China bans religious names for Muslim babies in Xinjiang

Published: April 25, 2017
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China has released a list of banned Islamic names in the western region of Xinjiang as part of the ongoing crackdown against religion, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

The Muslim couples in the country will now have to choose names for their children wisely or else they won’t get registered as a household in China.

The list includes names such as Islam, Quran, Saddam, Makkah, all considered unacceptable by the ruling Communist Party and any children having any of these names will not have access to social services, healthcare or education.

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The ban has been promulgated in a part of Xinjiang which houses half of China’s 23 million Muslims.

An official speaking to the Radio Free Asia about the name ban said: “Just stick to the party line, and you’ll be fine.”

“[People with banned names] won’t be able to get a household registration, so they will find out from the office when the time comes.”

China has time and again blamed religious extremism for the violence in recent years that has killed hundreds of people. Trying to curb the situation, the authorities launched crackdowns in Xinjiang which is home to Uighur’s Muslim minority group.

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The rights groups based in the province say the attacks were not part of the globally coordinated extremist movement but isolated incidents fueled by grievances of Muslims. Men in the region are restricted from growing beards and women are not allowed to observe the face veil.

Human Rights campaigners have also condemned the latest ban on the Muslims names.

“This is just the latest in a slew of new regulations restricting religious freedom in the name of countering religious extremism,” said China director at Human Rights Watch Sophie Richardson. “These policies are blatant violations of domestic and international protections on the rights to freedom of belief and expression.”

“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.”

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Apr 25, 2017 - 2:29PM

    welcome move . their country their rules. Recommend

  • ghazal
    Apr 25, 2017 - 2:38PM

    dont worry CPEC will take care of that.Recommend

  • siesmann
    Apr 25, 2017 - 2:58PM

    Pathetic. Communism remains an oppressive ideology !!Recommend

  • Qami Baloch
    Apr 25, 2017 - 2:58PM

    No China No your are not like that ,,Recommend

  • Zaheer
    Apr 25, 2017 - 3:35PM

    Everything is allowed to China just for the sake of CPEC. Where are our our politicians, religious leaders and most importantly the government to talk to China about this matter of Muslim names.Recommend

  • vinsin
    Apr 25, 2017 - 10:02PM

    @Zaheer:
    That is against TNT. Pakistan is not citadel of Islam, Saudi Arabia is. Their countries their rules. We live in nation state. Pakistan can open her door/border for willing Muslim migrants from China though.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 25, 2017 - 10:03PM

    The chinese will accept muslim names which end with Mao or Hao, 0such as Ibrahim Mao or Sharif hoo. The objective being to make strictly muslim names compatable with chinese.

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • Habibullah
    Apr 26, 2017 - 6:28AM

    Nothing wrong. CPEC zindabad !!Recommend

  • Mika
    Apr 26, 2017 - 6:47AM

    So what? I still love China. Kyunki CPEC.Recommend

  • Mika
    Apr 26, 2017 - 6:49AM

    Smart move by the Chinese. They have learned the lessons from the foolish West.Recommend

  • illpopo
    Apr 26, 2017 - 11:38AM

    This is height of bigotry, can’t remember there may have been such inhuman laws in any other country! Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 26, 2017 - 1:24PM

    @illpopo:
    China practices chinese laws and not human laws which the UNO defnes.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • powayman
    Apr 26, 2017 - 2:54PM

    What’s it going to take for Pakistan to finally acknowledge that China doesn’t like Muslims?Recommend

  • Xian
    Apr 26, 2017 - 10:24PM

    India has a lot to learn from China on this in Kashmir.Recommend

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