This week has painted Britain in an appalling light. The riots in London, Manchester and Birmingham – among other places – have shown people looting, vandalising and being atrociously violent to other human beings. Sadly, three men in Birmingham lost their lives thanks to this mindless violence. Tariq Jahan’s son, 21 year-old Haroon, was one of the victims.
Tariq Jahan has handled himself so admirably during what must be one of the worst times of his life. He has publicly appealed for calm, asking communities to remain united. Mr Jahan asked the public to “respect the memories of our sons” by stopping all acts of violence throughout the UK.
After Mr Jahan’s words, the West Midlands rioting appeared to calm yesterday and police chief Chris Sims said Mr Jahan’s appeal had made a “decisive impact” on the local community.
‘I lost my son. Blacks, Asians, whites – we all live in the same community. Why do we have to kill one another? Why are we doing this? I don’t blame the police, I don’t blame the government. I’m a Muslim: I believe in divine fate and destiny. It was his fate, his destiny, and now he’s gone, and may Allah forgive him and bless him. Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise, calm down and go home – please.’
It would be easy for Mr Jahan to be incensed and call for revenge and retribution. Instead, he has called for peace. How must he feel, losing his much-loved son who died trying to protect his community? It must be heart-wrenching.
Mr Jahan is a real hero, he is the face of Britain we should aspire to and be proud of. I hope he gets justice for his son.