French parents investigated after naming child ‘Jihad’

A couple is being investigated in France after calling their son “Jihad”. The boy was born at the beginning of August in the city of Toulouse. The registrar responsible for recording the birth certificate then passed the information onto local prosecutors.
French law allows parents freedom to choose any name which is not considered harmful to their child or infringing the rights of third parties. The prosecutor can now pass the case onto a judge to decide whether to order the parents to rename the boy. If they refuse such a demand, the state has the right to choose a name on the child’s behalf.
While the Arabic “Jihad” is often associated in Western discourse with Islamic terrorism, the name actually translates as “an effort to achieve good”, Abderrahmane Oumachar of the Centre for Muslim Spirituality in Toulouse told the news website actuToulouse. However, he noted that such name could pose difficulties for the child given its sensitivity.

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