That Muslim father, so dignified yesterday in the face of his grief and sorrow about the death of his son, seems to have been instrumental in turning the tide. We have had a quiet night, and things are calmer today.
Tariq Jahan pleaded in public for all youth to remain calm, and for communities to be united. ‘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.’
Today we are a shocked and very sobered community. He and others have paid the ultimate price for senseless violence. Somebody has been arrested.
Meanwhile the press is on to us personally: the Financial Times yesterday, Channel 4 and local radio today. Channel 4 wants to follow us around with cameras: I cannot face this, and Hub and I have agreed that they will not come into the house. I am already feeling incredibly stressed with the events of the last few days – not scared, but stressed, and the thought of having even less privacy than normal is intolerable.
My heart goes out to Mr Jahan and his family. I hope I would have his dignity in the face of such grief and suffering for the loss of a son’s life in such a pointless way. He and the other family who lost their sons are certainly in the prayers of Christians all around the country.