A NEW book that explores sexuality and religion with the ultimate aim of conveying a message of harmony was recently released.
Titled A Right to Love, the novel is written by Australian author Mark Frew.
[showads ad=MREC] Set in Sydney and Moshi, Tanzania, the story revolves around Michael Farril, a non-religious gay man who teaches literacy and numeracy for adults at a tertiary institution.
Michael meets a student, Polycarp, a refugee from Rwanda who has lost all of his family. Michael decides to travel to Africa to find out if any of Polycarp’s family members are still alive, but in the process, he meets a devout Muslim sub-Saharan African man, Ibrahim.
Michael and Ibrahim fall in love and as their relationship develops, they have to adjust to each other’s outlooks on life. Throughout the process, the interpretation of both the Bible and the Koran, and how homosexuality can be accepted within this framework are explored.
Frew said the main message he hoped to convey was that people can live together in peace — and even have meaningful relationships with people of different religious and cultural backgrounds— if they put their hearts into it, rather than be divisive.
“I wanted to try to build a bridge between religious people and non-religious people,” Frew said.
“We live in a world where we’re all rubbing shoulders, especially in Australia. I want people to realise that compromise and harmony is possible.”
A Right to Love is the third book in the Michael Farril Trilogy, with the other instalments titled Michael and the Multicoloured Gospel and Farewell My Pashtun. Frew said A Right to Love could be read independently of the others, although there are allusions to events in previous books.
A Right to Love is now on sale at the Bookpal website for Australian readers, and at Amazon for international readers.