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Last Updated: Friday, 29 October, 2004, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Aid worker kidnapping: Your reaction
Margaret Hassan
The aid agency Care International has appealed to the captors of its Iraq director Margaret Hassan to release her.

New footage of hostage Margaret Hassan was shown on the al-Jazeera TV station on Friday.

In the video Mrs Hassan begged Tony Blair to withdraw British forces from Iraq to save her from the same fate as murdered British captive Ken Bigley.

ASK THE EXPERT
Iraq Security Expert, Will Geddes answered your questions in a live interactive forum

Dublin-born Mrs Hassan, seized on Tuesday in Baghdad, has dual Iraqi and British citizenship.

What can any government do to resolve such hostage situations? What is your reaction?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


Your comments:

I am hoping for the safe release of Mrs Hassan. I believe she is not a legitimate target in this war, and whoever has kidnapped her does not have the best interests of freedom or of the Iraqi people at heart. However, the way America and her allies have behaved in this, in my view, illegal conflict is a shameful disgrace. I believe, by killing innocent people in huge numbers themselves all they have really done in the long run is to recruit terrorists. We will all be paying for their arrogance for years.
Steve, Bristol, England

I will be thinking of Margaret Hassan constantly. My entire community is projecting strength and hope, courage and calm toward her now, and the vision of her safe return to her family and to all Iraq's poor people.
Bill Kreamer, Belfast, Maine, USA

It is time to talk. Politics is supposed to be the art of the possible. There must be ways to open communication with Margaret Hassan's captors to secure her release. Mrs Hassan is a British and an Iraqi citizen and deserves the protection of our government.
Sarah Watts, Hull, England

Mrs. Hussan has spent her life helping the Iraqi people. Even though she could have gone to England, she stayed through the terrible times of the embargo and worked on behalf of the sick of Iraqis to get them basic medicines. In my opinion, she is a living saint, and I send my prayers to her. My deepest hope is that her captors will have mercy and release her.
Justine Lines, Hong Kong

The abduction of Margaret is a sad commentary on those who devote their lives, time, energy and resources to help their fellow human beings
Steve, Ohio, USA
The abduction of Margaret is a sad commentary on those who devote their lives, time, energy and resources to help their fellow human beings. I pray for her unconditional release promptly so she can return to her family and her job. I hope her captors will release her unharmed.
Steve, Ohio, USA

The notion is that if you hit the insurgents hard enough, they'll fall, that strategy is failing, and M. Hassan is proof of this failure. It is tragic that she has been kidnapped--but people fail to understand: These insurgents want every western force out of the Middle East, and they'll do whatever it takes to drive western forces out. M. Hassan could have been Mother Teresa and it wouldn't have helped. Just know; every action has an equal and opposite reaction, M. Hassan should have known her ethnicity could lead to this, as sad as that is.
Hassan, Baltimore, USA

I am absolutely horrified by the events that have occurred since the invasion of Iraq, I can only hope and pray along with the rest of the world that the kidnappers show mercy and free Margaret Hassan as soon as possible. I believe it is time Bush and Blair took responsibility for their actions in this horrible war that was never surely thought through or justified. As a result of these dreadful decisions made by politicians innocent people like Margaret Hassan have fallen victim, nothing can reverse the invasion of Iraq but perhaps a little intelligence can prevail in that the bombing will cease in order to stop giving these terrorists reason to kill.
Rachael Tierney, Liverpool

Judging from the fact that there were no such kidnapping in the middle East before the Anglo American Invention of Iraq and the infamous Bush proclamation of "Let Them Come on" which they failed to handle. The only solution is to end the occupation and let UN handle the return to normality. Save Mrs Hassan, save Iraqi children save the innocent civilians from bombing.
Ahmed M. H. Al Tauqi, Muscat, Oman

The capture of Margaret Hassan, a highly respected member of the humanitarian assistance community working in Iraq, doesn't deserve this barbarous fate. Instead her capture should result in resounding condemnation of the act by all Iraqi citizens. The international community must rally behind CARE International to condemn the use of one of their representatives as a pawn in a game where no one wins and everyone loses.
Elizabeth, Portland OR USA

The people who captured her don't want the country to get better
Rick, UK
The people who captured her don't want the country to get better. That's the problem with people who "Just can't believe it". These are terrorists who were well hidden in Hussein's Iraq - now democracy is started to show through they will do anything to put Iraq back to a dictatorship. Blair and Bush aren't the enemies here. It's people like Zaqarwi and Bin Laden that have blood on their hands. Unfortunately too many people on here find it easier to blame their own than the real perpetrators.
Rick, UK

The kidnap of Mrs. Hassan has proved that the ones causing the trouble do not care about Iraq, and are not fighting for the freedom of their country. Mrs. Hassan has tried to improve Iraq for many years, but no one is safe there, not civilians, soldiers, or aid workers. They are simply brutal men that are prepared to stop at nothing to start a worldwide religious war. The fact that most of the people that share their religion find their actions abhorrent does not bother them.
Chris, UK

I'm half Iraqi with a British mother who also lived in Iraq for a while. Margaret Hassan is an amazing lady. She chose to stay when times got hard in Iraq and she has devoted her work to making a better future for the Iraqi people. She has embraced the culture and religion. The western general public need to know that there is nothing Islamic about this or other kidnappings in Iraq. These criminals are not representative of the Iraqi people or Islam. The world and places like Iraq in particular need people like Mrs Hassan. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.
Zaid Al-Najjar, Southampton, UK

Apparently Mrs. Hassan has been in Iraq doing aid work for last 30 years which should include horrible periods of Iran-Iraq war, Saddam Hussein's brutal regime without any molestation from any "insurgents" or "terrorists". Reading some comments already posted it seems that whole Muslim community of the world is put on trial as if all "Muslims" are some how responsible for this outrageous and dastardly act. I fail to understand this leap of faith. I hope whoever has kidnapped Mrs Hassan releases her at once and unconditionally. We all right-minded Muslims, Jews, Christians are and must be united in our support of Mrs. Hassan.
Saeed P, New York, US

