Talking Heads

Next Meeting:

Thursday 12th September 19.30 – 21.00 at HEART

Islamophobia: Rooted in their Religion, or our Politics?

Speaker: Junaid S. Ahmad

The term Islamophobia has always been a highly contested term. The debate about whether it actually exists gained prominence since the 9/11 attacks in the US, 7/7 here in the UK, and a host of other violent attacks during the age of the ‘Global War on Terror.’ For a good part of the past two decades, Islamophobia was considered to be either a figment of our imagination, or a justified response to ‘violent Muslim behaviour,’ or merely a fleeting phenomenon as an understandable reaction to particular events, and would eventually disappear. The fact that Islamophobia has not vanished but only intensified and ‘travelled’ throughout the world compels us to critically assess the claims of its roots and ongoing persistence.

Junaid S. Ahmad is Secretary-General of the International Movement to Create a Just World (JUST-Kuala Lumpur); a PhD candidate in decolonial thought at the School of Sociology, University of Leeds; a fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA-Istanbul); and the Director of the Center for Global Studies at the School of Advanced Studies, University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore, Pakistan.



Talking Heads at HEART

is a monthly gathering where expert speakers bring a mixed Headingley audience up to date on current issues in society. The speakers are often drawn from local university departments or similar organisations and their talks are followed by a series of comments and questions from the audience.

Talking Heads at HEART is an initiative between HDT and HEART. It benefits the community of Headingley and beyond and aims to stimulate, inform and enliven.

Recent topics include:

• Islamaphobia: Rooted in their Religion or our Politics?
• Post Brexit
• The DUP and Britain’s Broken Politics – A Tangled Web
• Disability and Human Rights
• From Mao to Xi Jinping – Utopias and Purgatories in Modern China
• Unlocking Sustainable Cities
• Restorative Practice in Leeds
• Food inequality and food waste – what can be done?
• The Overdevelopment of London/Underdevelopment of Britain
• Climate Change
• The Brexit Crisis
• Understanding North Korea
• Leeds: Cradle for Innovation
• Have things got better for women?
• Understanding homelessness
• Social cohesion, resilience, and community mediation
• What does culture mean to Leeds?
• The housing crisis- and how people power can solve it
• Ethics in business,
• Can we solve poverty?
• Unemployment, jobs and new technology

All welcome


Coming Soon:

Thursday 10th October 19.30 – 21.00

How to be a Space Invader

Speaker: Professor Paul Routledge

Donald Trump in the White House. Growing inequality worldwide. Forty million people affected by catastrophic flooding in South Asia. The media is full of stories of the rise of authoritarian politics; economic inequality; and the effects of climate change. It can sometimes feel that the world around us is dangerous, unpredictable, and in permanent crisis.

However, beyond the mainstream media’s obsession with ratings, celebrity and spectacle, people around the world are attempting to challenge economic and social injustice and fashion alternatives to the current state of affairs.


Thursday 14th November 19.30 – 21.00

Safe as Houses: Private Greed, Political Negligence and Housing Policy After Grenfell

Speaker: Dr Stuart Hodkinson

New urban enclosures, housing privatisation, gentrification, PFI, privatisation of public space and citizen auditing. All of these issues touch on important issues for those living in Headingley and Leeds. Stuart will talk about his new book which links these issues together with a focus on housing policy before and after Grenfell.


Thursday 12th December 19.30 – 21.00

Education provision: positives, problems and possibilities

Speaker: Patrick Murphy, NUT Division Secretary, Rep for E-ACT (Edutrust academies charitable trust)


Thursday 9th January 19.30 – 21.00

Understanding and enhancing community value of traditional retail markets in UK cities

Speaker: Associate Professor Sara Gonzalez

what's on

  • Projects and Events

    HDT Projects and EventsVisit page

  • Farmers Market

    Sat 14th September 2019Visit page

  • Zero Carbon Headingley

    Wednesday 4th September, 7.30pm at HEART - all welcomeVisit page

  • Films at HEART

    Tues 10th September - Mid90sVisit page

  • Talking Heads

    Thurs 12th September - Islamophobia: Rooted in their Religion, or our Politics?Visit page

  • Café Scientifique

    Mon 14th October - The History of Code BreakingVisit page

@HDTHeadingley on Twitter

more information

We meet in HEART at 7.30 on the second Thursday of each month, except August – suggested donation £3-5.

After a [usually lively!] discussion on the issues raised people often repair to the HEART Cafe or local bar.

Mailing List

If you would like to be put on the mailing list and be kept informed of all upcoming topics contact: