Chinese authorities have banned certain Islamic baby names in Xinjiang province, country’s largest Muslim province.
A document entitled “Naming Rules for Ethnic Minorities” prohibits names used by Muslim parents around the world including Imam, Hajj, Islam, Quran, Saddam, Medina and Islam, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.
Any babies with “overly religious” names will be barred from the hukou household registration system governing access to healthcare and education, a police official in the regional capital of Urumqi told RFA.
“You’re not allowed to give names with a strong religious flavour, such as Jihad or names like that,” the official added.
According to Human Rights Watch, the latest “absurd” prohibition was part of a slew of new regulations “restricting religious freedom” in the name of countering ‘extremism’, Independent reported.
“These policies are blatant violations of domestic and international protections on the rights to freedom of belief and expression,” the rights group’s China director Sophie Richardson told media.
Earlier in Xinjiang province, Chinese government had prohibited burqa in public places and ‘abnormal beards’, and imposed punishment on people who refuses to watch state television.