French parents reported to name police for calling their baby Jihad

The Local France
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French parents reported to name police for calling their baby Jihad
Photo: Leah Kelley/ Pexels

France is known for its overly strict policing of baby names, but in the case of a couple trying to call their son 'Jihad', French authorities might have a point.


A French couple from the south west have been reported to authorities for calling their baby 'Jihad'.
The couple, who come from the Toulouse suburb of Léguevin, tried to name their son 'Jihad' when he was born in August but the local town hall immediately alerted the public prosecutor to their controversial choice of name. 
Given the choice of name and the fact France has been on heightened alert after a series of terror attacks by homegrown jihadists, the prosecutor may well decide to refer the case to the family court.
Judges may eventually decide to ban the parents from calling him Jihad.

And the current most popular names for babies in France are?

Photo: AFP 
The French Civil Code states that any first name may be given as long as it doesn't go against the child's interest. In the past the name police have banned a series of names that have fallen foul of those rules including Nutella and Fraise.
But while the name might seem like a provocative choice in a country which has been hit by a string of terror attacks in recent years, its real meaning isn't as controversial as you might think. And the baby is not even the first to be named Jihad in France.
According to experts, in Arabic, the name means "effort", "struggle" or "self-denial" rather than "holy war" as many believe.
Jihad is in fact a "fundamental concept in Islam" meaning making "the effort to achieve good" explained co-founder of the Toulouse Centre of Muslim Spirituality, Aderrahmane Oumachar.
He insisted that it has nothing to do with the interpretation adopted by terrorist groups. 
However Oumachar did go on to say that in the current context, it is possible to question the name, which could "cause misunderstanding" and "harm the development of the child."
But this isn't the first time a baby has been called 'Jihad' in France or the first time parents have landed themselves in hot water.
Jail for mother over son's ‘I am a bomb' 9/11 top
In 2013, The Local reported on a mother who sent her three-year-old son Jihad to school wearing a sweater with the words "I am a bomb" on the front, along with his name and 'Born on September 11th' on the back (see pic below). 
She was eventually handed a suspended jail sentence on Friday for "glorifying a crime".


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