The brother of a Perth aid worker who was beheaded by Islamic State militants says that he is still haunted by the horrific images of the murder.
Mike Haines said that he wanted to run away when he was told of the brutal death of his brother David in Syria two years ago.
He was addressing pupils at Queen Anne High School in Dunfermline to mark Peace Day, where he called on pupils to make efforts to understand different cultures and faiths in the battle against extremism.
At times holding back tears as he made his speech, Mr Haines, from Dundee, said that the death of his 44-year-old brother could not be held against a whole religion.
“I have met people who have begged for forgiveness for my brother,” he said.
“I say to them: ‘what have I to forgive you for?’
“It was people using the peaceful faith of Islam to commit these atrocities.
He added that anybody looking to blame the religion for the death of his brother: “Does so without the blessing of myself or my family.”
David was one of a string of hostages beheaded by Islamic State, whose filmed executions involved the notorious terrorist Jihadi John.
The father of two, a former Perth Academy pupil, had been working in Syria for the charity ACTED, delivering humanitarian aid in the war torn country when he was snatched.
His capture was kept a secret for 18 months as the government desperately tried to secure his release, but he was killed in September 2013.
Following David’s killing, Mike Haines has travelled extensively, even meeting with Pope Francis as part of his effort to promote inter-religious tolerance and unity against extremism.
Describing the moments after learning of David’s fate, Mr Haines continued by paying tribute to his brother, adding: “Those images haunted me.
“He was a true hero, not for being my brother or for what he did, but because he was a humanitarian worker and they are all modern day heroes.
“They selflessly go there where they are needed, regardless of the risks, to help fellow man (and) there can be no nobler role in life than helping your fellow man.”