My Son the Fanatic Questions and Answers
by Hanif Kureishi

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Describe the character of Parvez in "My Son the Fanatic."

Parvez in "My Son the Fanatic" is a hard-working, cheerful man with a generally positive outlook on life. Thoroughly assimilated into Western society, he is very open-minded and so is naturally concerned by the behavior of his son, a would-be jihadist.

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Parvez is a man who was scarred by his childhood in Pakistan, especially by a strict and sometimes humiliating Islamic education. To him, experiencing Western culture and prosperity by settling in London has been a form of freedom and nirvana.

Parvez has been delighted with the opportunity to get ahead financially through his hard work as a cab driver. He hopes for even more material success for his son, Ali, and is glad to support him by buying him expensive computer equipment and aiding him with his higher education so that he can become a white-collar worker. He desires western material success for his son and helping him to it is an expression of his love. From Parvez's perspective, giving Ali material goods is the best he can possibly offer his son.

Parvez believes strongly in enjoying the gifts of the material world and is not much interested in spirituality or the afterlife. He has been glad to give up Muslim prohibitions, such as on pork and alcohol, and he is close with a...

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