The vexed question of radicalisation is relevant to us all and refuses to allow a single narrative or binary line of enquiry. Instead, we must simultaneously ponder the root causes and processes of radicalisation; how to recognise its beginnings in our communities and how to stamp those beginnings out; and how we can maintain a public discourse around a divisive issue, yet remain sensitive and civil.

Our panel will discuss the challenges of engaging with the subject of radicalisation in writing. They include poet and playwright Avaes Mohammad, whose plays ‘Hurling Rubble at the Sun’ and ‘Hurling Rubble at the Moon’ were about British Muslim extremism and white working class extremism respectively. He’s joined by John Hollingworth, whose debut play ‘Multitudes’ explores conflicting notions of faith and ‘Britishness’; writer and library champion Alan Gibbons, who deals with terrorism in his book ‘An Act of Love’; and moderator Parveen Akhtar, lecturer in Sociology at the University of Bradford.


John Hollingworth

John is an actor and writer for stage and screen. His first full-length play, ‘Multitudes’, played at the Tricycle Theatre in February/March 2015 under the direction of the theatre’s Artistic Director, Indhu Rubasingham. He was subsequently awarded attachments to the National Theatre Studio and the West Yorkshire Playhouse. He has recently been working with Out of Joint in collaboration with the National Theatre on new versions of two modern classics.

About The Authors

Alan Gibbons

Alan Gibbons is a full-time writer and a visiting speaker and lecturer at schools, colleges and literary events nationwide, including the major book festivals: Edinburgh, Northern Children’s Book Festival, Swansea, Cheltenham, Sheffield and Salford. Alan is a key supporter of a nationwide campaign to champion libraries and librarianship, and an honorary CILIP member.

Avaes Mohammad

Writer and performer Avaes Mohammad regularly engages with themes of science, the socio-political and spirituality. With an upbringing that reverberated with words from the Sufi Saints of South Asia as much as the Dub Poets of Jamaica, his influences have left a permanent hue from which he experiences the sacred and profane alike.


About The Academic

Parveen Akhtar

Parveen Akhtar has published widely on political participation, Islam, migration and social change, and her monograph, ‘British Muslim Politics’, was published by Palgrave in 2013. Dr Akhtar’s work has an international audience and she has presented her research to over 40 conferences in 15 countries. She makes regular contributions to public and media debates.