The terrorists, I say terrorists because I do not believe they are insurgents, are guilty of these kidnappings and murders, no one else. To blame Bush, Blair, the coalition or anybody else, is to demonstrate the problem with the world today. No one accepts responsibility or places responsibility where it belongs, at the hands of the perpetrators. Well, Mrs. Hassan's life is on the line. If Muslims do not want to be connected with this kind of horrific activity, then they need to publicly distance themselves from it. Silence only reads as approval.
Lydia, Birmingham, UK

I have just seen her video on Al Jazeera. Horrible! It even made me cry. These people's actions embarrass us Arabs. What exactly are they trying to prove? I pray for her release.
Mirna Domani, Cairo, Egypt

Ms. Hassan has worked against sanctions, has worked for Iraqis in every way and has not supported US intervention. Her death would serve no purpose. She deserves the total focused attention of anyone and all who can come to her immediate aid, in any way, now!
C, Vicksburg MS

Sadly, we must consider the benefit of the majority. Nothing worthwhile is gained without cost. So long as anyone, a nation or an individual give in to kidnappers threats, the kidnapper is empowered. They will do it again and again. It is the responsibility of the individual civilian to decide to leave or remain in circumstances that may result in capture or death. For the captive to feel their life is more important than the lives of thousands is understandable. But governments must not give in to terrorist "blackmail".
Frank R., Kansas City / USA

People that go into areas where terrorists operate have to realize that they are potentially in danger.
Ian, Wilmington, NC, USA
We have to realize that with terrorists there are no rules. They have no regard for age or gender. People that go into areas where terrorists operate have to realize that they are potentially in danger. If they want to be truly safe then they need to leave. If you don't, and you get kidnapped, it is too late. I feel very sorry for Margaret Hassan, but she has had eighteen months to get out. If you don't accept death as one of the consequences of being in Iraq, then you ought to get out.
Ian, Wilmington, NC, USA

I feel as sorry as can be for the situation in Iraq and for Margaret Hassan. If the people who have captured her really want their country to be a better place they should release Margaret. She has only done good for the causes of the impoverished and homeless people in Iraq, when many people would be too afraid to help. She understands the cultures of both the west and Iraq and is a valuable bridge between both. I dread to think that harm should be done to another innocent and genuine person.
Angela hunter, Colchester Essex

It is truly unfortunate that Margaret Hassan, who has given so much to Iraq gets caught up in such a nasty situation but it is truly out of anyone's hands. It seems that the UK and US governments have a much larger agenda and the kidnapping may be simply considered as another casualty in an area of conflict. As a former Canadian peacekeeper I would love to see her released and also see all governments involved use the same formula (Dayton Peace Accord) that was used in the Balkans as it proved to be extremely effective. Use of force to remove hostilities, encourage weapon amnesties and assist in the elections for a new government and then develop a two way trust relationship allow its citizens the right to run their country.
James Jameson, Montreal, Canada

I agree with Rosemary Hill of Geneva, there should be a mass demonstration of the good Muslims against these criminal acts. In addition, we should be hearing an echo of fatwa's from the Islamic clerics. Each minute that they delay, not only jeopardizes the life of this humanitarian worker, but also, the reputation of the Muslim silent majority!!!!
Jon, Oregon, USA

This poor woman is as much a legitimate target of the militant forces as she of the coalition. The actions of the coalition from the days of the end of the first gulf war did not discriminate against women and children, old or young thereby setting the standards and rules of engagement for the current conflict. The bombings and shootings have never been selective, surgical or discriminate. They have followed a pattern of lies, claims and counter claims in the name of freedom, god and righteousness to which no one really belongs. Iraq is a place where our background, our upbringing and our own self esteem comes into focus, regardless of which side of the conflict we belong to. The common creed is that all of our lives are cheap and human life is a dispensable commodity to those who run this war.
Shahabuddin Abdullah, Bangkok-Thailand

I am just terribly sorry that this wonderful woman pays the price for the hubris of Bush and Blair.
Roberta, San Francisco USA
It is of course, horrific. But is it of any surprise, really? This woman has lived and worked in Iraq for 30 years and now, that Bush and Blair have brought "democracy" to the Iraqis, this type of horror goes on day after day after day. While the hideous act of this kidnapping lies in the hands of the kidnappers, who is counting the lives that are lost and destroyed by the American and British forces as they continue their crimes against humanity in Iraq? I am just terribly sorry that this wonderful woman pays the price for the hubris of Bush and Blair. The shame is theirs.
Roberta, San Francisco USA

Yet another innocent civilian has been abducted and threatened with an unspeakable fate. What are these murderers thinking, and how do they feel that their actions will bring self determination to the citizens of Iraq? Cowardly dogs, let Mrs. Hassan go! My prayers are with Mrs. Hassan and her family for her safe release, and for the capture of these murderous animals that pose as soldiers of God.
Sally Merlo, Brooklyn, USA

She is a non-person to those who capture her. By definition terrorists don't respect human life. I don't think the UK or any other country can be successful in resolving Margaret's situation.
Stuart Allen, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, USA

This woman helped Iraq for over 12 years. There should be protesting in the streets by the Iraqi people! They should be letting these killers know that this will not help their cause but turn the Iraqi people against them.
K Rinehart, Cuyahoga Falls USA

This is another proof there was no after plan for once Saddam Hussein was removed.
Demetrio Ramirez, Chicago, USA

Much can be done behind the scenes
Paul G, Maldon, Essex

No government can be seen to negotiate the release of hostages with terrorists, but much can be done behind the scenes. Both diplomatically and with covert force. Hope is too small a word, but since I have no faith, I can only hope that this is enough.
Paul G, Maldon, Essex

The only objective of this kidnapping is to discredit the Iraqi resistance. Somebody is waging war by way of deceit, and they are neither Iraqis nor Muslims.
Hassan, Egypt

