10/08/2014 04:25 pm ET Updated Oct 08, 2014

Hundreds Donate To Memorial Fund Set Up To Show Alan Henning's Death 'Not In Vain'


Hundreds of well-wishers have donated money to memorial funds for Alan Henning, the British hostage recently killed by Islamic State militants.

Henning, a 47-year-old cab driver from northern England, was kidnapped while delivering aid to war-torn Syria in December 2013. Last Friday, the Islamic State posted a video purporting to show his beheading, then threatened the life of American hostage Peter Kassig. It was the fourth video in recent weeks to be released by the group, also known as ISIS, claiming the beheading of a Western hostage.

Shameela Islam-Zulfiqar, a British doctor and beautician who went with Henning on the December aid convoy to Syria, set up one fundraising campaign in the aftermath of his death. The Alan Henning Memorial Fund aims to raise £50,000 ($80,300) to support Henning's son and daughter, and already has more than 800 donations.

"We want them to know that their father's death was not in vain and that the work that Alan was so committed to will also continue," the fundraising page says.

"A project will also be set up in Alan's name eventually to benefit those that Alan died trying to help in Syria to ensure his legacy continues long after he was taken from us."

Henning's death was met with anger and disbelief in Britain's Muslim community, which had led passionate appeals to spare Henning's life. "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," Dr. Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said in the wake of the murder. Muslim leaders called on the religion's followers across the world to pray for Henning, and he was remembered in English churches and mosques.

"We cannot comprehend that something so terrible could happen to such a wonderful and compassionate human being. The world lost an honorable and remarkable hero," Islam-Zulfiqar told a press conference at a Manchester mosque after news of Henning's death.

Another fund, the R.I.P. Alan Henning Memorial Fund, also set up this week by a community group near Henning's hometown in order to support his children, has received nearly 400 donations. "If Alan had one wish it would be for his family to be financially secure in the future," the donation page notes. A group of Henning's friends are also collecting donations to the British international relief charity One Nation, in tribute to his aid work in Syria.

Some of the tributes to Henning on the The Alan Henning Memorial Fund donation page:

I met Alan during a fishing trip to France a couple of years ago. He was a great lad, who left a lasting impression. God bless him, and his family. -- John Barker

Heroes come in all colours and religions. True hero and an inspiration for the rest of us. -- Umar Abdurahman

Alan was a shining example of goodness towards mankind. He should never be forgotten. -- Barry Dyson

An honourable and compassionate human being. Too late to save you. You were a true hero and the gates of heaven will surely welcome you. May God bring swift justice and the full arm of the law upon those who took away an innocent and kindhearted soul from this world too soon. -- Farzana Malkani



Syria War In October