Birmingham for Tariq Jahan

by Carol Ann Duffy

Tariq Jahan
Tariq Jahan's son, Haroon, was killed in a hit and run incident during the riots in Birmingham. Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters

After the evening prayers at the mosque,
came the looters in masks,
and you three stood,
beloved in your
brave, bright, brothers,
to be who you were –
a hafiz is one who has memorised
the entire Koran;
a devout man –
then the man in the speeding car
who purposefully mounted the kerb …


I think we all should kneel
on that English street,
where he widowed your pregnant wife, Shazad,
tossed your soul to the air, Abdul,
and brought your father, Haroon, to his knees,
his face masked in only your blood
on the rolling news
where nobody’s children riot and burn.

Carol Ann Duffy is the poet laureate. This poem was first published by the Guardian.

3 thoughts on “Birmingham for Tariq Jahan”

  1. Thanks to Carol Ann Duffy for a most beautiful and inspiring poem in honour of the three innocents who were killed by the neferious killers of innocence.

    1. I am saddened by the recent events in Birmingham and have great respect for the father of one of the victims. He deserves the utmost respect. He has displayed immense control and thoughtfulness to the community.
      May compassion and empathy prevail and hopefully the leaders of the country will listen to all the people to make England a good place to live for everyone.

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