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Man sentenced over murder of 'caring, loving' religious scholar in England

Mohammed Syeedy was handed a life sentence for his role in the murder, which saw the 71-year-old man bludgeoned with a hammer.

Image: PA WIRE

A MAN HAS BEEN convicted of the murder of a religious scholar in Rochdale, England, this year.

On 18 February, Jalal Uddin, who was 71-years-old, left a friend’s house on South Street in Wardleworth and began walking home, cutting through a play area at the end of the street.

Unbeknownst to him, he was being followed by Mohammed Hussein Syeedy in his car. Syeedy pulled up close to the entrance of the play area and a second man got out and followed the scholar into the park.

It is believed this man then attacked Uddin with a hammer, causing horrific head injuries.

Syeedy drove to the other side of the play area where the other man emerged and got in.

The 71-year-old man was found by passers-by a short time later. He as taken to hospital but died that night.

Police have said the motive for the murder centred on Uddin’s practice of ‘Taweez’, which some followers of Islam believe can bring good luck and protect them from harm.

It is believed that Mohammed Syeedy and others disagreed with the use of Taweez and the motivation for killing was borne out of a hatred and intolerance of this practice.

In the months prior to the victim’s death, Syeedy and others closely monitored his movements. Following the murder, police enquiries found what appeared to be extremist style material and established that one of the men believed to be involved had fled the country.

Today, Syeedy was found guilty of the murder and given a life-sentence with a minimum of 24 years.

‘A caring, loving soul’

In a statement, the man’s family said it had been an arduous journey for them.

“Having attended court for the past four weeks, listening to the evidence of Jalal’s last moments has been the hardest thing we have had to endure as a family. But we take comfort from the fact that the evidence acknowledges that Jalal was a greatly respected man, a caring and loving soul,” they said.

“The evidence has also highlighted how the events leading up to his murder showed what an incredibly cruel and callous attack this was on an innocent elderly man. It was shown that Jalal was unable to defend himself against such brute force making the acts of these perpetrators deplorable and cowardly.”

We hope that with all the information which has come out in court, and from within the wider community of Rochdale, it is clear to all that Jalal did not deserve what he was subjected to, not only on the night of the attack, but also the inexplicable events which occurred months prior to his horrific murder, when his personal belongings were taken from within the Jalalia Mosque, in Rochdale, and the fact that he was stalked and filmed without his knowledge months before his murder.

Jalal Uddin, who was murdered in February this year.

The family said Uddin was a Muslim who had a love and respect for all religions and the fact that he was murdered by someone inspired by the Islamic State group “shows the true nature and barbarity of this organisation and those who serve it”.

Jalal’s widow has lost a best friend, and one of his son’s, who last saw his father when he was five-years-old, and who led his funeral did not even see Jalal’s face due to the horrific facial injuries he sustained. Our family has now been left empty, and we have no words which could accurately express our emotions. Jalal was the greatest man in our lives; his smile will never be replaced. They say perfection cannot be achieved, but Jalal came pretty close, as exemplified by his principles, his mannerisms and his incredible love for his family and his religion.

Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole said today the although Syeedy may not have delivered the fatal blow to the 71-year-old man, “it is clear that he played an integral role in the murder”.

“I hope the outcome here today will bring some closure to Jalal’s family and help them continue to rebuild their lives following their tragic loss.”

Read: ‘His life was snuffed out’: Appeal for information about murder of young father from Dublin>

Read: Man pleads guilty to murdering 15-year-old girl in Scotland>

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