Bridges built as brother of murdered hostage meets Bishop of Bradford and local Muslim leaders

Bishop Toby meeting with Mike HainesThe brother of murdered aid worker, David Haines, has met with the Bishop of Bradford, Toby Howarth, and with worshippers at Bradford Central Mosque during recording of a programme for BBC television.

Mike Haines features in the BBC Songs of Praise episode broadcast on Sunday December 28th, speaking about his desire to build bridges with other faiths and continuing his brother’s legacy.

BBC News report – read here

In a video diary made at the time of the BBC Songs of praise recording, Bishop Toby Howarth says that he found the experience of meeting Mike Haines very moving “He (Mike Haines) has come here to the cathedral , we’ve been having a talk – it’s been very moving actually, very emotional – about his legacy he wants to continue for David.”

(Click here or on an image to see Bishop Toby's video diary of the event)

Bishop Toby and Mike Haines light a candle

David Haines (44), who was raised in Perth, was kidnapped in Syria in March last year. Islamic State militants released a video of his beheading in September.

In the programme, Mike Haines says that  shortly after his brother's death, his first reaction could have been one of hatred for the kidnappers and for Islam.  But, he said that while radicalisation remained a threat, the Muslim faith and people of Middle Eastern descent were not to blame for the Islamic State group.

At  Bradford Cathedral, Bishop Toby Howarth and Mike Haines prayed together and lit a candle in memory of David Haines, before travelling together to Bradford Central Mosque. There they met with worshippers and in the programme, Mr Haines is seen clasping  hands with Zulfiqar Karim from the Bradford Council for Mosques.

In his video diary, standing with Mike Haines, Bishop Toby says that he hopes that the two will be able to continue working together  in the future. “What’s been really helpful is to say that it doesn’t have to be just today… that you (Mike) are willing to come down again and that we can talk about that in the Mosque with Zulfi, about how can we take this on, and how can we involve some young people, how can we make this into a process and not just a ‘on-off’.”

Watch again - BBC Songs of Praise December 28th - available for 28 days from broadcast

Bishop Toby

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