Saudi Arabia bans 50 'blasphemous' baby names
Interior ministry outlaws names that offend religious sensibilities, names related to royalty, and names of foreign origin, including the given name of Israel's very own PM Netanayhu.
Saudi Arabia has banned some 50 names for newborns on the grounds that they are blasphemous and contradict the culture of the kingdom, including the given name of Israel's very own Prime Minister Netanyahu.
The list banned by the interior ministry include names deemed to offend religious sensibilities, names related to royalty, and names of foreign origin, according to the Dubai-based Gulf News.
On the list for example are Amir, which means prince in Arabic, Abdel Nabi, which means slave of the Prophet, and the name of Paul McCartney's big love, Linda.
Abdel Nasser and Binyamin were also outlawed. Neither name is considered particularly offensive to Muslims, according to Gulf News, which added that Binyamin was the name of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Abdel Nasser is the name of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser who, Gulf News reminded readers, was at odds with the Saudi kingdom.
Other Western names on the list include Sandy, Lauren and Alice. Royalty-related names included Sumuw, highness, Malek, king, and Malika, Queen.
Of course, Saudi Arabia is not the only country to ban given names deemed as offensive.
Two years ago, Israel was considering a bill that would add to the grounds on which the interior minister could refuse to register a baby's name. The idea was to protect children from names that could be the object of future mockery.
Earlier this year, the northern Mexican state of Sonora banned parents from registering names that are "derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory or lacking in meaning" for their babies. On a list of 61 names circulated by the civil registry were Burger King, Usnavy, Harry Potter and Hitler.
The list of names banned in Saudi Arabia, as published in Gulf News:
Nabiyya (female prophet)
Al Mamlaka (the kingdom)
Basmala (utterance of the name of God)
Rama (Hindu god)
Jibreel (angel Gabriel)
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