LONDON: A brand new Lonely Planet information to Nice Britain options a complete chapter on the nation’s little-known Islamic heritage, which stretches again greater than 1,200 years.
Revealed this month, “Expertise Nice Britain” is a part of the writer’s vary of “anti-guidebooks,” so-called due to the distinctive native views they provide vacationers.
The information to Britain has sections and essays titled “Legacies of Empire,” “Bristol’s Black Historical past,” “An Different London” and “Hidden Muslim Britain,” all of which search to shine a lightweight on the nation’s marginalized cultures and their tales.
Tharik Hussain, the Muslim writer of “Minarets within the Mountains: A Journey Into Muslim Europe,” which explores the continent’s indigenous Muslim cultures, contributed to the brand new journey information.
“I believe it’s great to see mainstream guidebooks like this lastly going out of their method to embrace such actually numerous experiences for guests,” he mentioned.
“So usually, writers like me are introduced onto such initiatives to tick a field and create the impression there are numerous views in it, however truly we’re usually requested to only write about the identical issues coated by the earlier writers. What’s numerous about that?
“To attain really numerous views commissioning editors should choose writers from totally different backgrounds after which be courageous and empower writers to return again with what they discover fascinating, even when that goes towards the editor’s expectations.”
Hussain, who developed one of many UK’s first Muslim heritage trails, wrote the “Hidden Muslim Britain” chapter, which focuses on Woking — residence to the UK’s first purpose-built mosque, the Shah Jahan — Liverpool and Brighton, the place a number of the nation’s most seen Islamic legacies might be discovered.
These embrace Britain’s first Muslim cemetery — the ultimate resting place of convert lords, women and Muslim royalty — and Brighton Pavilion, the place injured Muslim (in addition to Sikh and Hindu) troopers preventing for Britain in World Conflict I have been handled.
“The information additionally reveals the place to go to spectacular ‘oriental rooms’ modeled on well-known Muslim palaces just like the Alhambra in Spain and the Topkapi in Turkey,” Hussain mentioned.
“That is supported by an essay referred to as Anglo Islam that reveals how Islam got here to the island as early because the eighth century, when an Anglo-Saxon king referred to as Offa minted a gold coin that includes a part of the Muslim declaration of religion in Arabic.”
The essay additionally tells of how Britain’s first actual Muslim group “have been a bunch of white, convert Victorians who worshipped on the nation’s first mosque in Liverpool, based by a solicitor referred to as Henry William Quilliam, later Abdullah Quilliam,” he added.
The part on empire tells guests the place they’ll go to find out about “the horrors of British imperial rule,” and how you can expertise extra constructive post-colonial legacies just like the gorgeous Neasden Temple in northwest London, constructed by immigrants who moved to Britain after the collapse of the empire, Hussain mentioned.
The information additionally tells of the cultural institutes arrange by the Turkish, Palestinian, Bangladeshi and Black communities in London, just like the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, and gives alternate options to the same old vacationer sights, such because the Muslim Historical past Excursions and the Open Metropolis strolling excursions that discover London’s forgotten Chinese language heritage.