LONDON, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
A new Knight Templar adventure paints a surprisingly multi-cultural and globalised view of both the Middle Ages and the secretive military order.
"Quest For The True Cross" challenges the claims of Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik and others on the far right that the Templars would have rejected today's multicultural agenda. Drawing on two years of research, the fictional story shows a Templar Order that fought for Christianity but never with a racist outlook.
Tony McMahon, the author, has encountered many of the modern lunatic fringe trying to claim the Templars as their political forebears. This is a gross distortion, he says.
"Running a Templar blog - http://thetemplarknight.com/ - and a Facebook page, I've unfortunately run into the far right. They're trying to own the Templar brand but it's time to seize it back. I'm afraid it's not just Breivik but others who depict the Templars as proto-fascists. Nothing could be further from the truth."
Sir William de Mandeville, the book's hero, has a Syrian companion - a 'turcopole' called Pathros. These were fighters hired from among eastern populations in modern Syria and Turkey. The Grand Master of the Templars even had a Saracen secretary and the knights were often accused of being too close to their Muslim opponents.
In the book, we see Pathros facing anti-Saracen barbs and William is forced to defend him from violence.
"The colour of his skin was not the issue but his association with the enemy and a heretical faith. He gets into trouble because of his perceived faith, not his race," says former BBC producer and self-confessed history geek Tony McMahon.
William's quest takes him from Jerusalem to medieval England and on to Al-Andalus - the Islamic caliphate that dominated southern Spain and Portugal. The book reveals a remarkably globalised world where Islam was long part of the European scene.
"This story is action packed and full of battles but it also touches on very current themes I wanted to address," says McMahon.
The author of "Quest For The True Cross" was shortlisted in 2011 for Best Sports Biography for the story of 1980s boxer Errol Christie - "No Place To Hide". He also wrote the biography of Neville Staple (vocalist in The Specials), "Original Rude Boy".
Contacts: Tony McMahon, +44(0)7730043989, [email protected]
SOURCE Tony McMahon