Parents banned from naming children muslim names in China

Parents have been banned by the Chinese authorities in western China from naming their children Islamic names.

The move is seen by analysts as part of the Asian giant’s efforts to minimise religious influence on life in the ethnic Uighur minority heartland.

According to reports from China, “Muhammad,” ”Jihad” and “Islam” are among at least 29 names banned in the predominantly Muslim region.

If a parent chooses one of the barred names, the child will be denied government benefits.

“Imam,” ”Hajj,” ”Turknaz,” ”Azhar” and “Wahhab” are on the list, as are “Saddam,” ”Arafat,” Medina” and “Cairo.”

Reports said the names were banned because they were related to historic religious or political figures and some place names.

It is unclear how widespread the ban is or whether it is tightly enforced.

The naming restrictions are part of a broader government effort to secularise Xinjiang, which is home to roughly 10 million Uighurs, a Turkic people who mostly follow Sunni Islam.

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