Standing up to extremism: Brother of aid worker murdered in Syria shares story with Redbridge Schools

PUBLISHED: 09:59 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:59 07 February 2018

Mike Haines talking to a class at a school early on in his Global Acts of Unity tour. Photo: Global Acts of Unity

Mike Haines talking to a class at a school early on in his Global Acts of Unity tour. Photo: Global Acts of Unity


The brother of an aid worker brutally murdered in Syria by Daesh terrorists is sharing his story at schools across Redbridge in the hopes of tackling extremism.

On September 13 2014, Mike Haines received news that his older brother David had been murdered in a propaganda video by Daesh militants.

The group had held David hostage for 18 months prior to his killing, kidnapping him while he helped refugees in a Syrian camp near the Turkish border.

More than three years on, Mike is now sharing his painful story with pupils across country in his Global Acts of Unity tour, visiting Redbridge schools throughout the week commencing February 5.

“My family were devastated by his loss. Not a day has gone by that we do not miss him,” writes Mike in a blog post on his campaign website.

“Channeling that emotion has been very hard for us all, as you can imagine, but I cannot stress more the importance of directing that energy to do good.”

Mike founded the Global Acts of Unity campaign to champion the values of tolerance and togetherness in the face of divisive narratives propagated by both Islamist and far-right groups.

The talks are expected to reach more than 1000 schools pupils between the ages of 14 and 18 at a seven schools across the borough.

He said: “I am looking forward to speaking to children in Redbridge, an area that is renowned for its rich diversity and well known to me as somewhere I have close friends among the local community.

He added: “The best way to build resilience against violent extremism is by empowering our young people to respond defiantly in the face of hatred.

“No matter who you are, where you’ve come from, or what you’ve been through, it is important for us all – in London and elsewhere – to reach out, in some small way to someone from a different background or community.

“Only through coming together, can we defeat extremism and hatred.”

David Haines was among several British nationals to be kidnapped and beheaded on film by Daesh, including journalist Steven Sotloff and volunteer aid worker Alan Henning.

Latest Ilford Stories

Yesterday, 22:04

Dagenham & Redbridge slipped to a second straight defeat in the Vanarama National League with a 2-0 loss away to Solihull Moors.

National League: Braintree Town 1 Leyton Orient 5

Yesterday, 19:28

Centuries from Simon Harmer and Tom Westley put Essex in complete command against Surrey at the Kia Oval, where the champions ended day two facing their first defeat of a triumphant season.

Yesterday, 22:48

Firefighters are battling a blaze at a home in Chadwell Heath.

Yesterday, 17:00

Justin Edinburgh’s team could break a club record this evening

Yesterday, 16:00

Peter Taylor has urged his Dagenham & Redbridge midfielders to start finding more space for themselves on the pitch ahead of visiting Solihull Moors in the Vanarama National League on Tuesday.

Yesterday, 15:00

Dee Safer’s men will visit Sporting Bengal United on Wednesday and then travel to Redbridge two days later

Yesterday, 14:21

A Hainault man who stabbed his 94-year-old grandmother to death in a care home smiled as he told a nurse, “I just killed my nan”, a court heard.


Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Exchange Ilford is a shopping centre on a mission to make it a more welcoming and accessible place to the people of Redbridge.

An Ilford shoe retailer and podiatry practice is taking the next step with a move to a new shop just a few doors down.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now