My Son the Fanatic

698 Words3 Pages
My Son the Fanatic My Son the Fanatic is a short story from 1997 written by English short story writer Hanif Kureishi. The story displays just how failed integration and tattered parenting can turn a rootless Pakistani boy into a cold hearted Islamist extremist. In the story, we are introduced to Parvez – a Pakistani father and husband settled in England. Parvez is from Muslim heritage, but does not exercise any of the Muslim traditions. To pay for the daily bread and butter Parvez drives a taxi. He drives at night for the sake of the financial addition, and to avoid his wife, with whom he cannot discuss the issues of his daily life. In order to do so, Parvez consults his close friends and colleagues at the taxi bureau, and also a local prostitute, Bettina. Bettina and Parvez have had a close friendship since he once helped deal with a violent client of hers. Parvez feels that he can speak to Bettina about topics that he would never discuss with his own wife. Parvez makes a good provider for his son’s education, but rarely sees him. Through his daily life as a taxi driver he manages to get along just fine, with a little help from the whiskey bottle. Parvez has a son, Ali. Ali is studying to become an accountant but drops out to study the Koran. Ali is at a new stage of his life where he discovers new aspects of the Muslim faith. He has got rid of all his western cultivated possessions such as his television, computer and fashionable clothes. He stops seeing his English friends and girlfriend, to worship his faith. He looks at his father with contempt, because Parvez refuses to copy his lifestyle and live as a proper Muslim. Ali is a typical example on how a lot of young Muslims in the West turn to extremism when they feel divided by two nations. The difficulty of fitting in both places traps them in a gap between east and west reaching out for indulgent and
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