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

The former professional development phase lead coach moved to Barnet earlier this month


Essex club played against 10 men for almost an hour after Josh Staunton saw red for Shaymen

Dee Safer’s team have won six games in a row and a seventh consecutive triumph would send them first

Second-half goals from Snodgrass, Hernandez and Anderson give Hammers victory over Crystal Palace

The O’s lost for just the second time in this season’s National League on Saturday


Our reporter Liam Coleman met with the big man before a hectic few weeks.

Ilford’s Labour MPs have called for a second referendum to be held on Brexit after prime minister Theresa May called off a Parliamentary vote on her deal.


Football manager beat actor Emily Atack to win this year’s series


The Exchange in Ilford has added a state-of-the-art, Savannah-themed play area, with hand painted animal sculptures, to its brand new family zone, designed by American creative agency Playtime

Are you an unpaid carer aged 25 or over? Are you interested in working towards getting into or back into work? Do you need practical help and support to get ready for this big step? If your answer is yes to at least two of these questions read on.

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.

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

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