Two Isis supporters murdered an imam because they believed the type of Islamic healing he practised was a form of "black magic", a jury has heard.

Jalal Uddin, 71, suffered multiple head and face injuries when he was beaten with what is believed to be a hammer in a children's playground in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, on the evening of 18 February.

Mohammed Hussain Syeedy, 22, and Mohammed Abdul Kadir, 24, are alleged to have formed a "hatred" of Uddin after they discovered that he practiced a form of Islamic faith healing called 'ruqya', it is alleged. Ruqya uses charms and amulets to banish illness and bring good fortune. It is forbidden by Isis, and punishable by death.

Syeedy, who is on trial at Manchester Crown Court, denies murder. Kadir is believed to have fled abroad, and could be in Syria. Syeedy is alleged to have acted as the getaway driver, and Kadir to have launched the attack.

"Who hated a decent man like Jalal Uddin with such virulence? The answer to that important question is to be found in the twisted ideology of Isis, sometimes known as Islamic State," said Paul Greaney QC, opening the case, as quoted by PA.

Greaney said Syeedy will claim he does not support Isis or violent extremism of any kind. He told the jury: "Your task will be to determine whether that defence may be true."

The pair is alleged to have "stalked" Uddin around Rochdale on the evening of 18 February, before Kadir got out of the vehicle and attacked Uddin in a playground as the cleric was returning home from a local mosque.

Kadir is alleged to have used "repeated forceful blows" including to the face and teeth of Uddin, resulting in a skull fracture, before dashing to the other side of the park, where he was allegedly picked up by Syeedy.

Two girls discovered Uddin at 8.45pm and he was taken to hospital, where he died a short time later.

Jurors were shown photographs of Syeedy and his friends making "the Isis salute", raising a single finger to the sky, and carrying a jihadi flag bearing a Kalashnikov rifle or sword. One photograph showed Syeedy and another man holding a jihadi flag outside the Jalalia mosque, where Uddin prayed.

Kadir fled abroad in the days following the murder, the jury heard. The trial continues.