France

Jihad bad, Jahid good – French judge orders subtle baby name change

A French court has told a couple they cannot name their baby Jihad as that would likely have a negative effect on the boys life, and has ordered the vowels in his name to be reversed.

The ruling by the court in Toulouse came after the town hall alerted the prosecutors office last summer when the boys parents chose Jihad as the name to be put on his birth certificate.

Jihad in Arabic word means "effort", "struggle" or "self-denial" rather than "holy war" as many believe, so ostensibly there should be no reason not to use it as a first name.

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But as France has been on heightened alert after a series of terror attacks by homegrown jihadists in recent years, the name does not go down at all well with French officials.

The Toulouse court ordered that it be removed from the boys birth certificate and a new one issued giving his first name as Jahid.

A similar case took place two years ago in the northern town of Roubaix. When parents there were told they couldnt name their boy Jihad, they themselves came up with the idea of inverting the vowels to make it Jahid.

She was eventually handed a suspended jail sentence on for "glorifying a crime".

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