French Court Orders Parents Rename Baby ‘Jihad’

Gabrielle Okun | Reporter

A southwestern French court ordered parents to change their baby’s name after naming him “Jihad,” according to Le Parisien Monday.

A Toulouse court ordered Friday a family to change their baby’s name, who was born in August 2017, from Jihad to Jahid due to thinking the name alludes to radical Islam, Le Parisien reported. The court had the authority to enact the change to the birth certificate due to Article 57 of the French Civil Code that permits a name change for the “best interests of the child.”

The name Jihad in Arabic has several connotations such as struggle or resistance, not always in a violent sense. However, it is often associated with extremist Muslim groups. A three-year-old boy named Jihad wore a shirt to school in 2011 that said: “I am a bomb” or “Je Suis Bombe” in French. The back of the shirt read “Jihad, Born September 11,” Le Figaro reported. The mother defended her actions saying that the shirt, a gift from Jihad’s uncle, simply meant “I am cool” due to using the word “Bombe” that is also a French slang word for cool, according to La Provence. Jihad’s mother and uncle appeared in court in 2013 but were later released. (RELATED: French Couple Not Allowed To Name Daughter Liam)

France also requires that parents name babies with letters that are only in the French alphabet. Parents from Bretagne, a region in western France, were forced to change their son Derch’en’s name after giving him a traditional Breton name with letters that were not in the French alphabet, according to The Local.

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