The strength and courage of Tariq Jahan

Three young Asian men guarding a petrol station in Birmingham amidst the chaos of civil unrest were callously and mindlessly killed when hit by a car. Two of the abiding memories of those disturbed days will be the debate amongst the multi-racial community that calmed an inflamed situation and of the strength and courage of the father of one of the victims.

Tariq Jahan stepped forward having attempted to revive his son, and spoke calmly. Amongst the words he spoke to the crowds and through the media, he said:

“Today, we stand here to call to all the youth to remain calm, for our communities to stay united. Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise calm down and go home.

I lost my son. Blacks, Asians, whites, we all live in the same community.

Why do we have to kill one another?

Nothing can bring my son back but if we have peace then he and the others will not have died in vain.”

A bereaved father and grieving young men held back and calmed a volatile situation.

In hearing the message shared amidst the tragedy and pain, may we emphasise our shared religious values and pledge to work together in and for unity. Let us recognise and celebrate our common humanity and find shared expression for a widespread yearning for an equal, just and peaceable world.