French Parents Face Criticism After Naming Their Son Jihad

A Muslim couple from Toulouse, a city in southern France, have made national headlines after they decided to name their son ‘Jihad’. After submitting the name for legal verification, the unnamed couple were contacted by French authorities and the case was referred to a public prosecutor.

With France’s history of terrorist attacks, it’s not hard to see why the decision to name a child ‘Jihad’ – an Arabic word that is repeatedly referenced in the Qur’an and is deeply associated with Islamic terrorism – has elicited an uneasy response from France’s non-Muslim population.

Often translated to mean ‘Holy War’, the word ‘Jihad’ actually means ‘struggle’ or ‘effort’. Like many Arabic terms, the word has a slew of different interpretations in the diverse Muslim community.

For many Muslims, ‘Jihad’ is a term that encapsulates the struggle to improve your society and strengthen your morals. However, militant organizations and Islamist movements usually take ‘Jihad’ to mean a military struggle against the ‘enemies of Islam’.

As a pillar of secular liberalism, France – with its high Muslim population – is one of the most regular targets for Islamic terrorists. Consequently, one of the foremost security challenges facing France is the terrorist threat posed by Islamic fundamentalists, also known as ‘Jihadists’.

So far, terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS have launched several major terrorist attacks on France soil. In 2015, the Paris attacks resulted in the deaths of 130 civilians and the Charlie Hebdo shooting left another 12-people dead.

In 2016, a Bastille Day celebration in Nice was cut short when a terrorist killed 87 people with a truck. After enduring these horrifying acts of terrorism, it’s easy to see why the French population is wary of Muslim communities that promote jihadi activity.

By French law, the parents of every child have the undisputed right to give their child whatever name they wish. The only stipulation on this rule is that the name of the child must not harm the child or any other third party.

According to Actu.fr, French judges have also rejected names if they violate enterprise agreements. ‘Nutella’, ‘Fraise’, and ‘Mini-Cooper’ are all names that have been denied in French courts.

This isn’t the first time that Muslim parents have tried to name their children ‘Jihad’. In 2013, a young boy, also named ‘Jihad’, was sent to school by his mother wearing a homemade jumper that had the words “I am a bomb” on the front.

Another message, “Born on September 11”, was embroidered on the back of the jumper. The boy’s mother would later be sentenced to a suspended jail term.

The naming issues have triggered a wide range of reactions from online commentators. A commenter on the Daily Mail, ‘Cinnamon Sugar’ sarcastically remarked: "That's pretty bold! I'm sure your son will be warmly welcomed into society with that name.”

Another user, ‘art deco lover’, believes that the incendiary name will ruin the child’s future, writing: “Why would they name their child jihad? They are sentencing their child to a childhood of name calling, bullying and misery.”

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: Max Pixel, YouTube

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