My Son the Fanatic Questions and Answers
by Hanif Kureishi

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In "My Son the Fanatic" by Hanif Kureishi, who is the real fanatic in the end? Can Parvez be considered to be the fanatic as well?

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The short story "My Son the Fanatic" by Hanif Kureishi tells of Parvez, a Punjabi living in England whose son, Ali, has undergone a profound change. He is no longer interested in sports, games, videos, and his previous career ambitions. He is giving away all his possessions. When Parvez discusses the change with his friends, they suggest that Ali might be taking drugs. However, Parvez can find no evidence of drugs. Ali seems to be healthy and confident.

It turns out that Ali has become a conservative Muslim who prays five times a day and follows the Quran as closely as he can. It also becomes clear that Ali is critical of his father for deviating from the teachings of Islam and for conforming to England's western culture. In the end, Parvez attacks and beats his son out of frustration.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a fanatic is "a person exhibiting excessive enthusiasm and intense uncritical devotion toward some controversial matter (as in religion or politics)." The example...

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