Kidnapping game should end forthwith. Such inhuman and barbaric activity cannot bring any solution to the problem in Iraq. People of Iraq should rise against this type of terrorist activities and they should help the government and the foreign forces who are trying to establish rule of law in their country and bring peace and tranquillity amongst the people in Iraq. No-one in the world wants destruction of Iraq. Iraq should prosper and take its people to prosperity as well. Terrorists who ever it may be should realise that their acts bring only bad name to themselves and their cause by indulging in acts like kidnapping. Mrs Margaret Hassan should be released immediately.
MV Jose, Dubai, UAE

If she dies there is no chance of redemption for either side of this story. If Bush and Blair do nothing, then what further evidence do we need to show that these men have no ethics? Bush's Iraq war is a complete disaster that only goes worse with time.
Jim, US

War truly does bring out the worst in people
Z, Chicago, IL

War truly does bring out the worst in people, especially in a war like this which has violated all the rules. Abu Ghraib, kidnappings and beheadings of innocent civilians, where does the madness end? And Blair and Bush still have the gall to claim that Iraq has made the world a safer place. Ask any Iraqi, and they will tell you they prefer security to freedom, a hundred times over. As a Muslim, I pray that God in his great mercy, in this holy month of Ramadan, will watch over Mrs Hassan until her safe release, God-willing.
Z, Chicago, IL

How can you lose the lives of your citizens for oil? Don't you see this war is all about money? UK should not be involved in it, let the Americans fight their foolish war alone.
Margarita Almada, Culiacan, Mexico

Holding a women hostage is wrong by any standards - Islam very strongly forbids these even during war - then who are these guys?
Tanveer Khader, Richmond

I strongly believe that this kidnapping was arranged only for profit. Governments or organisations shouldn't pay money to the kidnappers. Otherwise it could become easy income for anyone in Iraq
Trurl, Melbourne, Australia

Where is the voice of Islam?
Walter Dunphy, Nagoya, Japan

I'm at a loss for words. It's almost beyond belief, yet we've been hearing so many similar stories. It's almost surreal it's happening again.
Jeanne, Singapore

I just find it strange that no-one has yet claimed responsibility
Marton, Munich, Germany

Kidnappings have become a fact of life in Iraq. And now, with the elections on in the USA, a perfect instrument of manipulation. In this case it helps the Bush. So I just find it strange that no-one has yet claimed responsibility.
Marton, Munich, Germany

I pray for this woman's safe return to her family and friends. But if this innocent woman is killed, then her death will not be different from those innocents who are daily killed in Falluja and Gaza. Message to Bush is "Be fair with Palestinians and get out of the Iraq."
Abraham A Murd., Muscat, Oman

I beg of you freedom fighters of Iraq to leave this lady alone as this sister too is in a way a freedom fighter too, just give her a chance to finish her noble duties peacefully.
Mohsina, Malaysia

What kind of men attack women?
Tony Whittington, London, England
I strongly believe that the actions of these terrorists has nothing to do with religion and it is purely about power and financial gain. The government must stand strong, as any sign of weakness will encourage this cowardly scum. What kind of men attack women?
Tony Whittington, London, England

I have been questioning the war, but after seeing these kidnappings and the brutality of the insurgents, I am now 100% for the coalition and hope that they start to get tough and clean that place out. I agree that there should be a media ban on all kidnapping videos. These people, the insurgents, are barbarians and I hope the good people of Iraq will start to rise up.
Dave Jensen, Sedona, Arizona, USA

This is a criminal act and nothing in the world can justify it.
AMS, London

The world is now a less safe place and the latest kidnapping horrifies us all
Hazel Hill, Camberley, UK
Blair and Bush have stirred up a hornet's nest in their mis-management of the situation in Iraq. The world is now a less safe place and the latest kidnapping horrifies us all. We pray that sense will prevail and that Margaret will be returned safely to her family. It is tragic that she has become the latest hostage victim when she has done so much to help the Iraqi people.
Hazel Hill, Camberley, UK

A suggestion - why don't Muslims worldwide demonstrate en masse to demand her release, the way thousands of people in Europe and America did before the war to try and prevent it?
Rosemary Hill, Geneva, Switzerland

Shut down al-Jazeera TV. Then the terrorists won't get the media attention, and they'll generally get rather bored. The best way to deal with a problem is to ignore it.
James Christ, England

What has this got to do with the British Government? Mrs Hassan has nothing to do with this country and the Iraqi people have a responsibility to oust the people holding her and bring them to justice. This is a test for them now to see where their loyalties really lie.
Jon, Nottingham

The UK press continues to hand over the front page every time
Andrew, Herts, UK
Apparently some hostage taking as got results for those involved, this will only encourage more of the same. And whilst the UK government stands firm and refuses the kidnap demands, the UK press continues to hand over the front page every time. Is it any wonder it's still going on?
Andrew, Herts, UK

I highly doubt that this kidnapping has anything to do with politics. These are just a bunch of criminals operating in a lawless state, trying to take advantage of the confusion which reigns in Iraq today. Incidents like these will continue until the coalition really gets down to make the country safe, rather than push their own political agendas.
VJ, The Netherlands

Perhaps it's time all non-military people left this country. By staying there we are only giving these terrorists a source to use. I am never one to condone violence, but maybe it's time we took the heavy handed approach that the terrorist claim the west is already doing! We must all pray hard that this lady is saved and no more people are kidnapped.
William Harkness, Newtownards, N Ireland

And we are supposed to believe that the world is a safer place?
Jack H, Leeds, UK
So Margaret Hassan lived and worked in Iraq for 30 years without, as far as I am aware, being molested or mistreated in any way. Bush and Blair invade and she is kidnapped. Action and reaction. And we are supposed to believe that the world is a safer place?
Jack H, Leeds, UK

I am an Arab Muslim, and I think it's horrific! These people who claim to be Islamic groups are actually going against their own religion! Mrs Hassan is a human being with good intentions who has dedicated her life to the people of Iraq! However, I can't say much about Mr Blair and Mr Bush, who clearly had other objectives about the war on Iraq!
S, Birmingham

