Bestselling new guide tells story of Europe’s forgotten Muslims

Writer: Zaynab KhojjiID: 1613757571263430800Fri, 2021-02-19 21:00

LONDON: “Minarets within the Mountains” traces the roots of Europe’s little-known native Muslim populations, and in telling their story cuts to the center of what it means to be a European and a Muslim within the 21st century.
Acclaimed journey author Tharik Hussain made a reputation for himself protecting Saudi Arabia’s hidden touristic treasures and tracing Britain’s historical Islamic heritage, however his newest guide tells a really totally different story.
He advised Arab Information that his new guide is the very human story of his household vacation throughout the Balkans — a enjoyable and light-hearted journey taken along with his spouse and kids, however one which prompts readers to ponder and confront longstanding myths about European and Muslim identification, and the connection between the 2.
“I wished to convey to the eye of the mainstream the concept that Europe has an indigenous Muslim heritage,” Hussain mentioned.
He and his household toured Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Kosovo, assembly locals and exploring the roots of Muslim populations that date again centuries.
However in contrast to his earlier European journeys, reminiscent of to the south of Spain to jot down in regards to the long-lost Islamic civilization of what was then referred to as Al-Andalus, this journey was very totally different — it explored a Muslim tradition “that’s alive and thriving in the present day,” Hussain mentioned.

“The widespread, accepted knowledge is that Europe is Judeo-Christian with pagan parts. That’s a fallacy. Islam has been right here in Europe for the reason that very first century of Islam.”
He mentioned indigenous Muslims within the Balkans have been “stored at arm’s size” by being labeled East European and thus excluded from the accepted European mainstream.
“Japanese Europe,” to Hussain, is almost synonymous with “Different Europe.” This, he mentioned, has contributed to the misunderstanding that the continent doesn’t have native and indigenous Muslim populations. In the end, his guide dispels that fantasy.
“As a British Muslim, I’ve needed to hearken to political opportunists in veiled and generally specific methods saying that Muslims aren’t part of the European panorama and that there’s an ongoing invasion of Muslim refugees. That’s simply utter nonsense. There have been Muslims in Europe for the reason that seventh century,” he mentioned.
“Minarets within the Mountains” might be launched on June 21, however in pre-sales alone it has already turn out to be a bestselling journey guide on Amazon.
Hussain attributes this success to a mixture of public starvation for journey writers exterior the mainstream, white, middle-class and male-dominated discipline, in addition to an urge for food for work that gives an perception into untold tales and novel takes on the continent’s historical past.
“I’m not denying that there’s a Judeo-Christian heritage, nor that there’s a pagan heritage. I’m saying that is additionally a historical past that must be introduced ahead and understood,” he mentioned. “The guide’s success exhibits that persons are responding to that.”

Principal class: booksLifestyleTags: EuropeMuslims Lonely Planet information reveals Saudi Arabia’s tourism treasures

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