Thousands mourn trio knocked down during rioting
Published 19/08/2011 | 00:00
Thousands of mourners turned out for the funerals of three "precious gemstones" who died as they tried to protect shops and homes from looters.
Haroon Jahan (21), and brothers Shazad Ali (30) and Abdul Musavir (31) died in the early hours of August 10 after being struck by a car in the Winson Green area of Birmingham.
At an open-air prayer service attended by more than 20,000 people, the three victims were hailed as martyrs. Mourners comforted each other, some wiping away tears but most remaining stoical.
Scholar Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, who spoke at the ceremony, said: "They made an example of how a Muslim should be and what Islam is."
Saqib Majid, a cousin of Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir, addressed the crowds at the service in Winson Green's Summerfield Park.
He said: "Words are too little to express the sorrow and pain felt by our household during the past week and we are still very much in shock.
"Our boys were rare precious gemstones of people that would have no hesitation in helping another in their hardships."
He said some of the victims' peers had been "deeply angered" by their deaths, but urged: "We should, as Muslim youth, channel this anger in a non-violent manner."
A message on screens erected in the park read: "Three precious souls gave their lives protecting all of us."
Mr Jahan's father, Tariq Jahan, who had called for calm and peace in the community in the days after his son's death, spoke briefly to thank everyone for coming to the service.