The Chinese government has banned parents from giving their children traditional Islamic names, such as ‘Mohammed’ and ‘Medina’, as part of a recent crackdown against ‘muslim extremists’ in the western Xinjiang province.
Officials in the province, home to over 20 million Chinese Muslims, released the new guidelines in an official document called “List of Banned Ethnic Minority Names.” Parents can no longer name their babies ‘Arafat’, ‘Mujahid’, ‘Medina’, ‘Mohammed’, and other traditional names in the Islamic faith.
“I think it is possible, according to China’s anti-terror law, [that] there are several names forbidden to give to new-born babies, such as Jihad, which means holy war,” said a provincial government official. “It is absolutely forbidden to get registered with this name.”
Chinese officials have threatened those that refuse to comply with the ban, saying they will be denied education, healthcare, and other services provided by the communist state.
The new ban is a reaction from Beijing over a recent spat of terror attacks that have rocked Xinjiang.
Last September Islamic terrorists attacked a local coal mine, killing over 50 people and injuring dozens more. In response, the Chinese government banned certain religious ceremonies and prohibited men from wearing ‘Islamic-style’ beards.