Follow Me, Akhi
The Online World of British Muslims
A rich exploration of the unexpected online worlds of British Muslims.
Longlisted for the 2020 Orwell Prize for Political Writing
What does it mean to be Muslim in Britain today? If the media is anything to go by, it has something to do with mosques, community leaders, whether you wear a veil, and your views on religious extremists. But as all our lives become increasingly entwined with our online presence, British Islam has evolved into a multidimensional cultural identity that goes well beyond the confines of the mosque.
Entering a world of memes and influencers, Muslim dating apps, and alt-right Islamophobes, Hussein Kesvani reveals how a new generation of young Muslims who have grown up with the internet are using social media to determine their religious identity on their own terms—something that could change the course of ‘British Islam’ forever.
Hussein Kesvani is a journalist, editor and producer based in London. He is the Europe editor of MEL Magazine, and has written for BuzzFeed, Vice, The Guardian, the New Statesman and The Spectator, among others.
‘A detailed and often witty journey through the online areas where Muslims congregate … Kesvani delivers a tableau of British Muslims wrestling with subjects ranging from clean eating and marriage to LGBT and gender rights.’ — The Observer
‘Deeply researched, surprising and considerate. It portrays the online world of British Muslims as diverse, rich and fraught – but above all else innovative, exciting and criminally under-reported.’ — New Statesman
‘Covers everyone from gamers to Isis fighters, women’s groups to YouTube debaters. … The book’s scope is impressive.’ — The i Newspaper
‘Follow Me, Akhi provides an important first case study into the struggles of British Islamic identity, exploring how a new generation of young Muslims are using the internet to determine identity on their own terms.’ — i-D
‘A fascinating and compelling look at the impact of the internet on the lives of British Muslims. Kesvani is a funny, passionate and wise narrator, and his book is a brilliant meditation on how our online selves shape our mores and identities.’ — Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good Immigrant
‘A superbly engaging book, unparalleled in its urgency and insight. Not only has Kesvani taken a forensic look at the online lives of British Muslims, but he has also crafted a terminology with which to speak about a culturally significant moment in British history.’ — Guy Gunaratne, author of In Our Mad and Furious City
‘Kesvani’s personal quest is relentlessly curious as well as compassionate. This book gives us an unparalleled insight into the digital lives of young Muslims in Britain today.’ — Shelina Janmohamed, author of Generation M: Young Muslims Changing the World