UK hostage’s wife, imams appeal to ISIS for his release

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Sep 21, 2014 23:41 IST

The wife of a British hostage, Alan Henning, has appealed to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) for his release, pointing out that when he was kidnapped in December last in Syria, his purpose there ‘was no more and no less’ than helping those most in need in the country.

Barbara Henning’s appeal released by the Foreign Office on Saturday came after Britain-based imams and other Muslim leaders issued a similar appeal for Henning’s release. British journalist John Cantlie is also being held by ISIS, according to a recent video.

As concern grew over Henning’s safety, two imams appealed through videos released on YouTube, reflecting growing support for him in Britain’s Muslim community.

Haitham al-Haddad, an imam from the Islamic Sharia Council, said executing the British hostage would be “totally haram (forbidden), impermissible, prohibited according to sharia for a number of reasons”.

Shakeel Begg, imam at Lewisham Islamic Centre in south London, said he wanted to make it clear he stood “with Alan Henning” and added, “I urge you to understand the nature of this prisoner you are holding — a man of peace.”

In a statement to The Independent last week, more than 100 Muslim leaders said, “In Islam, concern for fellow humans and the duty to help everyone is a religious obligation…Anyone undertaking a humanitarian act is paving his or her way to receive help from heaven.”

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