Aid worker’s brother continues work


Published: Sunday 28th December 2014 by The News Editor

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The brother of a humanitarian aid worker who was murdered by Islamic State militants has reached out to people of other faiths and said evil can be defeated by sharing with other communities.

David Haines, 44, from Perth, Scotland, was working in Syrian refugee camps when he was kidnapped in March last year.

Horrific footage of the father-of-two’s murder at the hands of the killer dubbed Jihadi John was released on the internet in September.

His brother Mike has vowed to carry on Mr Haines’s humanitarian work, and has been travelling around the country to meet people with other beliefs.

His journey is featured on today’s Songs of Praise programme, and it shows Mr Haines visiting the Bradford Central Mosque and extending the hand of friendship to worshippers attending prayers there.

Mr Haines, joined by the Bishop of Bradford the Right Reverend Toby Howarth, clasped hands with Zulfiqar Karim from the Bradford Council for Mosques.

On the BBC programme, Mr Haines said: “David was always there for me and I was always there for him.

“Apart from being brothers we had a good friendship as well.

“David spent his life serving others and it’s this legacy that I want to continue.

“It’s important for my family and I that David isn’t remembered for his brutal murder but for the good works that he did.

“He went to places to help people, no matter faith, creed or background.”

Speaking about his interfaith conversations, Mr Haines, who is a Christian, said: “We all need to have our own beliefs.

“I have talked to God many times, he has given me the strength those times when that blackness in your stomach and the hollow feeling of David’s death.

“He has given me the strength to see that for all the evil that’s been done there is an amazing amount of good in our nation.”

And before shaking hands with Mr Karim, he said: “You can try and fight this evil by becoming friends by sharing our communities, by learning about each other because that’s what they hope to destroy.

“So you have my hand in friendship.”

Songs of Praise is shown on BBC1 at 3.10pm today.

Published: Sunday 28th December 2014 by The News Editor

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