Following the kidnappings in Iraq recently, we see that the kidnappers do not care about religion and career. Their aims are to get ransom payment or wildly kill the hostages.
Ahmad Nastam, Herat, Afghanistan

Do people really think the terrorists care?
Sean, Bristol, England

What do people expect? Anyone with a connection to Britain is now a target and this will continue indefinitely. Did people think that the death of Ken Bigley would show that Britain will not deal with terrorists? Do people really think the terrorists care? I hope and pray we are not going to see yet another horrific video clip being played over the internet but with the course of recent events I find it hard to hold my breath.
Sean, Bristol, England

It's time for the decent people in Iraq to stand up for themselves and find and set Mrs Hassan free. Someone will know where she is, and they should band together to get rid of these wicked terrorists. Mrs Hassan is a good person, like many others.
Birdy, Shrewsbury, UK

This tragic kidnapping says nothing about what most Iraqis or most of the US troops are like
Eric H, Seattle, USA
This tragic kidnapping says nothing about what most Iraqis or most of the US troops are like. It does not mean most of the Iraqi people no longer deserve our help or that most Iraqis no longer want it. This was done by a few evil people that let hatred rule them. We all would do well to remember this. I hope the kidnappers have a moment of clarity and decide to let Mrs Hassan go.
Eric H, Seattle, USA

There can be no other reaction than disgust. My heart goes out to Mrs Hassan and her family. We are all praying for your safe return. That said, I don't believe it helps that media outlets including the BBC make a huge affair of this, giving the kidnappers further TV time and pitting citizens against government.
Catherine, Helsinki, Finland

The British Government states it will not `negotiate with terrorists' who commit these acts. However by not doing so we do not stem kidnapping, in fact as this shows, we perpetuate it. The lessons learned are that the term used "giving in" in the media, is a crass over simplification and should be struck out. Politicians should start treating the electorate in an intelligent manner and start dropping the sound bites and concentrate on the issues. I sincerely hope that Mrs Hassan is freed and I will be praying for her and her family.
Declan Groves, Leeds UK

A media blackout should be discussed in regard to reducing the power of kidnappers.
Denn, Tokyo, Japan

It's a shame to see such a remarkable woman kidnapped. Unfortunately, the Muslim leaders worldwide cannot condemn strongly such actions without appearing pro-Western. With many decent Iraqis that I've read about dying by errant Western missiles, many Middle Easterners are numb to such incidents. With such extreme elements terrorists and right wing governments of the West, we are reminded that tanks and bombs will not win this war. Only goodwill towards Middle Easterners can , in the shape of jobs and security.
Rian, Chicago, USA

This is certainly bad news!
Pete, UK
This is certainly bad news! Margaret has been in Iraq since the time of the sanctions, and has been helping the Iraqis with medicine and humanitarian support, she was not there for the money or the military occupation like all the other contractors kidnapped. We still don't know who kidnapped her or why, but then again, this is a war, there was no sense or logic when and Bush and Blair started it, I don't expect to find any during it either.
Pete, UK

No one is safe or can be protected in Iraq. These thugs want all western foreigners out of the country. The Bush War will be with us for years. I hope Americans get out and vote
Chase Goff, Charleston, SC

When is the West going to wake up! We all potentially pay the price for the power games played by our politicians. It was fairly clear to some before the invasion of Iraq, that you cannot have Western interference in the internal matters of a sovereign state when 90% of their population are anti-American and anti-western. You must remember the extremists do not view non-Muslims as Christian, or anything else, they see them as non-believers. As such they hold no value for lives of non-believers. This type of problem will continue until Western forces have withdrawn from Iraq and left them to sort out their own affairs.
PA, London, England

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family of this lady. It is unfortunate that these kidnappings are now rampant when the occupation began. Are those kidnappers trying to send a message that the reason the West invaded their country and are causing a lot of havoc to the Iraqi population is really unbearable?.
Ferdinand, Canada

Terrorists have no respect for human life: ours or theirs. The sooner we eliminate them and re-educate the youth the sooner we will be free from them. If the entire free world would join the few who care enough, the problem would be better controlled.
Lois Lamb, CA, USA

Hopefully they will see sense and release her very soon
Leo Walton, UK

It doesn't appear to be the actions of an organised terrorist group, just another bunch of opportunists trying to extract some ransom money out of foreign governments. I doubt she was targeted because of her job but merely because she was white, vulnerable and an easy target. Hopefully they will see sense and release her very soon. However, if the Muslim nations continue to keep quiet in their condemnation of these barbarous acts they will only get worse and more widespread. It is time for Islam to take a stand against those that drag their religion through the mud.
Leo Walton, Nottingham, UK

Terrorists are desperate men. Sparing no-one, even women and children.
Kevin, USA

How tragically sad it is to hear this news. When you think that Mrs Hassan gave her time to help the Iraqi people and now may pay with her life via a gruesome execution by people who have no understanding of compassion and love.
Marc, UK

When will ordinary people in Iraq stand up to this tyranny
Lars Peter Jensen, Reykjavik

A few weeks ago, three innocent men living and working in Iraq to help rebuild the country were brutally executed. Now the thugs have taken an aid worker. When will ordinary people in Iraq stand up to this tyranny that these hateful psychopaths inflict on them?
Lars Peter Jensen, Reykjavik, Iceland

I sincerely hope that Mrs Hassan is released unharmed, the sooner the better, and that she and her family are able to put this behind them. I deeply fear for her safety. The reason Bush went to war was to get Iraqi oil flowing to the US, and Blair to protect their special relationship. Individuals are of no concern to Bush and Blair, they are collateral damage, and their words are just spin. You think not? Is the oil that is now flowing being sold on the world market, or going straight to US? We all know the answer.
DRL, Milton Keynes, UK

To kidnap someone who has aided the Iraqi people for so many years is an abomination in itself. To cause a family pain in this holy month of Ramadan and use the name of Islam to do it is an atrocity. Many of those who celebrate the faith of Islam are sickened by this.
Dan A, Manchester, UK

