The short-story My Son the Fanatic is written by the British author Hanif Kureishi. He grew up in England in the 1950s and 1960s, being the son of a Pakistani immigrant and an English woman. He studied philosophy and began writing novels at an early age. Being the son of an immigrant, a majority of his novels unravel the difficulties and challenges a huge amount of immigrants face in their new country, especially the difficulties involved in finding a place to belong. Some of Kureishi’s most famous scripts and novels are among others My Beautiful Laundrette and The Buddha of Suburbia.
Parvez, the father of the teenage boy Ali, begins noticing changes in his son’s behaviour and at first sees this as a good thing. He believes that his son is finally growing out of his teenage attitude and taking more responsibility. However, when Ali begins throwing out valuable belongings and his friends starts avoiding him, Parvez gets seriously worried, and feels as if his son is ungrateful and that he himself has done something wrong as a father.
Finally he opens up to his colleagues who instantly believe that Ali has a drug problem and that he is selling his things to afford drugs, which later is revealed to be incorrect, seeing that he is giving his belongings away to charity. Parvez begins watching every movement Ali makes, but can not find that anything is physically wrong with his son.
He shortly after finds out that Ali has become interested and fascinated by the religion Islam, and that he spends all his time praying or going to the mosque. While Parvez feels relived, he can not help feeling frustrated and afraid at the same time. After a disagreement between Ali and his father, in which Ali utters his distaste towards his fathers friendship with an English woman and his consuming of alcohol, Parvez ends up beating his son, to which his son’s only repose is the statement; “So who’s the fanatic now?”.
The plot surely did not take place so long ago,...
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