The hardcore Islamist theocrats in the Saudi Arabian government have just outlawed at least fifty names for babies as illegal on the basis of being either blasphemous, culturally insulting, or perceived as disrespectful to the Royal House of Saud, as reported on March 16, 2014 by the Islamic/Arabic-centric news portal Al-Bawaba (of Amman, Jordan), The Washington Post, and The Week magazine (of London, UK).
The Saudi Ministry of the Interior released a listing of the taboo titles broken down into three separate and specific categories: Names that would be unacceptable to Islam; non-Arabic names; names that may be considered disrespectful to the royal family, or to a lesser extent, a name glorifying the enemies of the nation.
Alice and Linda didn’t pass cultural muster, but in all fairness, neither did Amir, Malek and Malika, which happen to mean in Arabic — “prince,” “king,” and “queen” respectively.
While certain names, such as Abdul (“worshiper of” or “slave of”) are common in Arab households, if combined with another name such as Nabi (“the prophet”), the name Abdul Nabi translates into “worshiper of the prophet,” making the child guilty of not worshiping Allah and, therefore, a blasphemer.
The Hindu deity Rama was axed along with Binyameen (Benjamin). With the latter being a minor Old Testament/Torah prophet, eyebrows were raised as to why his name was added. Speculation has suggested that the problem with Binyameen is that it happens to be the first name of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The full list is as follows:
- Abdul Ati
- Abdul Nasser
- Abdul Mosleh
- Abdul Nabi
- Abdul Rasool
- Abdul Mo’een
Saudi Arabia isn’t flying solo when it comes to governments telling people what is and isn’t an acceptable name. This past August, a judge in Tennessee “ordered the parents of a 7-month-old boy to change his name to Martin from Messiah.”
It’s illegal in Germany to name one’s child “Hitler.” And speaking of Germany, local officials recently nixed a Turkish couple residing in Germany from naming their newborn “Usama Bin Laden.”
New Zealand has a rather lengthy listing of banned monikers ranging from “Lucifer” to “4Real” to the highly questionable “Anal.”
Sweden has officially banned “Ikea,” “Metallica,” “Veranda” and “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116.”