Updated: Friday, 5th June 2020 @ 4:07pm

Alan Henning memorial: Murdered aid worker 'embodied more Islamic values than all of Isis'

Alan Henning memorial: Murdered aid worker 'embodied more Islamic values than all of Isis'

| By Vanessa Williams

Religious and city leaders across Salford united to pay a touching tribute to murdered aid worker Alan Henning last night.

The British Muslim Heritage centre, based in Whalley Range, welcomed members of Manchester's political and religious communties as well as family and friends of Alan at the memorial service.

Widow Barbara Henning was joined by her children, Lucy and Adam and fought back the tears as speakers paid poignant tribute about her late husband.


TEARFUL: Alan's wife Barbara Henning and children Adam and Lucy

Tony Lloyd, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “Alan was a great man, his greatness brings us together, and in the end it’s that greatness that will defeat the evil that took his life.”

Imam Asim Hussain from Manchester Central Mosque praised Alan’s selflessness and his ability to put others before himself, he said: “Alan was an individual who embodied more Islamic values than the entire Isis put together.”


TOGETHERNESS: Imam Asim Hussain vowed to support Alan's family along with the Muslim community

The Imam also offered continuing support to Barbara Henning and her family, he said: “We are all here for you, as the Muslim community, as fellow humanitarians and as Alan’s friends.”

Barbara and her two young children listened intently to the tributes but were overcome with emotion during the visual presentations looking back at Alan’s life.


TRIBUTE: Alan Henning was murdered by Islamic State militants (©Facebook with thanks)

The 47-year-old was killed 11 days ago after Isis made a threat against his life in an online video showing the death of fellow Brit David Haines.

Alan is the fourth victim of Isis’ campaign of retaliation against airstrikes from the US and their allies after the death of Haines as well as US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

Despite the series of beheadings, and the current targeting of Briton John Cantlie, a parliamentary vote backed airstrikes in Syria last month.


IN MEMORY: A fund set-up for Alan's family has seen more than £30,000 raised

Baroness Williams of Trafford said that the strikes will not be the lasting memory of Henning, but instead his selflessness will be what he is remembered for.

She said: “Alan’s life seems to have been lived in the service of others and that is surely his legacy.”

His friend and fellow aid worker Majid Freeman spoke passionately of his time on the road with Alan, he said: “He knew he could not change and stop all the suffering in Syria, however, this did not stop him making a difference to as many lives as possible.”

Yasmine Nahlawi, from Rethink Rebuild Syria, was saddened that Alan had not experienced a pre-conflict Syria and only one that ‘is now associated with conflict and death.’

Bolton MP Yasmin Quereshi praised Alan’s remarkable compassion and described him as a hero.

She said: “There are not many people who would leave the comfort and security of their home to go into a dangerous situation to help people they don’t know.  He truly was a remarkable human being.”

A fund set up to raise money for the family has now topped £30,000.  Donations can be made here.

Images by Vanessa Williams via RuptleyTV, with thanks.