From tumult of London riots, a father's voice emerges
Tariq Jahan, whose son Haroon was killed in the London riots, has gained Britain's ear with his dignified but urgent pleas for calm.
(Page 3 of 3)
Adding to the Tory argument of family breakdown and the Labour view of disparity of wealth, the riots have been variously attributed to spiritual vacuity, nihilism, a lack of hope or stake in the future, or pent-up anger while British elites were at beachside villas in Italy and Spain.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
One possible explanation for the spread of looting beyond London is the use of riots to settle older local scores. The British riots, in this view, quickly became an excuse for gangs to fight each other with impunity.
This may be one explanation behind the killing of Jahan’s son Haroon. He and other young Muslims were protecting shops in Birmingham against looting by other ethnic groups, mainly said to be African-Caribbean, with whom there have been tensions.
In Jahan’s initial plea for peace he called Haroon a “good lad” who “stood up for the community,” and later added that, “I miss him dearly, but two days from now the whole world will forget – no one will care.”
In this, Britain may have shown that Jahan was mistaken.
Meanwhile, one immediate dispute in the post-riot fallout is whether to hire American “supercop” William Bratton, who had success in New York and Los Angeles with limiting gang homicide, and who appears eager to come. Mr. Cameron has favored the idea but Home Secretary Theresa May and Police Association chief Sir Hugh Orde have said the US and UK are too different. Mr. Bratton told the Guardian today he would be willing to change his passport to take a top job, but odds are he may be retained as an adviser.
RELATED: London riots: 4 key questions