Islamic Fundamentalism

Book Report/Review
Pages 3 (753 words)
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An immigrant, like thousands others, Parvez, the Pakistani taxi driver, arrives in London for a better life. Set in East London, Hanif Kureishi's, My Son the Fanatic, is a short story that deals with religious and social conflicts between two distinctly different cultures and countries and brings about the rift in a father-son relation, each of whom represents the opposing forces.


Though the exact background of Parvez's coming to Britain is not revealed in the story, we can assume that he was one of the thousands of immigrants to have come to UK from the commonwealth, presumable by obtaining a work permit. Like most immigrants, the dream of a better life, so that his son, Ali, can grow up in privileged circumstances, be a model citizen, and an established person, accepted socially and culturally in Britain. To Parvez, the change that he witnesses in Ali is nothing less than betrayal. His entire attempt to support Ali, with all the essentials and luxuries - good suits, books, computer, guitar, TV - has been his attempts to make Ali's life simple and better than his own. Parvez feels let down that Ali has not reciprocated to his efforts by being a responsible son. Parvez shares his confusion about Ali, with Bettina, his confederate and friend. Bettina is a prostitute, who has known Parvez for three years. At all junctures of the story, Bettina is seen to provide the right support and advice to Parvez. When at his wit's end, Parvez says that he will ask his son to leave the house, Bettina says, "But you mustn't give up on him. ...
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