Islam in Bed with Europe in “My Son the Fanatic” Essay

My Son the Fanatic is a movie that addresses the cultural struggle of both Islamic integrating in into Europe and English civilization. every bit good as the relationship that arises between a male parent and his Muslim boy when the kid grows up to go an Muslim fundamentalist. ( Udayan Prasad. 1997. England ; screenplay by Hanif Kureishi ) A Pakistani cab driver in a Northern English town has an matter with a cocotte and chauffeurs her and her co-workers to do excess money. When his boy becomes an Islamic fundamentalist and joins in an attempt to clean up frailty in the town. the family’s truenesss and beliefs are tested.

This movie wholly tests the struggle that exists with Islam meeting the European universe through migrations and cultural development. Kureishi reveals the nucleus struggle of the world of English sexual revolution of the 60’s meeting Islamic sexual arrested development of the present epoch. In the New York Time’s article “My Beautiful London” . writer Rachel Donadio. notes. “One of the most telling penetrations into Britain’s recent societal history comes early in “My Son the Fanatic. ” Hanif Kureishi’s stamp and darkly prescient 1997 movie.

It’s forenoon in an nameless metropolis in northern England. and Parvez. a secular Pakistani immigrant cab driver brightly portrayed by Om Puri. tickers Farid. his progressively devout college-age boy. sell his electric guitar. ” The kernel of this cultural struggle between Islamic and Western English civilization can be seen in both in how the film maker and the cardinal character. the cab driver Parvez and his boy Farid. are raised. They are both brought up by Mullahs and nuns likewise which reveals the complex nature of multicultural issues a Muslim immigrant might meet populating in Europe.

The potency for secret plan development is endless as the manager notes “You can’t ask people to give up their faith ; that would be absurd. ” he wrote in The Guardian. But hardline positions might modify “as they come into contact with other thoughts. ” That was the kernel of “effective multiculturalism” : non a superficial exchange of festivals and nutrients driven by broad guilt. but something else wholly — an brush with human desires in all their complexness. Higson poses the inquiry in his article “The Limiting Imagination of National Cinema. ” “When is a film ‘national’ ?

. asks Susan Hayward ( 1993: 1 ) . As if in reply. Crofts delineates several different types of ‘national’ film that have emerged in different historical fortunes ( 1993. 1998 ) . They have performed rather distinguishable maps in relation to the province ( Higson. p63 ) . Hanif Kureishi’s work “My Son the Fanatic” fits this description precisely. The Film is historical and has an consequence on multicultralism through its relevancy and relation to England and the occurrences of the ‘state.

’ In besides being historical. “My boy the Fanatic is besides a merchandise of National Cinema” . as “Proclamations of national film are therefore in portion one signifier of internal cultural colonialism: it is. of class. the map of institutions—and in this instance national cinemas—to pull together diverse and contradictory discourses. to joint a contradictory integrity. to play a portion in the hegemonic procedure of accomplishing consensus. and incorporating difference and contradiction Higson p. 139 ) .

Islamic jurisprudence is officially composed of actual interlingual renditions of Arab tribal imposts and ancient Muslim traditions every bit good as the Koran. and quotes from the Islamic prophesier Muhammad every bit good as his predecessors. “When you acquire down to it. there are two types of people in Kureishi’s work: those running toward sex and those running off from it ( p. 6 ) ” In the movie Parvez’s boy Farid notes that he is seeking “Belief. pureness. belonging to the yesteryear. ” and so he notes “I won’t conveying up my kids in this state.

” This represents the classh between what is now his fundamentalist beliefs through devotedness to Islam and the clash European civilizations airss on those beliefs. Farid sees no manner both ways of life can be together. Likewise. Parvez represents the incarnation of a westernized Muslim. so much so that he can’t identitfy with boy. In the movie this conversation boils up into a struggle in which Parvez begins to crush his boy repeatedly. until his boy shouts to him “who’s the overzealous now?

” A major motive of the movie that Kureishi references in his interview. is the construct of old Sharia jurisprudence and the ancient traditions of the past being re-imposed on a post-sexual revolution nowadays. Kurishi points this intergenerational play out as dry when he says. It perplexed me that immature people. brought up in secular Britain. would turn to a signifier of belief that denied them the pleasances of the society in which they lived. ( Donp.

7 he goes on to nail that exact issue that faces the relationship for shared for immature people refering Islam and western civilization to day of the month when he says. “the West. the Nietzschean undertaking. has been to drive out faith and to bring forth a secular society in which work forces and adult females make their ain values because morality is gone. Then all of a sudden extremist faith returns from the Third World. How can you non laugh at that? How can you non happen that a deep historical sarcasm? ” This sarcasm Kureishi speaks of is the chief subject of the movie.

In Richard Dyer’s essay The White Man’s Muscle. he talks about stereotypes that have been enforced linking as far back as the Greek epoch. and that now dominate movie and telecasting fundamentally advancing the high quality of white maleness. Body hair is animalistic ; hair¬lessness connotes endeavoring above nature. The flood tide of Gli amori di Ercole has Hercules contending a elephantine ape. who has antecedently behaved in a King Kong-ish manner towards Hercules’s beloved Dejanira. stroking her hair and when she screams doing every bit if to ravish her ; close-ups contrast Hercules’s smooth. hairless musculuss with the haired limbs of this racialist original.

( Dyer ) Here Dyer points out how the topmost kernel of maleness is equated with shaved white musculus. through its really contrast to that of hair apes. who are historically associated with inkiness. He acknowledges the racialist facets of this original. but besides gives notice to the private boys’ club-like tradition that has formed from this bias. This outlook demonstrates the prototype of the universe in which

A province bureau for measuring public spiritual schools had given a top evaluation to a Muslim school that was recommending a return to the Caliphate ; the interior curate at the clip. Jack Straw. came under fire for proposing that it might be hard for a community-relations functionary to run into with components who wear a full head covering ; an Indian adult female populating in England was lured back to India and murdered in an award violent death ; the archbishop of Canterbury said he thought England might see doing some adjustment for Shariah. or Muslim jurisprudence.

What. I wondered. did Kureishi do of all this? ( . p. 7 ) “There aren’t any replies to these inquiries. ” he replied. “They’re merely inquiries that everybody has to prosecute in and believe approximately. What is it like to do a multicultural society? How far do you travel in multiculturalism? Do you hold parts of the state under Shariah jurisprudence. for case? What would that intend? How does that work? You have to take this material earnestly. ” ( p. 7 ) In amount. “My Son the Fanatic” is powerful with cultural complexness and relevancy.

The movie speaks volumes about current issues confronting the Western universe today every bit good as those being posed by. and imposed upon the Middle East. One can’t see this movie and overlook the tenseness brewing between the two civilizations of the Muslim universe and the Christian European environment in which it finds itself. The movie does an first-class occupation of supplying reliable reading for a struggle that is undyingly relevant and prevailingly influential in today’s socioeconomic and political clime.

Work Cited

Bordwell & A ; Thompson “Film History” 2004 Donadio. Rachel “My Beautiful London” New York Times August 8. 2008 Dyer. Richard “The White Man’s Muscles” in White London Higson. & A ; Fowler. Catherine. “The European Cinema Reader” London New York Ptacek. J. . & A ; Dodge. K. Coping Strategies and Relationship Satisfaction in Couples. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology. 21 ( 1 ) . ( 1995 ) . 76-84. Savran. David. ( 1998 ) . “Taking It Like a Man: White Masculinity. Masochism. and Contemporary American Culture. ” 380 pp.


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