Local Man Charged With The Murder Of Jalal Uddin
Jalal Uddin, a 64 year old Imam from Rochdale, North Manchester was found with severe head injuries on February 18th. Unfortunately, he died of these injuries in hospital a little while later.
It didn’t take long for propagandists to start punting the political football they’d created from this tragic event. Cries of ‘Islamophobia’ spread far and wide across social media, as did shouts of racism. It wasn’t all reactionary bluster of course. To their credit, many Muslim leaders called for calm and warned against jumping to conclusions. The Times let themselves down by linking this crime to the Rochdale grooming scandal with a deeply inappropriate headline however. Not to mention some got so turned on by the prospect of this being a hate crime that they made a literal game out of it:
When this terrible news first broke, I remember quietly thinking to myself: ‘it was probably a Muslim that did it’. Not out of any anti-Muslim prejudice, you see – or because I think Muslims are more likely to commit violent crimes. I don’t think that at all.
I thought it was ‘probably’ a Muslim simply because it was actually probable. Statistically, you are far more likely to be killed by someone in your own community or family than you are to be a victim of a hate crime. I worked in Rochdale for nearly ten years, which makes the sizable Muslim communities there no mystery to me. I don’t live in a Muslim community myself, therefore if someone suffered a similar fate in my local park, I would say ‘it was probably a non-Muslim’ (if asked whether I thought it was a Muslim). And it probably would be.
Well, Police have now confirmed that a Rochdale man named Mohammed Hussain Syeedy has been charged with murder in relation to this crime. Lo and behold, this individual lives in the same community as Mr Uddin and has an Islamic name. What are the odds? Well, low in fact. The injured Mr Uddin was found on South Street, and the suspect’s home address is Ramsey St (see how long it takes to pinpoint both locations on the map below):
Even now, with the all the available information, I’m still reluctant to claim this suspect was a Muslim with any certainty, or rule out any type of motive until the official investigation has concluded. Why? Because this is an incredibly serious crime and Mr Uddin was a very real person. This deserves a full and thorough investigation – not exploitation for myopic political agendas.
Let’s hope that justice is delivered for Mr Uddin and his friends and family. In the meantime, will all those who stoked religious and racial tensions with their ill-judged, premature nonsense retract and apologise for it? The chances of that happening of course, carry significantly different odds.