China Bans ‘Muhammad’ and ‘Jihad’ as Baby Names in Heavily Muslim RegionApril 25, 2017
The Chinese government, further tightening its grip on Muslims in western China, has prohibited parents from choosing names like “Muhammad,” “Arafat” and “Jihad” for their children.
Officials described the ban, introduced this month, as part of an effort to “curb religious fervor” in the western region of Xinjiang, home to more than 10 million Uighurs, a mostly Muslim minority group.”
“The list of names, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times by Uighur activists, is titled, “List of Banned Ethnic Minority Names.” It bans more than two dozen names, including “Mujahid” and “Medina.”
Security officials in Urumqi and other cities in Xinjiang confirmed the ban. Some said in interviews that if residents did not comply, they risked forfeiting critical benefits for their children, including education and health care.