Extremism was born on this soil, says writer Avaes Mohammad, and white or Muslim, both sides are being failed by the state.

Born in Blackburn, where the joke was if a Muslim moved in For Sale signs would be whipped up by white neighbours, he grew up trying to step across the divide in communities while avoiding those trying to radicalise him.

“As I grew up I saw organisations trying to capitalise on that feeling of not having an identity,“ says Avaes, who now lives in Finsbury Park.

“That happened around me and to me and they were really intelligent people. It’s wrong to think of extremists as stupid.

“They are intelligent enough to know their identity isn’t fully enough embraced in this country and to look for other answers and have reasoning why they should align themselves with a Pan-Islamist identity rather than a British one.“

He began trying to understand extremism in 2001, penning poetry in response to the riots and 9/11, which saw people of his demographic “looked on as the enemy within“. And now he is tackling the subject head on in a double bill of plays at Park Theatre.

Hurling Rubble at the Sun is a poetic, emotionally-driven exploration British Muslim extremism, set in the night before and the morning of 7/7. Hurling Rubble at the Moon looks at white, working class extremism stretching from June 2001 to July 2005.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Ragevan Vasan stars as T in Hurling Rubble at the Sun

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Jim English stars as Skef in Hurling Rubble at the Moon

“They don’t shy away from graphic vileness of these worlds,“ explains Avaes, “but I hope people will come away understanding the protagonists and perhaps why they feel what they feel.“

The stories draw on his own experiences growing up, but he also did exhaustive research which included travelling to Leeds to talk to people who knew 7/7 bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan, having dinner with a member of extremist Muslim group Al-Muhajiroun and extensive work with groups in Luton, the birthplace of the English Defence League (EDL).

“In Leeds I was surprised a lot of people are in denial that someone raised in their community was involved in 7/7. That is really interesting and governs a character’s opinion in the play,“ says Avaes.

“But there’s nothing as shocking as what we see on the news every day – that people born and raised in this country feel so disenfranchised and alienated by it that they choose to kill people in it. That doesn’t take any research to discover, and, for me, it’s the most shocking thing and the motivation for writing these plays.“

His aim was to find the humanity in both sides of the story and he says he does understand what drove people to commit 7/7.

“That doesn’t in any way justify it, but of course we have to understand it because only then can we start thinking about solutions.

“But I feel it’s pointless to talk about solutions until we can talk about the primary issues – that these people have never been allowed to feel British.

“The first step in their radicalisation is they were never able to feel a part of this identity, so they chose another identity, of a global Muslim political Islamist.

“That’s further exacerbated by the likes of Tony Blair when he told the Muslims in this country to get their own house in order, the implication being British Muslim extremism issue isn’t ours it’s yours.

“Well this extremism was born on this soil, it was these conditions that created it.“

He says of white extremism: “Working class people feel disenfranchised from their relationship with the state and feel there are immigrant communities who are doing better than them and are looked on favourably and that, even though it might not be approvable, it comes from a genuine place and is actually rational.“

The 36-year-old believes acts of terrorism are “divide and rule policy manifesting itself“ and that ultimately the cause lies with the state rather than with any particular ideology.

Labour got his vote in the General Election and he is worried the Tory austerity policy is opposite to what the country needs.

“Our social policy, although you might think twice after the election result, is equality and social fairness, but now we have to grasp the fact that our people have ancestry all around the world.

“We have to choose to live in a society of fear and hate or one where we carry on creating a common fraternity and people who look after each other.“

He adds: “The country always had immigration, identities constantly evolve and merge. So we can’t say ‘this is British identity’ and the people coming in have to subscribe to it. They will bring new flavours to what already exists.

“It won’t go into one monolith, you will still have cricket on the village green, scones and fêtes, and you will still have carnival.

“That makes for a richer country and puts us in the exciting position of showing the rest of the world how it could be done.“

The Hurling Rubble plays run one after the other at Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, until June 6 with post-show discussions on May 22, May 27, June 2 and June 5 and an accompanying exhibition featuring work by photographer Robert Goldstein and ten young artists looking at identity, stillness and extremism.

The theatre has also been given funding for outreach work in the community around the issues raised by the plays.

Details: parktheatre.co.uk