Navid Akhtar is an independent television producer whose work projects a positive image of Islam. He made a well-received documentary on Hajj for Channel 4 and the Ramadan series for the BBC. During the Hajj documentary he sent a Postcard from Saudi each day. Akhtar, from East London, is also involved in a number of education projects and is a media and arts consultant.
In a BBC 2 documentary, “Who Wants to be a Mullah?” shown in March 2005, Navid Akhtar went on a personal quest in search of a greater understanding of Islam and the way it’s practiced in Britain today. He challenged the demonized image of the ‘mad mullah’ and asked whether the current breed of Imams or religious leaders are up to the challenge of connecting with young British Muslims.
In the wake of the London bombings, Akhtar, explored the deep-rooted tensions and alienation within his community and asks how this has contributed to the terror attacks. In the Channel 4 film documentary, Young, Angry and Muslim, he attempted to unravel the clan system which binds together the Pakistani Kashmiri communities. Biraderi, a patriarchal structure governed by tribal elders, has been directly transplanted from the villages of Pakistan to Britain’s cities. Where once it provided support for disorientated families arriving in Britain, Navid argues that it is now the source of division as the younger generation struggles to break free of the strictures it imposes.
He has contributed many articles to mainstream British publications, including The Guardian and Sunday Observer.
The City Circle Insight with Navid Akhtar