I see this kidnapping as being a very foolish move on the part of the kidnappers. Who ever they are they are to be condemned. To Muslims around the world, charity is blessed unto God as it is in almost all societies but even more especially theirs.
Tim Lewers, Ramsey, NJ, USA

The Muslim community must step in and deal harshly with these thugs
David Mashburn, Beverly, USA

This is just one more despicable act on the part of terrorists. This woman has dedicated her life to helping humanity, even in the midst of a most extreme situation, yet the very people she is helping have kidnapped her. I don't think the UK government can do anything short of conceding to whatever the demands may be, but this would only result in more kidnappings. The Muslim community must step in and deal harshly with these thugs. They have no respect for life or the religion they claim to adhere to. My thoughts and prayers certainly go out for Mrs Hassan and her family. Maybe we will get to see a miracle by her release.
David Mashburn, Beverly, USA

This is another unfortunate chapter in the on-going kidnapping saga in Iraq. I hope the British government have learned something from the tragic murder of Mr Bigley. Tony Blair should have moral courage to accept the responsibility of the mess he has part created in Iraq. This is high time world needs to take lead to correct the tragedy in Iraq. People like Margaret are making this world more liveable. Our heart goes out for her and the family. We are praying for her safe return.
Aamir Mohammad, USA

From BBCArabic.com: I have been working for months with a governmental organisation that deals with providing water and sanitation services. I have seen the work of Care International and how it helps in providing and repairing water supplies which, were they to be stopped, would mean the sickness and death of too many Iraqis. And this is not the only organisation that provides help; too many others are risking the lives of their staff in order to ease the suffering of the Iraqi people. My question to those who have kidnapped this true human being, whom I haven't had the honour to meet, is this: Is this your way to represent Arabs and Muslims? Is it by showing how brave you are by attacking unarmed and helpless people?
Mohamed, Baghdad, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: I met Mrs Hassan 20 years ago, I was then a student at the British institute in Baghdad and she was one of my teachers. She exemplified values and commitment. Apart from English, we learnt a lot from her. I share with her family and friends their concern and I want to put on the record my condemnation of these acts. I say to those who have committed such an act: enough is enough, you have torn Iraq apart. I pray to God for her freedom.
Nasser Haddad, Baghdad, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: This kidnapping is a barbaric act and I think its purpose is to extort money from her family.
Sadek Abd, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: These kidnappers are addicted to instilling fear into others. I hope that the kidnappers won't appear and speak in the name of Islam and then ask for a ransom to free her. They are fighting any Westerner who wants to help the Iraqis. Is it their goal to abort the American plan to rebuild Iraq? Do they hate the Iraqi people because the Iraqis are free from the grip of Saddam and his clans?
Amir Ibraheem, Egypt

From BBCArabic.com: There is nothing new in this matter, we have said from the start that there was no resistance in Iraq, only remnants of Saddam's regime and his security forces who are now allied with Arab jihadist terrorists. Their acts are barbaric, criminal and bloody and there is no way to deal with them except to wage war on them and clean the Iraqi cities that harbour them like Falluja, Lutaifia and Yusufiya. Iraq will never be stabilised unless these groups are wiped out. We urge the Iraqi government to act in order to finish them off. Why the waiting? Everyday that passes without action means the death of innocent people and more chaos. These groups understand only the language of force.
Mohamed Alkhafajee, Babylon, Iraq

My thoughts go to Mrs Hassan and her family and friends at this awful time. However, I am not sure what we can do. The government are right not to give us to the demands as this will mean they are getting exactly what they want and will continue to take hostages. I also think that the media should follow suit. The hostage takers are doing this for attention. The hope is that without the media attention these kidnappings and murders may stop. This, however, does not mean that I think Bush and Blair are blameless. They have got us involved in this and in my view are now way out of their depth.
Stephanie, Milton Keynes, England

What any government can do is make the right decision to get behind the coalition and help finish the job of defeating terrorism and bringing freedom to Iraq.
Steve Foote, Memphis USA

As a Muslim, I pray for this woman's safe return. But I would say this - Bush and Blair keep saying how things are better now than under Saddam. This woman managed to do her great work for years under Saddam's rule. I'm not saying Saddam was good, but things are certainly a lot worse now and its hypocrisy for Bush and Blair to say otherwise.
Suber, London, England

It beats both logic and common sense
Ikki Samuel, Århus, Denmark
My heart goes to Mrs Margaret Hassan, that after dedicating her life for 30 yrs working as an aid worker, rather than winning a Nobel prize like Mother Teresa, this was the way she was re-paid. It beats both logic and common sense ( I hope even within the terrorist community) as Mrs Hassan's kidnapping won't in any way help further their causes. On the other hand, however hard it may be for governments to negotiate with terrorist, this remains pre-emptive until these government can come with a policy which ensures people such as Mrs Hassan don't end up in the hands of terrorists. My only hope is she gets released with a apology for her to continue doing her good work.
Ikki Samuel, Århus, Denmark

If each and every Iraqi who wants freedom does not rise up and turn these kidnappers over to the authorities than they obviously support them and don't need our help. Withdraw the troops and let them get on with it.
Brian, Edinburgh

The insurgents do not want the Westerners there
David Karani, Helsinki, Finland
Margaret Hassan kidnapping is disgusting! Coalition forces must commit enough forces to contain the situation or leave Iraq altogether. There is simply no middle way. The insurgents do not want the Westerners there. Thy are ready to die everyday as exemplified by suicide bombers.
David Karani, Helsinki, Finland

In paying a ransom the Italian Government sent a clear message to terrorists in Iraq that kidnapping female aid workers will get results - they might as well have painted a target on Margaret Hassan's back.
Adrian, Newcastle-on-Tyne

The only person who has anything to gain from this woman's apparent abduction and imprisonment is George Bush and his election campaign. It is very suspicious that such a person was kidnapped just before the US elections, no doubt giving Bush another way of legitimising his invasion of Iraq. Ask yourself... why would "insurgents" or even criminals, choose her?
Nathan Hobbs, Luton, UK

