Thousands of Muslims march against ISIS as brother of one of Jihadi John’s victims remembers his death

 

  • Retired nurse Mike Haines spoke in London about beheading of brother David, who was killed three years ago
  • The aid worker was murdered by Islamic State after 18 months in captivity, during which he was also tortured
  • Today Muslims marked the Ashura festival as families condemned extremists and terror by waving placards
  • Mr Haines, from Dundee, said unity was vital in the fight against the ‘hate-mongers’ who attack innocents 

Victims of Islamic State terrorists including the brother of an aid worker beheaded by the group’s so-called Jihadi John were remembered in a peaceful protest today.

Mike Haines, 51, who has campaigned for peace since his humanitarian brother David was murdered, spoke to a largely Muslim crowd in London at the demonstration, which also marked the religious festival of Ashura.

‘It is important that we react in a positive way against these hate-mongers,’ he said.

‘I mourn my brother every day.

Protesters joined to condemn Islamic State as the festival of Ashura marked the tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar
Protesters joined to condemn Islamic State as the festival of Ashura marked the tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar
Marchers walk through Marble Arch in London, where the brother of David Haines spoke out against terror and extremism
Marchers walk through Marble Arch in London, where the brother of David Haines spoke out against terror and extremism

‘However he knew the risks of being a humanitarian worker.

‘He and my family accepted those risks because he was doing important work, helping his fellow man regardless of creed, colour, race or religion.’

Children joined the march against terror in the capital, where attacks in Manchester and London were condemned by Muslims and non-Muslims alike
EnterChildren joined the march against terror in the capital, where attacks in Manchester and London were condemned by Muslims and non-Muslims alike
The annual Ashura march used the festival's traditional focus on the defiance of tyranny to oppose the murder of an aid worker by ISIS
The annual Ashura march used the festival’s traditional focus on the defiance of tyranny to oppose the murder of an aid worker by ISIS

Fighting back tears, the retired mental health nurse from Dundee condemned Islamic State’s ‘truly disgusting atrocities’ after his brother’s murder was filmed and posted online.

‘The callous murder of my brother, the bombing of a teenage concert in Manchester, the deplorable attack on a place of worship in Finsbury Park, the inexcusable name-calling of people based on their religion or colour – they all have one thing in common which is to incite hatred,’ he said.

Believers bowed their heads while observing Ashura in Marble Arch, central London, where Muslims condemned sectarianism 
EnteBelievers bowed their heads while observing Ashura in Marble Arch, central London, where Muslims condemned sectarianism
Demonstrators, including young children, attended a march in London where the beating, torture and beheading of David Haines by Islamic State was condemned by his grieving brother
Enter aDemonstrators, including young children, attended a march in London where the beating, torture and beheading of David Haines by Islamic State was condemned by his grieving brother

David Haines was held captive for 18 months, during which time he was beaten and tortured along with other hostages before being beheaded on September 13, 2014.

Today’s demonstration started at Hyde Park, working its way through central London as people of all ages held banners reading ‘Muslims condemn terrorism’ and ‘180K imams have spoken against IS’.

Muslims pray in Marble Arch during the annual Ashura commemoration, which marks the death of Mohammed's grandson
Muslims pray in Marble Arch during the annual Ashura commemoration, which marks the death of Mohammed’s grandson
Protesters beat drums during the central London demonstration as part of Ashura, which falls on the tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic lunar calendar 
EnteProtesters beat drums during the central London demonstration as part of Ashura, which falls on the tenth day of Muharram in the Islamic lunar calendar

 

Mr Haines said such unity was essential to fight terrorists, adding hatred ‘steals the humanity from a person’ and society must not let destruction win.

‘It is only by working together that we can combat the hatred of the extremists,’ he said.

Protesters waved placards condemning acts of terrorism carried out by Islamic State as Muslims marked Ashura in London
EnterProtesters waved placards condemning acts of terrorism carried out by Islamic State as Muslims marked Ashura in London
Victims of terror were remembered with a demonstration against extremism carried out by Muslims marking the festival of Ashura
Victims of terror were remembered with a demonstration against extremism carried out by Muslims marking the festival of Ashura

‘It starts on a very basic level as individuals and then pervades upwards through the strata of our society.’

Some finished the demonstration with prayers at a mosque, while others headed to Trafalgar Square.

Mr Haines said 'it is only by working together that we can combat the hatred of the extremists' after his brother was beheaded in an Islamic State video
Enter aMr Haines said ‘it is only by working together that we can combat the hatred of the extremists’ after his brother was beheaded in an Islamic State video
Children chanted into a megaphone at the demonstration as unity against terror was encouraged in memory of the victims of extremism
Children chanted into a megaphone at the demonstration as unity against terror was encouraged in memory of the victims of extremism

Faiths Forum For London’s Mustafa Field said Islamic opposition to extremists must be heard.

‘I think that it is important that we are seen to be talking about this,’ he said.

‘Muslims and imams across the country have condemned this threat.

 

Muslims joined followers of other faiths in a show of strength against terrorist atrocities carried out by Islamic State extremists
EnterMuslims joined followers of other faiths in a show of strength against terrorist atrocities carried out by Islamic State extremists
Muslims kneel to pray in central London, where the Ashura commemorations were used to remember the victims of extremism
Muslims kneel to pray in central London, where the Ashura commemorations were used to remember the victims of extremism
Islamic State terrorists were condemned as enemies of the faith during the march, which began in Hyde Park and moved through London
Islamic State terrorists were condemned as enemies of the faith during the march, which began in Hyde Park and moved through London

‘We are pushing back against this evil ideology.’

Catriona Robertson, director of the Christian Muslim Forum, said: ‘Today is an important day and this is an important procession.

‘It is something that people from many different backgrounds can learn from.’

 

 

 

 

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