David Haines's and Alan Henning's families call for 'acts of unity' in face of Isis threats

In a joint letter the wife of Henning and the brother of Haines said the "most hateful" actions by terrorists should not be allowed to divide people of faith

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The Independent Online

The families of the two British aid workers murdered by Isis militants have called for “acts of unity” by people of all faiths.

In a joint letter the wife of Alan Henning and the brother of David Haines said the “most hateful” actions by terrorists should not be allowed to divide people of faith.

Acts of unity, they said, would be the most fitting way to remember the two aid workers.

"Their desire to help was not driven by their religion, race or politics but by their humanity. David and Alan were never more alive than when helping to alleviate the suffering of others,” they said in the letter. "They gave their lives to this cause and we are incredibly proud of them.”

Making their call for gestures that draw people together they said: "Together we have the power to defeat the most hateful acts. Acts of unity from us all will in turn make us stronger and those who wish to divide us weaker," they added.

"We condemn those who seek to drive us apart and spread hatred by attempting to place blame on Muslims or on the Islamic faith for the actions of these terrorists", the letter continued.

"We call on all communities of all faiths in the coming weeks and months to find a single act of unity - one simple gesture, one act, one moment - that draws people together.

"We urge churches, mosques and synagogues to open their doors and welcome people of all faiths and none. All these simple acts of unity will, in their thousands, come together to unite us and celebrate the lives of David and Alan.

A memorial service is to be held for Mr Haines in Perth today [Saturday] where his brother, Michael, will make an address. Hundreds of people attended Mr Henning’s memorial service last week.

The families said they had been overwhelmed by the messages of support they had received from well-wishers in Britian and from around the world.

Michael Haines added in a separate video message that terrorism is not “something that happens to other people” but that it “affects us all”.

He said: "My brother's killers want to hurt all of us and stop us from believing in the very things that took David in conflict zones.

"My brother didn't see nationalities or religions, he just saw other human beings in need of a little help to get by - or sometimes a lot of help to live to see another day. This is how my family will remember him.”