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December 2018: A West Country Christmas – Dorset in December

Thomas Hardy’s celebration of Christmas in Dorset in his early novel Under the Greenwood Tree is perhaps second only to A Christmas Carol (a version ...More
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Tariq Jahan

Last week during the riots one voice stood out in contrast to bickering politicians and policemen and the racist rantings of too many promoting their own agenda. That voice was the calm and dignified one of Tariq Jahan. Mr Jahan lost his son Haroon during the riots, the 21-year-old killed by a car that careered into him and two of his friends who were trying to protect their area, their community. Tariq Jahan spoke against retribution, talked movingly of his son and the futility of the riots. In a simple speech without rhetorical tricks he probably prevented many more deaths in the Midlands, where mounting tensions between Asian and Black communities looked at one point as if they were in danger of degenerating into racial conflict: “Step forward if you want to lose your sons, otherwise please calm down.” There is a further point to be made about Mr Jahan’s intervention. How often do we get to hear intelligent and reasonable Muslim voices, the ordinary Muslim who cares about life in this country and has allegiance to it? The Asian Britons who have made their homes here and quietly contribute so much to our society. The media listened to him not because of his reason, but because of his tragedy. All too often they would have been seeking some fanatical extremist ‘balanced’ perhaps by a detached and irrelevant think-tank member to comment for a community neither represents. Without wishing to denigrate Mr Jahan in any way last week he was an ordinary hero, though what he said and achieved was extraordinary.

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Brit Quote:
The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind, is curiosity. - Edmund Burke
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On this day:
Henry VI Crowned as Henri II in Paris - 1431, Oliver Cromwell becomes 'lord protector' - 1653, The 'Bill of Rights' established - 1689, Boston tea party - 1773, Battle of the Bulge Begins - 1944
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