Uniting communities with a clear stop to hatred
Trinity Post 16 Solutions Ltd were honoured to attend a session led by Mike Haines from Global Acts of Unity.
Mike told a story of two brothers who were raised to embrace and value all cultures. Both brothers went on to join the Royal Air Force. On completing service, the older brother went on to become a mental health nurse, the younger a British Humanitarian Aid worker.
Mike was the older brother in the story the younger brother being David Haines. Regardless of colour, culture, faith or politics David’s only wish was to help those in need. He worked around the world to ensure those in need were helped and he sought to find resolution and better people’s lives. He had energy and joy to overcome problems and find solutions.
Mike spoke of the day he heard of David’s kidnapping as being one of the worst days of his life. As a family they received the highest support from the Government meeting with them every couple of weeks.
During the session we learned that the people who had kidnapped David were ISIS. Mike made it very clear to us that ‘Terrorists are people of any race, any religion, who use terror and control to manipulate people.’
Mike explained how the UK government have a strict no engagement policy with terrorists. Terrorists use ransoms to fund their activity. David was very aware of this and in knowing the risks he took to help others had made it clear to his older brother that If he was ever captured then to pay nothing!
On 2nd Sept 2014, a video of the American-Israeli Steven Sotloff had been released showing him being murdered. David could be seen in the background with an ISIS militant later to become known as Jihadi John. This was the last image of David and one that would be shown around the world when on 13th September 2014 the family received a call that David was sadly no longer with them.
Driven by Edmund Burke’s quote ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing’ Mike set about visiting schools and colleges to do all that he can to prevent all anger, fear and hatred, of any kind.
Mike wants people to understand that:
‘Extremists want us to see our differences, not our similarities, they are pushing our communities apart! We cannot let that happen! We cannot let the extremists win!
We want to live in peace, we want to practice our religion, whatever that may be, without fear. When people are scared they believe anything, and it is working. There has been an increase in hate crime, hate speech, hate activity and intolerance. We have to stand together to reject the hate of the extremists!
We are LUCKY to live in a multicultural, multi-faith country. We MUST put forward a clear and absolute stop to the hatred!
If we open our hearts and minds to the different cultures in our communities, we can only grow stronger as a nation.’
Mike finds talking to learners refreshing and views young adults as ‘hope for the future’. He invited questions from our learners which were respectful and greatly welcomed by Mike. When asked why he doesn’t hate his reply was ‘if I hate then the people who murdered my brother will win. I will not let hate into my life’
Mike talked openly and honestly about his experience, impact on mental health and wishes for communities and our nation in the future. His final message was to encourage learners not to bottle anything up and always talk to anyone you feel you can trust. He shared sites with learners which offer support for anyone with any concerns of friends or family who they feel may be in at risk of radicalisation.
We are so grateful we were given the opportunity to hear such a thought-provoking account and a positive message to learn about and from each other rather than hate. We are also proud of our learners who were calm and kind throughout.
ACT early website
Friends/family are the best people to spot if people may be becoming radicalised. This website has information offering help they may need before it goes further.
iREPORTit app – available for all mobile phones. You can take a video or picture and send it through the app. They do NOT take any of your information you are completely anonymous.