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#Despicable: British Muslim leaders lead condemnation of Alan Henning murder

British Muslims have today led widespread condemnation of the brutal killing of British aid worker Alan Henning by Islamic State militants in Syria, saying the murder showed that Islamic State had “no regard for Islam”.

The jihadists released a video on Friday showing the beheading of Mr Henning, a taxi worker from Manchester who had travelled to Syria to provide aid for the thousands displaced by the country’s Civil War.

Several British Imams had joined forces to appeal to the terrorists to release the aid worker.

Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “This reported murder is a despicable and offensive act, coming as it does on the eve of the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha.

“It is quite clear that the murderers of Alan Henning have no regard for Islam, or for the Muslims around the world who pleaded for his life.

“Alan was a friend of Muslims, and he will be mourned by Muslims.

“In this period of Hajj and this festival of Eid, Muslims remember the mercy of God and the emphasis God places on human life.

“Alan Henning’s murderers have clearly gone against that spirit of Islam. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

The UK will use “all the assets we have” to hunt down the Islamic State terrorists responsible for the “senseless” murder David Cameron said this morning.

Prime Minister said on Saturday that the killing of “a man of great peace, kindness and gentleness” showed that there was “no level of depravity to which they will not sink”.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said in a statement: “The barbaric actions of ISIL are held in complete contempt and we are resolved to defeat this evil.

“Alan Henning was a man moved to selflessly help those most in need and we should remember that above all else at this difficult time.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband described the killing as “appalling and barbaric”.

Respect Party MP George Galloway described the killing as “a depraved Satanic act committed by devils in human form”.

He wrote on Twitter: “It is a desecration of all that is holy.”

Tory MP Mark Pritchard said: “If ISIS think the British people will be cowed they are gravely mistaken. For every act of brutality they birth greater national resilience.”

And Labour’s Fiona Mactaggart – who did not vote in last week’s Commons decision to join US-led air strikes against IS positions in Iraq – said the murder made her question her decision.

“The vile murderers of ISIL make me almost wish I voted to bomb in Iraq last week. I want to avenge the death of Alan Hemming. I despise them,” she said.

Inspire, an anti-extremist campaign group of British Muslim women, described Mr Henning’s death as “an affront to all Muslims across the world”.

Co-director Sara Khan expressed her “heartfelt condolences” to the family of the aid worker, who she described as an “amazing man, a man of courage, a man of dignity, a man of integrity”.

She said: “The only thing that the killing of Alan has achieved is greater revulsion for ISIS and the fact that more people from across our world, within our communities, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, are united in their stance against their barbarity and inhumanity.

“The murder of Alan Henning is a brutal and criminal act of terror that is an affront to all Muslims across the world.”

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