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Sarfraz Manzoor grew up in a working-class Pakistani Muslim family in Luton where he was raised to believe that they were different, they had an alien culture and they would never accept him. They were white people.
In today’s deeply divided Britain we are often told they are different, they have a different culture and values and they will never accept this country. This time they are Muslims.
Weaving together history, reportage and memoir, Sarfraz Manzoor journeys around Britain in search of the roots of this division – from the fear that Islam promotes violence, to the suspicion that Muslims wish to live segregated lives, to the belief that Islam is fundamentally misogynistic.
They is also Manzoor’s search for a more positive future. We hear stories from Islamic history of a faith more tolerant and progressive than commonly assumed, and stories of hope from across the country which show how we might bridge the chasm of mutual mistrust.
They is at once fiercely urgent, resolutely hopeful and profoundly personal. It is the story of modern, Muslim Britain as it has never been told.