Pakistani men are becoming victims of “character assassinations” by the media after tragedies, claims a neighbour of man labelled as a drug dealer after he was killed in a multi-car crash earlier this week.
Kasar Jehangir, 25, was one of three men who were sadly killed when they were thrown from their Audi S3 in a multi-car crash on Sunday.
He had been travelling in the Audi with Mohammed Fasha, 30, and 26-year-old Tauqeer Hussain in Birmingham on Sunday.
All three died when the car was involved in a collision with a taxi at 1.10am. A fourth passenger in the Audi, a man aged 22, was seriously injured.
The driver of the taxi, Imtiaz Mohammed, a father-of-six, along with a man aged 42 and a woman aged 43 also died in the incident.
Mr Mohammed, 33, described by grieving relatives as a “happy, loving and friendly guy”, was on his last job before heading home to his wife and family, according to his brother.
Several news publications were quick to label Kasar Jehangir as a drug dealer and a dangerous driver after unearthing his previous convictions.
Dramatic video from a police chase 17 months ago involving Kasar was also shown on several publications.
A neighbour of the victim, Maz Saleem, has now accused the media of vilifying him because of his race.
She said:“Over the last few days I have realised that to be black, brown, Muslim or foreign today is treated as a crime in itself. Suspicion and false accusations come naturally in the case of all these groups,” she wrote in a piece for The Independent.
“Sensationalised media headlines of Kasar’s past convictions, labelling him as nothing more than a drug dealer, make it feel like a trial is taking place now in the media. But this is a trial in which he has already been found guilty and in which he has no fair representation or voice – because he has been killed in a horrific car crash.
“He did the time for his conviction and this news has to differentiate from the crash – as it may have absolutely nothing to do with it.”
Kasar was jailed last year after being caught driving 120mph on the M6
Heroin was thrown from the Audi S3 as it was pursued along the M6 near Walsall in the early hours of July 18 2015.
Mr Jehangir later pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.
He was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court to 36 months in prison. It is understood he had recently been released.
Police continue to follow up various lines of investigation including the condition of the road when the crash happened at Belgrave and Lee Bank Middleway, near Edgbaston.
Superintendent Sean Phillips, from West Midlands Police, told a Press conference on Sunday: “It is way too early to speculate on the causes of the accident.
“It will take some time to unpick the scene and just understand exactly what’s happened. It would be unfair for me to speculate at this time.”
Last year, a couple whose son was shot dead by police on the M62 also said they felt their son had been vilified in the media after he was shot dead by police.
Yassar Yaqub, 28, was killed in the front passenger seat of an Audi that was stopped by armed police on the slip road at Ainley Top.
Media instantly labelled him a ‘drug dealer’ and a ‘stud badboy’ but his parents and friends insisted he had never been involved with drugs or had any previous convictions for drugs.
Mohammed Yaqub and wife Safia are now campaigning for justice, claiming their son was killed unlawfully.
Mr Yaqub also said he wanted to dispel a few myths and untruths about his son.
People have the wrong impression about him,” said Mr Yaqub.
“He worked from the age of 16 and was on the payroll and paid his taxes and people say ‘drugs, drugs, drugs’ but he had no convictions for drugs.
“I know people will have their say on Facebook but this is what I want to say.”