I am angered by comments from people who say the government should not get involved because the hostages stayed in Iraq at their own risk. If Bush and Blair kept their noses out there would be no need for these people to be there in a humanitarian role or otherwise.
Zaid Al-Najjar, Southampton, UK

Without people like her, all efforts to restore the country would be nowhere
Kay, London
It's a sad time when good, innocent people are paying with their lives for the disastrous mistakes, and lies made by George Bush, Tony Blair and the teams around them. I wonder what their policy would be if it was their family being kidnapped? Everything that can be done to save Mrs Hassan should be, because without people like her, all efforts to restore the country would be nowhere.
Kay, London

BBC might consider interviewing Al-Jazeera. I'd be interested in reading every little detail about how the video was acquired.
Lou, New York, NY, USA

Mr Blair misses the point when he says "I think it shows you the type of people we are up against". More to the point might be: "it just shows how badly our (arguably illegal) invasion has destabilised the country that even somebody like this has become a target"
Robin Trew, United Kingdom

I think the kidnappers have already achieved what they wanted now that Care International have suspended operations in Iraq. These people do not want any foreigners in Iraq, including aid workers. It suits them for the country to descend into chaos, because that will give them free rein. These people have to be found and stopped.
Bob, Huntingdon

There is not much a government can do. The only option to save her life is to give in to the demands, which is what nobody in his/her right mind wants because it will spur new hostage takings because they seem to have the desired effect. It's a no win situation. I fear the only hope for Mrs Hassan is that the kidnappers are willing to let her go unharmed, even without having achieved their objectives.
Jos, Huizen, NL

If you give terrorists news coverage, they'll kidnap more and more people
Andrew Butterfield, Bradford

I'm very cross that the media have fallen into the terrorists' trap by reporting this story. The world's governments are wise not to give in to the demands of the terrorists; it's time the media wised up too. If you give terrorists news coverage, they'll kidnap more and more people.
Andrew Butterfield, Bradford

This is not an issue one can link with the foreign policy of UK or USA. Barbaric killing of innocent people in the name of God is unique in the mankind's history. The world must be united and talk with one voice against them, this is a big threat for the civilized world and humanity. I pray for Margaret Hassan, may God save her.
Hiwa Afandi, Iraq

No government should negotiate with criminals. Europeans who live in Iraq have accepted the risk by staying there.
Anthony Thomas, Aberdeen, UK

Bush and Blair have turned Iraq into hell on earth.
Tahir, UK
I'm a Muslim. The idiots who took Mrs Hassan hostage are not. They are stupid people with no regard for human life and Islam. Bush and Blair have turned Iraq into hell on earth.
Tahir, UK

Every Westerner or anyone who is in Iraq helping the coalition should have a microchip placed under their skin in an unidentified place so should anything happen they can be found via satellite. This technology is available. Then just send in the SAS. My thoughts are with the families and victims of kidnappings by these evil people.
Jacquie, Italy

I respect Mrs Hassan's decision to continue her charity work, however, all workers and charity organisations need to examine their consciences. Whilst carrying out much needed aid work they are putting themselves in the front line without any protection and allowing themselves to become easy targets. In Britain we have any number of Health and Safety laws that are designed to try to prevent individuals injuring themselves either by accident, ignorance or wilful neglect.

We in Britain cannot be held responsible and neither should the Prime Minister or the Government be expected to react to these kidnappings. There should be a total News blackout on all kidnappings and anyone travelling to these unstable countries should be given a written warning before boarding their flight. Again I am concerned for Mrs Hassan's safety and wellbeing, but it is she alone who has jeopardised this.
Ray Salmon, London England

I think it is important that we remember who let this genie out of its bottle, and vote him out of office on November 2.
Matt, San Francisco, USA

It is amazing how intelligent people can be when something like this happens. One side is waging a war of terror, one side is dropping bombs. I find it hard to find anything good to say about either side. It would be useful if people tried to remember that both sides are killing innocents, and I am confident that both sides find it a simple matter to justify their actions. Sadly, this women is simply another victim of a war that should never have happened.
Paul, Belgium

Any kidnapping is immoral, but kidnapping a woman, especially one involved in humanitarian work is a sign of desperation. No cause justifies kidnapping and killing of innocent people, no matter who they are.
Anshu Bhatia, Dallas, TX, USA

The one thing the government must not do is to negotiate with the terrorists
Justin, Bristol, England
The one thing the government must not do is to negotiate with the terrorists. There are two reasons for this. One, history (and common sense) has shown that negotiating with terrorists only promotes more terrorism, and two, if we negotiate with these terrorists than Ken Bigley's family would be distraught as to why we didn't negotiate with those that held him captive. Although this is a sorry and very desperate situation for Margaret Hassan and her family, the only thing the government can and should do is merely request that she be released.
! Justin, Bristol, England

We now see the kidnapping of a person who has been helping Iraqis for 30 years, further confirmation that these kidnappings are being executed by none other than criminals and thugs bent on instilling fear on anyone who is willing to contribute to Iraqi freedom and democracy.
Juan Campmany, New York, USA

I suspect this is nothing more than a PR campaign by the insurgents. I wouldn't be surprised if they release her in a week or so after "discovering" she is an aid worker, in an attempt to fool us into thinking they have some degree of humanity. Do you really think they are that stupid?
Luke Dawson, Horsham, UK

An illegal invasion of a sovereign country has now created a lawless state. All engaged in the original and subsequent mayhem bear responsibility for the suffering caused to ordinary law abiding citizens. It is time to remove the extremists in this conflict and the middle ground taken by just and law abiding leaders.
Moosa Bhamjee, London, UK

Is now the time for all contractors in Iraq to carry a couple of hand grenades in their pockets? I know I would rather take two or three with me than suffer the same fate as Ken Bigley. Does the American and British government have absolutely no security for contractors in Iraq? When will they get tracking devices?
Matt J, London

I am a passionate anti war advocate and opposed to the policies of the US and allies in the mid east but this despicable horrific act will turn all right thinking away from any support for these madmen
Bill Cook, Bermuda

