Beijing, Apr 25: The Chinese government has banned dozens of Muslim baby names in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang province, in a move that would prevent children from getting access to education and government benefits, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.
Names such as Islam, Quran, Mecca, Jihad, Imam, Saddam, Hajj, and Medina have been banned, RFA said, citing a Chinese Communist Party document titled ‘Naming Rules for Ethnic Minorities’.
“(People with banned names) won’t be able to get a household registration,” a police official from Urumqi, Xinjiang, was quoted as saying.
Home to Uyghur Muslims, Xinjiang has been at the center of the Chinese government’s drive to combat ‘extremism’.
Conflicts between the Uyghur and the Han, the majority ethnic group in China who also control the government, are common in Xinjiang.
On April 1, Xinjiang authorities imposed new rules prohibiting the wearing of “abnormal” beards or veils in public places, and imposing punishments for refusing to watch state TV or radio programmes.