Daily Israel Report

Saudi Arabia Releases Banned Names Registry

Banned names have Western, royal connotations.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 3/14/2014, 2:27 PM

Baby
Baby
Flash 90

Saudi media reported on Friday that the royal family has enacted a registry of "forbidden names" which parents will be forbidden from giving their children. 

The Independent, a British news site, noted that several of the names are Western - e.g. Alice, Elaine, and Linda - and at least one, Binyamin, is the name of a major Israeli leader. 

According to Gulf News, the names on the list are allegedly banned by the interior ministry because they are considered “blasphemous,” contrary to the kingdom's culture or religion, non-Arabic or non-Islamic. As such, the names are deemed foreign or "inappropriate." 

The Daily Mail adds that at least one of the banned names has political roots: Abdul Naser, another banned name, is the name of a famous Egyptian nationalist, who was at odds with Saudi Arabia.

Other names have connotations of royalty, such as Malek (king) and Malika (queen). Still others are seemingly at random, according to the news site. 

In January, Chechnya declared an incentive program for new mothers to name their boys "Mohammed" on the Sunni sect's celebration of the Islamic holy figure's birthday, by providing new mothers with $1,000 for the moniker.