A Father Like This

As Ennis reported, there’s anarchy in the UK. I’ve been following twitter feeds coming out of England closely and though there is mixed feelings on the “insurrection” of the people, one thing is certain, everyone is fearful that the riots will come to their community. Last night, the rioters came to Birmingham.

Haroon, Abdul Musavir, 31, and Shazad Ali, 31, were mowed down as they stood on the pavement protecting their mosque and businesses in the community. Today, a 32-year-old man was being questioned on suspicion of murder.

The father said he was standing round the corner as the car mounted the pavement and knocked down the three young men. He said he acted instinctively and helped – without realising his boy was one of the trio who were fatally injured. Mr Jahan said: ‘The car came up on the pavement for God knows what reason and I was standing nearby. ‘I heard it happen and I turned round and I saw three people on the ground and my instinct to help and I started CPR and someone told me that one of them was my son.’ [dailymail]

Some moving words from Tariq Jahan, father to the 21 year old Haroon Jahan.

I’m not condoning the violence, but clearly the situation has reached a critical moment in the UK and the people believe things have got to change. Mass media is billing what is happening in the UK as a “race” riot or a “youth” insurgency – but the victims in this case were South Asian youth. The #UKRiots goes far deeper than that.

This entry was posted in Events, In Memoriam, Issues, Video by Taz. Bookmark the permalink.

About Taz

Taz is an activist, organizer and writer based in California. She is the founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), curates MutinousMindState.tumblr.com and blogs at TazzyStar.blogspot.com. Follow her at twitter.com/tazzystar

23 thoughts on “A Father Like This

  1. Yes, there’s a racial element. The large majority of the rioters are black, set off by the shooting of a local black man by the police. A significant minority of rioters seem to be lower class white chavs. You hardly see any British desis among the rioters, despite their huge population in the affected areas.

    There are longstanding tensions between a lot of Afro-Carribean blacks and local Indian/Pakistani storeowners. Between white chavs and desis, less tension, but there’s still a feeling that the storekeppers are rich, making them a fair target. A lot of desi people have gotten their stores ransacked, and areas with high concentrations of desis are now sending hundreds of people into the street to do neighborhood policing against black and white looters. The lack of desis among the rioters, with a few exceptions, probably reflects that they own, or know people/relatives/ethnics that own, most of these stores being burned.

    I don’t want to imply that brown people can’t riot. There were 2001 riots in Bradford, where the instigators were Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims facing off against white chavs and the British police. In that riot, a lot of Indians lost their stores. Definitely the racial dynamics of a riot can influence who becomes the agressor and who becomes the victim.

    I also don’t want to imply that race is driving everything. Much of this is about a large segment of the population being out of the workforce and having a lot of time on their hands. Out of boredom and emboldened by a lack of a police presence, there are a lot of people causing mayhem and stealing.

  2. Time to stop paying people to stay home and do nothing, in the UK and the US. Austerity: coming to a city near you, are you ready if the locals get violent?

  3. Mulitculturalism has failed the British. Also, their government is a little too generous for the people’s own good. However, one thing that I’d like to mention is that the UK is a very racist and violent nation. I HATE visiting over there. A few years ago, I was with my extended family, which included a 19YO, 2 senior citizens, a 40YO, and a 2YO boy whom I was carrying. It was ~11PM and there were ~5-7 young kids not too far away racially taunting us by calling us “Paki Paki Paki”. I’ve never seen this kind of racism here in the USA.

    A few years ago, I dated a British girl who was of Indian origin. She told me that when she was 9YO, 2-3 kids her age group beat her up in the bathroom and broke her nose. This was at a private school. I’m not sure if this was a racist attack, but it was astonishingly violent: They even put her face in the urinal.

    Finally, I’ve seen and heard about many very young white British cursing non-whites in that country telling folks like me to “get the fuck out of my country”. It’s apparent that they don’t understand what they are saying, and that they are just parroting their parents, perhaps.

    I think that the riots is a manifestation of the UK’s chav/rude-boy/hoodie culture.

  4. Been staying indoors and watching the news here in a London suburb. People here are shell-shocked by what has happened. Looters have pillaged hundreds of small businesses (many of them owned by South Asian immigrants) with almost no resistance from the police. This is why communities (even in wealthy vanilla suburbs) have felt the need to protect themselves in such ways. As for the labels ‘Race riot’, ‘Youth insurgency’: total bll s*t. These are opportunist young people who don’t know the meaning of hard work and have used the pretext of a supposedly ‘racial’ police action in London to go out, smash windows and grab a few flatscreen tvs and new trainers.

    Anyway back to the point – the local British press has been calling these three young men heroes – and that is what they are for standing up to the mindless violence of these feral maniacs.

  5. i completely agree with badmash and anu, i wonder if a day would come and american politician can say something similar to what Ed Milinband said about a muslim american.

    this is about a number of youth that are installed with fearlessness and lack of care for themselves or people. then because their friends do it they do it, and hey presto you have a mob on your hands. interested in what? nicking trainers and TVs. shameful behavior that has resulted in tragic loss.

    listen to strong voices!


    Peace to lads that died.

  6. Granted the cops have a tough job. Still, all the stuff similar to the TSA crap that people around the world endure, and then, there is a much lower tech way of getting killed like this. Maybe save some energy and money involved inthe overdone air security and apply it to the ground.

