Humanitarian aid campaigner, Dr Shameela Islam-Zulfiqar who worked with Alan Henning has issued a statement regarding his death by an “Islamic State” fighter.
“After receiving the desperately sad news last night that our friend and colleague Alan has been killed, we have been left in a state of disbelief, shock and horror. We cannot comprehend that something so terrible could happen to such a wonderful and compassionate human being. The world lost an honourable and remarkable hero yesterday. We are utterly grieved by his loss and desperately saddened for his wife Barbara and their children. They are in our heartfelt thoughts and prayers.
Alan’s plight and his selfless character captured the hearts of the British public over the last few weeks and news of his murder has left us all enraged and distraught.
In the face of this atrocity we all need to stand together as Muslims and non-Muslims. We should not let this divide us. This is what Alan would have wanted.
I feel that Alan has been failed on two fronts: firstly, by the inhumane actions of his captors that made a mockery of our emotions and appeals by showing utter disregard for the sanctity of life and the principles of Islam; and secondly, by our government who we felt abandoned and failed to bring him back where other governments have clearly managed to do so. By joining the US air-strikes, we handed Alan and many other western hostages a death sentence.
We have not been able to hold back our tears since yesterday evening. These tears are for the suffering of Alan and his loved ones, but also for those that Alan paid the ultimate sacrifice for with his life: the millions of Syrians suffering and the thousands of innocent civilians who will die as a result of collateral damage after the air-strikes, and also the innocent victims who have already suffered for over 3 years under the Assad regime and been killed with equal barbarity whilst the international community has stood by and let them die. We have witnessed this suffering first hand as aid workers so we only speak from experience.
With today marking the first day of Eid, it should have been a day to celebrate across the Muslim world, but instead, for many of us that cared deeply for Alan, it will be a day of mourning with a sense of deep realisation regarding the true nature of the so-called ‘Islamic State’.
I ask that everyone respects the privacy of all those that held Alan dear to them at this incredibly difficult time. Thank you.”