Shahid | Former Extremist

Shahid fought skinheads in the 1980’s in Birmingham, then became an aid worker and soon joined the foreign fighters brigade in Bosnian – and then he was falsely imprisoned in Yemen. He is now active in combating racism, extremism and gang activity back in the UK.

Former Far-Right Extremist

Nigel became a leading Far-Right activist from the age of 16. He joined the National Front in 1982 and during the 1990s was a national council member for Combat 18.

Yasmin the Recruiter

Yasmin’s role was to recruit other women to join the extremist organisation in their aim to create a State. She now works to dissuade young people from joining extremist groups.

Is joining, surviving and leaving a gang that clear-cut?

Narratives of redemption are rarely straightforward.  In the short film of Hezron recently released  by ConnectFutures, we hear of his journey from a gruelling, brutal childhood, through homelessness, a criminal record, to gang membership and violence and finally to his current role as ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and mentoring young people. It is not all grim.  […]

Is it safe to invite a former extremist into schools to talk to your students?

At a recent showcase of our films of former extremists talking about their experiences, secondary school students (alongside teachers) were intrigued to meet one of them live, with the opportunity to ask questions. Amongst other things, students were fascinated to know whether Shahid regretted becoming a fighter and being involved in violence.  His answer was complex.  The path that he […]

Death of Dialogue: online reactions to former extremist films on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme

“You terrorists sympathisers… no wonder, coming from the UK media” Denying female agency Four exclusive films – featuring four former members of Far Right and extreme Islamist movements – were released on 13th December 2016 by ConnectFutures, providing brief insights about their personal journeys into and out of extremism. Former extremists pose challenging questions about what motivates ordinary […]

The Ordinariness of Violence and the Stories of Formers

How can the stories of former violent extremists be the catalyst for an ambitious community-led crowdfunder? Here’s how. A beautiful man, or a cold blooded killer: this is the current dichotomy conjured by the name Mohammed Emwazi, or perhaps more commonly his media sobriquet ‘Jihadi John’, a name that elicits widely and rightly held hostility, […]

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