Journalists are needed to report the truth and humanitarian aid workers endeavour to save the lives of innocents -- this was a lesson all learned during the aggression and particularly genocide attempted upon the Muslims, religious or not, over the last two decades in Bosnia & Herzegovina, (BiH). The truth seekers and those who put out their hand to help any fellow human being are not only blessed but the friends we value for their work and motives. Today, from Syria, Iraq, Myanmar, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Ukraine to so many other places where conflict consumes lives and truth, many in BiH feel the need to now reach out and speak on behalf of victims and those who offer to provide aid for the suffering and information about their condition.
The killing of innocents in the name of ISIL or "Islamic State" is contradictory to the teachings of Islam. James Foley and Steven Sotloff are two of many journalists and humanitarian workers who have been abducted and some killed. The targeting of minority communities as well as fellow Muslims has already been the focus of condemnation by leaders of the Islamic community in BiH, including former Reisu-l-ulema (High Imam) Dr. Mustafa Ceric and Dr. Mirnes Kovac of the Preporod Islamic Newspaper. Let there be no doubt that those who commit such horrific acts in the name of the "Islamic State" or Islam will be judged by the Muslim community of BiH (traditionally also Sunni) as violating Islamic values as well as inconsistent with our experience.
The case of David Haines, abducted in Syria, stands out: as Dr. Muhamed Jusic describes:
"David Haines is a man who spent most of his life helping people in need all around the world. He worked keenly to help Muslim refugees and returnees in Bosnia and Herzegovina during and after the war of 1992-95. Muslims in Bosnia are grateful to all people who helped them in a difficult time, and David Haines was one of their sincere friends."
The full statement of the Leadership of the Islamic Community in BiH and its current Reisu-l-ulema, Husein Kavazovic, is cited below:
Reisu-l-ulema of Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina Husein Kavazović appeals for the life of humanitarian worker David Haines who has been held captive in Syria since March 2013. In a press release published by Islamic Community`s Press Service- MINA highest religious authority of Bosniac Muslims and Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina stated:
After I learned that the life of humanitarian worker David Haines, a citizen of Great Britain, is under threat, I appeal to those who are keeping him in captivity to unconditionally release him so he can reunite with his family. Islam teaches us that human life is sacred. David Haines is a man who spent most of his life helping people in need all around the world. He worked keenly to help Muslim refugees and returnees in Bosnia and Herzegovina during and after the war of 1992-95. Muslims in Bosnia are grateful to all people who helped them in a difficult time, and David Haines was one of their sincere friends.
The release of the detained aid worker is the only rational, moral and religiously justified act, as his life and current position will not help his captors to solve their problems or win their wars against their enemies. Instead, by releasing him, they will show their human nature and their virtue.
Having suffered grave injustices and death themselves, Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina feel that it is their moral and religious obligation to express their serious concerns when innocent people are being killed or tortured. For this reason, and in the peaceful spirit of Islam, I appeal for the release of the detained British aid worker as the killing of an innocent person equals the killing of the whole humankind.
PHOTOS - Courtesy of Dr. Muhamed Jusic: David Cawthorne Haines & Reisu-l-ulema Husein Kavazovic