In Birmingham, where three young Muslim men died after being hit by a car during the riots, there were fears that it might stir up animosity between Asian and African‑Caribbean people.
There have been tensions in the city in the past. But thousands came together at the “One City One Voice for Peace” rally in Summerfield Park last Sunday.
Tariq Jahan, the father of one of the men who died, addressed the crowd wearing a T-shirt with the names of the three men on it.
They were hit by a car while on the streets trying to protect a shop during a riot.
Tariq said, “To see the community together gives me strength in my heart. I’m one of you, the people. I’m nobody special or important.”
The event brought people together in a multi-faith event that centred on unity and friendship.
There were some questions asked, though, about why the Tory head of Birmingham council and the police chief were asked to speak. One local said, “They have never shown much interest in this area before.”
Another added, “Today the police are praising the peaceful Muslim community, but usually they think we’re all terrorists.”
Right to Work, Barac and Unite Against Fascism are holding a joint “What caused the riots?”, public meeting on Tuesday 23 August, 7pm, Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham, B4 7SX