No-one, no-one who works in any high profile position in Iraq, no matter how long they have resided there - should do so without wearing body armour, and without constant personal security in the form of at least two armed bodyguard always within reach: That should have been obvious as recently as the first kidnappings almost six months ago.
LBM, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA

For now, the thing to do is for the government to intercede and do its best to get her out. Any price is worth paying to keep one good person alive - we need more of these people. It doesn't matter what your stand is about the war, together we should push for her release. Then, we can talk about dealing with this Iraq quagmire decisively. It makes every good citizen of the world feel so helpless. The suffering the victims' families go through is not justifiable. Let us all hope and pray she gets out safe.
Mukoma, Ottawa, Canada

Whatever sympathy I had towards the Iraqis is slowly evaporating now
Kela, Vancouver, Canada

Whatever sympathy I had towards the Iraqis is slowly evaporating now. They are kidnapping foreigners and countrymen for ransoms no matter who these people are and what they do. My prayers are with Mrs Hassan and her family, but this is not the first and it looks like not the last kidnapping case. On the other hand, this is a full war and has not ended. Non-military foreigners should stay out of Iraq until the situation gets better. They are being irresponsible by making themselves target and putting their governments in difficult positions and under a big burden for their life if they are caught. If they want to go to Iraq, they can surely go by their freewill, but the governments should make it clear they will not deal with terrorists for them.
Kela, Vancouver, Canada

To Kela, Canada: Actually Mrs Hassan is Iraqi. She has dual nationality and has been working for Care International in Iraq for more than twenty years. That includes during the Hussein regime. It's not like she's only just gone there after the war. She's been helping the Iraqi people for years. That's what makes this kidnapping more shocking.
Paul Watson, London, UK

All we hear from Bush and Blair is how successful we are in Iraq, but it never seems to save anyone. Military intelligence, where are you?
Pete, Winston Salem, NC, US

Despicable. I'd been opposed to the war and occupation, but now think maybe Bush really is trying to save Iraqis from murderous thugs. This woman has dedicated her life to helping Iraqis; what kind of society allows such a travesty?
John Aisles, Doylestown, PA, USA

As a British born Muslim, I would like to point out that whoever is behind these kidnappings cannot call themselves Muslim. Their actions are barbaric. It is Ramadan, a time of peace, and harmony, not of terror. This latest kidnapping shows just how stupid these kidnappers are. To hold hostage someone who has worked in your own country for 25 years, for your own good is an absolute disgrace. I pray that Mrs Hassan is released without harm, I'm sure all other normal Muslims will do so too.
Raza, London, England

Disgusted! This incident should make us aware that no matter whom or where we are from, these terrorists will do anything to achieve their goal. This should bind us together as world citizens to fight against them and not our government. Perhaps the media should not even telecast any of the tape as it open more avenue for the terrorists to instil fear into us.
Christina Spybey, London, UK

How can you make comments like "she was much loved" the women is still alive we mustn't write her off someone has to do something now before its too late not just wait until it's too late! Our thoughts are with her and her family. We pray for her safe return.
Sarah Mills, Middlesbrough

Or these clerics in not speaking against it, are in fact endorsing hostage taking
Paul, Canada

What is most perplexing about all the kidnappings to me is that; clerics of Iraq and clerics of the world for the nations of Islam are silent about this travesty! Come on! Either their own religion speaks against this or not. Either these insurgents interpret their own religion wrongly and are doing this based on their beliefs or these clerics in not speaking against it, are in fact endorsing hostage taking and the beheading of them.
Paul, London, ON, Canada

This is situation is getting worse and worse. And it will continue to do so. Change is overdue. Blair and Bush must go.
George, Barcelona, Spain

It is unbelievable, they have no gratitude, are they - how many years behind the civilised West? These thugs who kidnapped this lady should be excommunicated from their religion and regarded as degenerates not martyrs for if any harm befalls this kind lady it will be she who is the martyr. God/Allah help her and ease her husband and families minds. God be with her.
Leon Rybak, Doncaster

Margaret Hassan is truly a remarkable and wonderful person
WMA Brindle, Chambersburg, PA, USA
Margaret Hassan is truly a remarkable and wonderful person, unfortunately the kidnappers only know violence. Therefore, we will have to respond to the only form of communication they know. Civilized people get kidnapped and or killed.
WMA Brindle, Chambersburg, PA, USA

I hope that nothing will happen to Mrs Hassan. She must have a heart of gold to invest so much of her life in Iraq. Most of us are appalled by this action and ask "What do they wish to accomplish by doing this sort of thing".
Deryk Houston, Victoria, Canada

Let us just don't jump into conclusions, no one really knows who's kidnapping in Iraq today... it might be insurgents, freedom fighters, CIA or just bands of thieves
Samer, KSA

Enough fooling around: either the US and UK puts 250k troops into Iraq and does the job properly or we leave. This woman has helped Iraqis for over 25 years, and now this happens. This woman has done nothing except help them and even denounced sanctions and war against Iraq, and we see how things end up.
TH, USA

They are kidnapping Iraqis on a daily basis so why shouldn't they kidnap foreigners?
Victoria, Coventry - UK

Those who have kidnapped this lady are evil! There is no other word for it. My thanks to the BBC for allowing me the opportunity to express my feeling.
Phil Hall, Northampton

There is no logic behind the kidnapping of Margaret Hassan.
Akram Khudadad, Oslo
There is no logic behind the kidnapping of Margaret Hassan. This is an act of terrorism and crime. All the world must stand together in fight against terrorism.
Akram Khudadad, Oslo

Such a kidnap is a crime against God and the kidnappers will surely be punished for it. These people are not Muslim and the sooner the western media stops calling terrorists "Muslim" the better. Mrs Hassan is clearly a woman of great courage and moral fibre. Her care for the Iraqi people is in sharp contrast to Saddam, Bush and Blair. Mrs Hassan should be set free immediately.
Khaleel, UK

