UK man gets life in jail for murdering Imam

Dhaka,  Monday,   2016-09-17
Published : 17 Sep 2016, 11:15:35

Islamic State-inspired British Muslim jailed for life for murdering imam from Bangladesh

A British Muslim has been found guilty of being inspired by the militant Islamic State group to abet in the murder of a respected local imam who he believed was practising "black magic".

Mohammed Syeedy, 21, and accomplice Mohammed Abdul Kadir followed Jalal Uddin as he walked home from evening prayers at his mosque in Rochdale, northern England, in February.

They bludgeoned him to death in a park, Reuters news agency reports.

According to ‘The Guardian’ newspaper, Jalal moved to Rochdale 15 years ago from Bangladesh.

The former imam was well known in the area for his use of healing amulets or Taweez to ward off ill health and protect people from evil spirits.

The newspaper said Syeedy received a lifer, or a minimum of 24 years in jail, for murder.

Police said Syeedy was believed to have acted as the getaway driver while Kadir, who is now thought to be in Syria, attacked the victim with a hammer, Reuters said.

Prosecutors said the men had planned the murder for months and stalked Jalal, 72, because he practised something called Ruqya, a form of healing in which he used amulets.

The attackers, who both followed the Salafist strand of Islam espoused by Islamic State - also known as Daesh - believed this to be punishable by death, according to Reuters.

"The prosecution proved that Syeedy believed Jalal Uddin to be practising black magic and, inspired by the teachings of Daesh, that the victim deserved to die for that belief," said Sue Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution Service's Counter Terrorism Division.

Police said while Syeedy might not have delivered the fatal blows, he had played an integral part in the murder.

"Although Jalal was a Muslim who peacefully practised his faith, he had a love and respect for all religions, cultures and creeds, and the fact that he was murdered by someone inspired by (Islamic State) shows the true nature and barbarity of this organisation and those who serve it," his family said in a statement.


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