Tags: china | bans | islamic | baby | names

China Bans Islamic Baby Names With 'Strong Religious Flavor'

Image: China Bans Islamic Baby Names With 'Strong Religious Flavor'

Flyer said to be list of 29 baned Muslim names. (Daily Mail Twitter screengrab)

By    |   Friday, 28 Apr 2017 07:42 AM

China banning Islamic baby names with a "strong religious flavor" in one of its most restive areas is another attempt to mute the fervor being blamed for increasing violence where the Muslim Uyghur minority live.

Children in the northwestern region of Xinjiang with the banned names could be denied access to health care and education under a household registration system, reported Radio Free Asia. Sources in Hotan told the broadcaster that a similar ban popped up in the southern part of the region in 2015.

The Guardian reported officials in the western region of Xinjiang, where roughly half of China's 23 million Muslims live, released a list of banned baby names.

"You're not allowed to give names with a strong religious flavor, such as Jihad or names like that," one Xinjiang official told Radio Free Asia. "The most important thing here is the connotations of the name ... (it mustn't have) connotations of holy war or of splittism (Xinjiang independence)."

Islam, Quran, Mecca, Jihad, Imam, Saddam, Hajj, and Medina were some of the dozens of baby names banned under ruling Chinese Communist Party's "Naming Rules For Ethnic Minorities," an official told Radio Free Asia last week.

Sophie Richardson, China director of Human Rights Watch, called the restriction "absurb."

"Violent incidents and ethnic tensions in Xinjiang have been on the rise in recent years, but the government's farcically repressive policies and punishments are hardly solutions," said Richardson.

"Instead, they are only going to deepen resentment among Uyghurs. If the government is serious about bringing stability and harmony to the region as it claims, it should roll back – not double down on – repressive policies."

Richardson noted that Xinjiang authorities also had imposed a rule outlawing the wearing of "abnormal" long beards or veils in public places, a violation of domestic and international protections on the rights to freedom of belief and expression.

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China banning Islamic baby names with a "strong religious flavor" in one of its most restive areas is another attempt to mute the fervor being blamed for increasing violence where the Muslim Uyghur minority live.
china, bans, islamic, baby, names
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2017-42-28
Friday, 28 Apr 2017 07:42 AM
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