There is little that can be done for Mrs Hassan by the British government: Ken Bigley's death demonstrates that. It is sad to see a lady of such unsullied goodness treated in this way.
Steve Pearson, Manchester, England

The intervention by the US and Britain has made the situation in Iraq even worse
Alan, Slough
Margaret Hassan's kidnapping is a terrible crime but only one of many brought about by this illegal war. It is time to admit that the intervention by the US and Britain has made the situation in Iraq even worse than under Saddam and stop making matters worse by leaving.
Alan, Slough

There should be NO foreign civilians allowed near Iraq until peace has been resumed. They are instant targets as soon as they arrive.
OT, UK

I cannot see how kidnapping an aid worker can help the Iraqis or help any cause. I'm against any hostile actions taken towards civilians by Iraqi fighters and by the US and coalition forces.
Hatem Nawar, Cairo, Egypt

I am utterly appalled by the behaviour of these groups of people in targeting a dedicated woman who has clearly devoted the majority of her time and emotion in helping the people of Iraq. Surely we must not be diverted from ensuring that these people are brought to justice in a professional and timely manner? My thoughts are with Margaret, but we must also think about the future for the Iraqi people.
Paul Ricciardi, Birmingham

I'm really angry at all of this. It was because of the predicted chaos in Iraq that I protested against the rush to war. A UN force would have taken much longer to assemble... but Blue Berets in Baghdad would not have provoked this backlash.
Robert Sharp, Edinburgh, UK

I suggest Tony Blair and his government should keep out of this, as they and their pal Bush have done enough damage. In the name of all that is decent, the kidnappers should let this woman go.
Chris Jaggo, Middlesbrough

What westerner now wants to go there, even to help?
Anna, DC, USA
Kidnapping an aid worker who opposed the war can serve one political purpose only for the kidnappers - to drive every westerner out of Iraq. And it looks like they may succeed - what westerner now wants to go there, even to help?
Anna, DC, USA

It's pathetic what these insurgent groups have resorted to in Iraq. What do they hope to accomplish by kidnapping a peaceful woman who has obviously embraced (and been embraced by) the Iraqi people?
Luke, Baltimore, MD, USA

I would urge all of us to pray for Mrs Hassan and to pray for the people of Iraq, that the cycle of violence will end.
Mike R, NY

This woman is in Iraq to help innocent people who have been caught up in a war of the government's making, and they should make every effort to safeguard her and others like her.
Sally, Sussex

Who is surprised anyway? This fiasco is getting worse at the rate of 24 hours to the day with no end is sight. I'm out of answers and explanations.
Chris Johnson, Saint Louis, MO USA

I completely fail to comprehend any logic behind such a hostage taking. Clearly the group is exploiting the unstable situation in Iraq for their own ends, rather than trying to produce a political or religious message.
James, Cambridge, UK

The depths these people will sink to is beyond belief
Brenda Head, Leeds
This is so tragic. The depths these people will sink to is beyond belief. I'm not sure the government can do anything to stop kidnapping - we're fighting a battle we cannot win at the moment. We should send more troops and take control of the country. We've lost control.
Brenda Head, Leeds

This kidnapping is perhaps the most disgusting yet. Should we have gone into Iraq? No. Can we leave now, No. We cannot give in to these "people". If we do, we set a precedent which will endanger every British person whenever they leave the safety of the civilised world, be it in the name of charity or not. Not to mention the abandonment of every decent Iraqi to the fate of a country run by terrorists and criminals.
David, London, UK

We do not want to keep on losing innocent lives, the allied forces should leave Iraq to the Iraqis.
Solomon Dzimwasha, London, UK

The current nt situation in Iraq has created a lawless environment where gangsters can extort money at will. These kidnappings have absolutely no political basis whatsoever but are simply a symptom of criminal elements which are flourishing in these conditions.
Martin, Northern England

Can we not make more of the experiences and expertise of our 'crack forces' such as the SAS and associated covert ops?
Andy Maxwell, New Territories, Hong Kong

Humanity at its lowest point. Simply disgraceful.
Abdullah S. Jafari, Houston, Texas, USA

I despair of this whole tragic affair
Rich, Berlin
The government will do "whatever it can" to help?!! Like send more troops to support the US?!! So that's going to persuade Mrs Hassan's kidnappers of their wrong doing, is it? I despair of this whole tragic affair and my heart sinks every time I see another civilian taken hostage.
Rich, Berlin

The fact this particular group has captured someone who is actually there to help the Iraqi people shows they represent no-one but themselves and it's hard to now understand what principles their actions are even based on.
Craig Kelly, London

I would think that any self-respecting Iraqi freedom fighter, motivated by true nationalism or religious zeal, would come to Margaret's aid. She is clearly not a foreign invader, or doing anything that Islam would not find commendable.
Andy Bird, Cheshire, UK

Aid workers in Iraq should be given proper security to do their job
Taufiq Aziz, Dhaka, Bangladesh
It's totally wrong to kidnap aid workers in Iraq or any other country. But I think aid workers in Iraq should be given proper security to do their job. In the case of Margaret Hassan, the British government and Tony Blair should take proper steps to get her released.
Taufiq Aziz, Dhaka, Bangladesh

This kidnapping is unjustifiable and condemnable; she is an aid worker and doesn't damage anybody. The government should do all that is possible to get her freedom.
Jorge Sanz Garcia, Almazan, Spain

Each time they kidnap someone you think that they could not possibly sink any lower. Yet somehow they always manage to do so.
Gordon McStraun, UK

Margaret Hassan has put her life on the line for the Iraqi people for years. Arabs everywhere should be outraged and insist on her immediate release.
Chuck Kulig, Chicago, USA

Are these people so mad they will even kidnap someone who is, by marriage, and by 30 years of living in Iraq, almost one of their own?
Nicola, London

If they can kidnap somebody who has spent their life working to bring relief to the people of Iraq, it just proves them to be criminals and bandits. They should be hunted down and brought to justice and if that means another 100,000 troops in Iraq, so be it!
John Moss, London, UK




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