China bans Islamic names among its Muslims

HONG KONG: The government of China has reportedly banned the nation’s Muslims from giving their children Islamic names that it deems too radical.

A list of 29 names – including Islam, Quran, Jihad, Imam and Saddam – are said to bear ‘separatist and religious tendencies’, and have been prohibited by the authority of Muslim-dominant Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region under its new “Naming Rules For Ethnic Minorities”, according to media.

A full list of names has not yet been published and it is unclear exactly what qualifies as a religious name.

Muslims in Xinjiang have already been banned from keeping ‘abnormal’ beards or wearing veils in public places.

China blames religious extremists for increasing violent incidents in in recent years that have left hundreds dead.

It has launched a series of crackdowns in Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur minority and one of the most militarised regions in the country.