Shahid Butt works with community based organisations to de-construct extremist ideas and highlight the dangers of groups like ISIS.
Shahid has presented in Schools, Colleges and Universities, Public Sector bodies and various law enforcement agencies within the UK and Europe. Shahid has also contributed to varied academic research papers, TV documentaries and media interviews.
He was born in Pakistan in 1965 before moving to Birmingham at an early age with his parents.
The turning point in Shahid’s life came when he was aged 11, after being attacked on route home by a group of skin heads.
In 1980 Shahid became a founding members of a gang called Lynx. Lynx members became well known for fighting street battles with racist groups like the ‘Skinheads’ and the ‘National Front’, leading to Shahid getting into trouble with the law, and being sent to prison.
In the early 1990’s Shahid travelled to Bosnia as an aid worker, and on seeing the terrible situation he stayed and joined the foreign fighters brigade of the Bosnian army.
During the next 8 years he travelled to Afghanistan and Kashmir.
In 1998 he was arrested in Yemen on suspicion of terrorist activity and was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
On release in 2003 he set about rebuilding his life and spent many years using his vast personal experience to engage with young adults discouraging them from gangs, drugs and potential extremism.