A journal dedicated to truth, freedom of speech and radical spiritual consciousness. Our mission is the liberation of men and women from oppression, violence and abuse of any kind, interpersonal, political, religious, economic, psychosexual. We believe as Fidel Castro said, "The weapon of today is not guns but consciousness."
“If they are going to kill him. I don’t care. My oldest son is killed, so I don’t care. I don’t care if my youngest son is going to be killed today. I want the world to hear this. And, I don’t care if I am going to get killed too. And I will say Allahu Akbar!“--Mother of Boston Bombers
My Son the Fanatic
a film review
In light of recent events in London (and now Boston), I thought it would be important for a clearer understanding of London's Muslim community (and America's) to resend this review of the film My Son The Fanatic.
Most western politicians, media spooks and experts refuse to address the root cause of young men and women willing to self destruct as suicide bombers or why they choose to become fundamentalist Muslims. Westerners and the moderate Muslim experts continue in denial that white supremacy is the root cause of their former colonial subjects desire to remove the last vestiges of the disease of cultural imperialism.
White supremacy has spread hopelessness in young Muslims in Europe and cultural imperialism has spread it to the former colonies, now neo-colonial regimes best described by journalist Ayman Al Amir, who recently said, “Terrorism is the consequence of political ostracism, not religious fanaticism. It is fermented not in the mosques of Egypt or the madrassas of Pakistan but in solitary confinement cells, torture chambers, and the environment of fear wielded by dictatorial regimes.”
The film reveals that Muslims in Europe, and London in particular, are not only politically disenfranchised but culturally, economically, and spirituality alienated as well.
This alienation is simply the nature of the beast, the Mother Country, that devours the little people from the colonies who seek comfort in the Mother but are rejected for being less than human, thus in a twist of the Oedipus complex, they seek to destroy the Mother who has all but destroyed them, stunted their personalities and possibilities for human and spiritual development. (President Obama described the Boston bombers as stunted men!
The Review of the film My Son the Fanatic
…Essentially, it is about the colonized man, the colonized family and its attempt at de-colonization. Ironically, we are challenged to decide who is the fanatic, the father or the son, for both are battling their supposed demons. For the son, it is western culture—the father fights to escape eastern culture, i.e., his Pakistani roots. The son wants to return to his religious roots, Islamic fundamentalism. The father is fanatically in love with secularism—he is non-religious, in love with jazz, blues, alcohol and whores, one in particular.
What if Osama Bin Laden and his band of devils came to your house at the invitation of your son? When his son comes under the influence of fundamental Islam, he get his father to allow a Muslim teacher to visit from Lahore, Pakistan, turning the house into an Islamic center, which the father reluctantly allows because of his deep love for his son. Although he arranges for his son to marry a London policeman’s daughter, the son rejects his father’s request, opting for Islam, claiming the girl represents the worst of western culture. Couldn’t he see how the policeman abhorred him, the son asks the father.
The father is blind: his loveless job as a London taxi driver exposes him to street life and he succumbs, falling seriously in love with a whore, rejecting his homely wife who has failed to inspire him, perhaps because she doesn’t represent the decadent western culture he loves, symbolized and summarized in the whore. For him, the whore has life, love, tenderness, and freedom. Why can’t he get this at home? Is it because the wife represents the old world he rejects so totally? …After his son and comrades attack the whores for being whores—the son actually attacks his father’s whore, spitting on her, and striking her in a violent anti-prostitution riot, forcing the father to expel the imam, with the son departing in disgust.
…In the German trick Mr. Schitz, we see the arrogance of western man who derides the father for being the “little man.” What can the little man from the East do with the white whore, the symbol of western civilization? The little man is inferior by nature, with defects, genetic of course, which disqualifies him from being on par with western man.
Mr. Schitz can pat the “little man” or eastern man on the head, kick him to the ground and apply any number of verbal insults, until eastern man finds a bat in the truck of his car and threatens to use it. Of course, this is the colonized man fighting back, regaining his manhood. The father fights on a personal level, the son on a politico-religious level, but both are fighting colonialism.
Their misunderstanding each other’s fight is symbolic of the tension between moderate and fundamental Muslims. We know we cannot go back to Islam of the Prophet’s day, but nor can we accept the passivity of the moderates. There is no excuse for one billion Muslims being humiliated by a few million Jews in Israel. This is not a question of hatred, but the result of political backwardness, the non-use of power. With Muslim unity, the Palestinian problem could be resolved tomorrow morning.
Until contradictions between moderate and fundamental Muslims are resolved, eastern man will not be able to successfully challenge western man. This, of course, will necessitate revolution because moderate Muslims control most Islamic societies and have no plans to give up power without a struggle—those who struggle against them being described as terrorists to disqualify legitimate freedom fighters who will ultimately challenge the corrupt, undemocratic, secular Muslim nations.
The final question is what will be the nature of the new Nation of Islam. Can fundamentalism function in the modern era or is it antithetical? Will it be repressive, will it be democratic in any sense, not necessarily in the western democratic sense? Will Iran be an example? Tunisia? Turkey? For sure, the motion in the Muslim world will lead to a synthesis of the best of the old and the new.
Let us understand clearly, if the reactionary secular regimes cannot or do not eradicate ignorance, poverty and disease, they will be replaced.
The father’s love of the whore was real. She represented the poor underclass that even the revolutionary son could not accept because of his moral myopia. If the father had married her (another wife being acceptable in Islam), perhaps the son would have respected him and the tension between the old and new would have eased, allowing the possibility of a better day.
After the present convolutions, look for a marriage between old Islam and the new, between East and West. We will either come together or go to hell together. For all his attempts to claim allegiance to the Islamic past, Osama Bin Laden is the most modern of men, using modern technology, modern weapons, modern financial systems, and modern media techniques to the best of his ability.
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This film review appears in Marvin X's book of essays, In the Crazy House Called America, Black Bird Press, 2002.