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."
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Film review: My son the Fanatic
Monday, April 29, 2013
Marvin X reviews the film My Son the Fanatic
Understanding London--And Boston!
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.
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.”
reveals that Muslims in Europe, and London in particular, are not only
politically disenfranchised but culturally, economically, and
spirituality alienated as well.
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
The Review of the film My Son the Fanatic
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
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.
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.
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.
understand clearly, if the reactionary secular regimes cannot or do not
eradicate ignorance, poverty and disease, they will be replaced.
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.
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.
* * * * *
This film review appears in Marvin X's book of essays, In the Crazy House Called America, Black Bird Press, 2002.