Scots Muslims back call to free charity worker and warn against radicalisation of young people
Imams across Scotland have backed a call by a charity for the release of a Scot held hostage by the terrorist group Islamic State.
Perth-based David Haines was snatched last year while working with French NGO Acted.
Acted said it was “deeply shocked” by images of Haines which were broadcast earlier this week during the gruesome beheading video of American journalist Steven Sotloff, and said threats to his life were "intolerable".
We urge all our young people in particular not to travel to Iraq or Syria to support or fight with IS
The aid agency added: "David has been working as a humanitarian since 1999, helping victims of conflict in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East.
"When he was taken hostage in March 2013, David was in Syria as part of Acted's humanitarian effort in support of tens of thousands of people affected by the crisis.
"We have been mobilised from day one with David's family. More than ever, we are pursuing our efforts, and our thoughts are with David and his family.
"Acted strongly condemns the violence and threats against David. A man's life should never be threatened on account of his humanitarian commitment. Once again, we call upon the immediate release of David."
Imams – Muslim religious leaders - across Scotland used Friday prayers to reiterate their opposition to extremism and call for all hostages to be released.
They urged young Muslims not to travel to Syria or Iraq or to support extremist groups.
A joint statement from the Muslim Council of Scotland and Glasgow's Central Mosque said: "The Scottish Muslim community unequivocally condemns the barbaric actions of IS.
"The actions of IS are against the teachings of Islam and therefore supporting or joining such an organisation is unacceptable.
"We urge all our young people in particular not to travel to Iraq or Syria to support or fight with IS.
"Their actions not only cause serious harm in those countries, but also cause harm to their families here in Scotland and the wider Muslim community."