, after months of being surveilled by his alleged killers, the jury heard.
The accused – Mohammed Hussain Syeedy, 21, and Mohammed Abdul Kadir, 24 – were Isis supporters who developed a hatred of Uddin after discovering he practised a form of Islamic healing called ruqya, jurors were told.
Opening the trial at Manchester crown court, the prosecutor, Paul Greaney QC, told jurors that Syeedy and Kadir “stalked Jalal Uddin around the streets of Rochdale” before Kadir launched a savage attack on the older man in a playground. Kadir unleashed “repeated forceful blows” to Uddin’s head and mouth with a weapon believed to be a hammer, the court heard, leaving him with severe skull fractures.
Described as “quiet, dignified and well respected,” Uddin wore an amulet – known as a taweez – that some believe to protect the wearer against evil. However, Isis forbids the practice, considering it to be “black magic”, the court heard.