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UK riots: Father who lost son calls for calm

world Updated: Aug 11, 2011 12:04 IST
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Revenge is the farthest thing from Tariq Jahan’s mind. Having lost his 21-year-old son Haroon during the riots in Britain, a grieving Jahan has called for calm and restoration of peace.

Apart from Haroon, two brothers Shazad Ali, 30 and Abdul Musavir, 31, were the other fatalities. A car doing 50 miles per hour in Birmingham knocked down the trio.

According to the Daily Mail, Jahan, holding a picture of his dead son, made a rousing speech calling for peace in Birmingham.

It would have been so easy to demand ‘an eye for an eye’ and risk a race war on the riot-torn streets, but with immense dignity, Jahan appealed for calm.

The shocking killings, the worst incident in four nights of rioting across Britain, left Birmingham a tinderbox after it was confirmed that the man arrested on suspicion of murdering the Asians is black.

Locals claimed that Afro-Caribbean gangs had been prowling the area, setting light to cars and shouting at Muslims ‘you will burn’ just before the alleged murders.

As racial tensions rose to boiling point with some Muslims calling for ‘retribution’, 45-year-old Jahan, who desperately tried to revive his dying son – urged people not to seek revenge.

He said: “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? Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise, calm down and go home – please.”