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LONDON: A new Lonely Planet travel guide to Britain includes a whole chapter on the country’s little-known Islamic heritage, which stretches back more than 1,200 years.

Experience Great Britain, released this month, is part of the publisher’s range of ‘anti-travel guides’, so named for the unique local perspectives they offer travellers.

The Guide to Britain contains sections and essays entitled Legacies of Empire, Bristol’s Black History, An Other London and Hidden Muslim Britain, all aiming to shed light on the nation’s marginalized cultures and their to throw stories.

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Tharik Hussain, the Muslim author of Minarets in the Mountains: A Journey Into Muslim Europe, which explores the continent’s indigenous Muslim cultures, has contributed to the new guide.

“It’s wonderful to see that mainstream travel guides like this are finally making an effort to include such truly different experiences for visitors,” he said.

“So often writers like me are brought on to projects like this to tick a box and give the impression that there are different perspectives, but in fact we are often asked to only write about the same things that were covered by the previous writers. What is so diverse about it?

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“To achieve truly diverse perspectives, the commissioning editors must select writers from diverse backgrounds and then be bold and empower the writers to come back with what they find interesting, even if it contradicts the publisher’s expectations.”

Hussain, who developed one of the first Muslim heritage trails in Britain, wrote the chapter Hidden Muslim Britain, which focuses on Woking – home of Britain’s first purpose-built mosque, the Shah Jahan – Liverpool and Brighton, where some of the Countries of the country live The most visible Islamic legacies can be found.

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These include Britain’s first Muslim cemetery – the final resting place of converted lords, ladies and Muslim kings – and the Brighton Pavilion, where injured Muslim (as well as Sikh and Hindu) soldiers fighting for Britain in World War I were treated.

The guide also tells about cultural institutes founded by the Turkish, Palestinian, Bangladeshi and black communities in London. (Delivered/Tharik Hussain)

“The guide also tells you where to visit spectacular ‘oriental rooms’ modeled after famous Muslim palaces like the Alhambra in Spain and Topkapi in Turkey,” said Hussain.

“This is supported by an essay called Anglo Islam, which shows how Islam came to the island as early as the 8th century when an Anglo-Saxon king named Offa minted a gold coin containing part of the Muslim creed in Arabic.”

The essay also recounts that Britain’s first genuine Muslim congregation “was a group of white converted Victorians who worshiped in Liverpool, the country’s first mosque, founded by a lawyer named Henry William Quilliam, later Abdullah Quilliam,” added he added.

The Empire section tells visitors where to learn about “the horrors of British Imperial rule” and how to experience more positive post-colonial legacies such as the stunning Neasden Temple in north-west London, built by immigrants who went after Britain drew empire collapse, said Hussain.

The guide also tells about the cultural institutes established by London’s Turkish, Palestinian, Bangladeshi and black communities, such as the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, and offers alternatives to the usual tourist attractions, such as the Muslim History Tours and the Open City Walking Tours , exploring London’s forgotten Chinese heritage.