  7. The Police – What a bunch of incompetent nincompoops. An inability to stop a riot where the rioters are not armed with guns. And now telling people that they cant defend themselves. Hubris and sloth all rolled into one.

    Impose a curfew – shut down the tube – lathicharge – kneecap the rioters. A response on day 2 would have stopped this escalation. Not vapid talk after a week. David Cameron calls himself a conservative and he cant maintain law and order.

    I grew up thinking that Scotland Yard was the greatest police force in the world. Now I reckon the Mumbai Police Force is better and that is not a compliment.

    Absolutely filthy with the entire establishment and we in Melbourne seem to be hiring British Police Officers – am truly worried.

  8. I gotta agree that the response of the police is pathetic. Maybe if these were mostly white shopkeepers, the police response would have been more immediate. And this is a good example of why ordinary law abiding citizens should be allowed to own firearms.

    It’s like the Korean shopkeepers during the LA riots, but many were able to defend themselves, because they were armed. Now, I’m in favor of some gun regulations, but this rioting shows me that banning guns altogether does nothing to stop violence, especially when a police force can’t do anything (or is unwilling to do anything) to main the peace.

    • The UK is only good at one thing: Writing songs about anarchy and riots.

      From my experience, it’s a barbaric nation of racists, xenophobes, and violent peoples.

      However, I have a love of their ancient traditions, history, and culture, in general. Us ABCDs have a double-dose of British culture, of course. I’m sure that they will overcome this terrible hoodie culture which is tearing at their social fabric.

      • That last post was a contradiction in terms, Boston. If “it’s a barbaric nation”, it certainly won’t “overcome this terrible hoodie culture”. And if they have “ancient traditions, history, and culture”, they cannot be “a barbaric nation”.

        • the ancient traditions of burning up widows and pouring molten silver down people’s ears is being overcome by higher gdp growth, less barbarism, and ideas/philosophies which trump these terrors.

  9. I disagree with the idea that allowing handgun ownership would have prevented the occurence of riots – if anything it would have escalated the level of danger to both sides so thank goodness handgun ownership here is restricted.

    The police were reluctant to take action, given the criticisms they faced over their stronger handling of the student protesters earlier this year. Unfortunately the buck-passing has started with the politicians blaming the police and vice-versa. Hopefully the lesson will have been learned that CCTV policing isn’t sufficient.

    Finally – this isn’t such a bad place. It has its problems, but so does the US and Canada. Hiding from inner city problems out in the burbs doesn’t make them go away.

  10. I saw LA riots after Rodney king, Katrina riots in NOLA, and finally the collapse of the financial system in 2008. We were within 2 weeks of empty shelves at every food store in town. I would be relying on my shovel/rake to defend myself? Time to rethink the whole protection of family thing.

  11. Sure US&Canada had it’s problems, but there is no “but so has” US&Canada here. Europe has a completely different set of problems, that goes beyond social and economic. Europe has a problem that is cultural, ethnic and religious. Don’t get me wrong, Europe is not unique, you would have (and to some extent have) the same set of problems in China, Japan, the Arab world and African countries. This is what nation states is all about.

  12. The Cameron government are just trying to say the rioters are just criminals but beneath the surface there is resentment against being isolated, and alienation. It is sad that the three young men died. Obviously the killers should be brought to justice and the UK legal system will deal with them. There is a racial element to the UK riots but I also think it relates to class. I really resent when the public think it was just blacks that rioted that’s not true! I saw people of all races rioting. Also, I am not excusing the rioting but if you read about the racism of the UK police force against blacks no one should be surprised people were upset after the black man that was shot by the police Mark Duggan. I thought the UK was different from other European countries and it is a lot less civilized. The Cameron government claims to be surprised at the riots but they shouldn’t have. David Cameron’s government has cut a lot of youth programs and the upper class in London obviously don’t care about young people. University students in the UK are paying higher tuition fees. People say that young people should just work hard to make it. But what if you can’t afford to attend college or university or get a job? The unemployment rate for young people in the UK is also a problem. People are angry and they are resentful of the upper classes.

    I think the problems in the UK are more complex than people realize. It isn’t just the UK that is having problems with multiculturalism all over western Europe in countries such as Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium, Norway, UK, Italy, there are fears from some whites that their countries are changing too much due to immigration.

  13. “However, I have a love of their ancient traditions, history, and culture, in general”

    Like the raping of India?

    What a culture!

  14. “I am just glad my parents decided to immigrate to the US instead of the UK.”

    Yeah like this kind of shit wont happen there soon you small dicked coconut

    Sounds like a comment from an impotent loser who is too afraid to fight

  15. Having read the comments underneath this post, I am astonished at the ignorance of some of the posters. I’m looking at you boston_mahesh, Pravin Praveen and Melbourne Desi. I suspect that this is partly due to the wildly inaccurate and irresponsible reporting that went on during the riots. They were hardly UK wide either. As another poster said, this was less about Race and more about Class. Please bear in mind that a number of the looters/rioters were people you wouldn’t have expected to be involved. Haroon Jahan’s father is the true face of the United Kingdom. We would do well to concentrate on the example he set, rather than sitting on our hands and applauding ourselves for living in another (apparently utopic) country.