Tensions Rise After Imam ‘Murdered’ Leaving Mosque, Police Confirm Arrest

Rochdale Mosque
Christopher Furlong/Getty

An Imam from the North of England has died on his way home for a mosque where he lead evening prayers. He was found with serious head injuries and it is thought he was attacked.

The chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation said that the victim, named locally as Jalal Uddin, was “murdered” and called for “emergency security precautions” in the town of Rochdale, near Manchester. Police have now confirmed they have arrested a 31-year-old man in connection with the incident.

Mr. Uddin is of Bangladeshi origin and a former Imam at the Bilal Jamia Masjid Mosque. He was found in a critical condition in a children’s playground on Thursday night, and died in hospital shortly after.

Police launch an investigation today, and authorities have called for calm in the town, which was over 20 per cent Muslim at the time of the 2011 census.

Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation said in a statement: “We would urge the community of Rochdale to stay united and calm.

“We pay tribute to him and his unique contribution to our community in Rochdale. We offer our sincere condolences and prayers to his family, friends and the wider community.

“We would urge all local Mosques in Rochdale to consider emergency security precautions and facilities to help local people return home safely from the Mosque.

“Furthermore Mosques should also consider buddying various people together to ensure vulnerable people are supported.”

Superintendent Mark Smith told the Manchester Evening News: “A man has sadly died after being found injured by passing members of the public, and we are now doing all we can to try and identify who he is, so we can speak with and support this man’s family.

“Our investigation is at an early stage but we are keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the area near to the children’s play area in Wardleworth this Thursday evening, as we work to establish how this man came to suffer his head injury.

“We know local people will be worried when they hear news of what has happened and we have extra patrols in place to try and reassure the community.

“We are asking people to speak with officers if they saw, heard or know anything that can assist this investigation.”


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