A French court has ruled that the parents of a baby boy cannot name their baby ‘Jihad,’ as it would “not be in the interest of the child.”
The incident apparently stems from a common misconception that the word ‘Jihad’ translates as “holy war” in Arabic – when it actually means “struggle” or “effort.” However, as France is reeling from a number of devastating terror attacks over the last number of years, the term was deemed not to be in the child's best interest.
This is not the first time a court has ordered that a baby's name be changed in this way. In 2016, in the northern town of Roubaix, a boy's name was also changed from ‘Jihad’ to Jahid. While in 2013, before the major recent attacks, a French mother who sent her three-year-old son, Jihad, to school wearing a sweater reading: “I am a bomb” and “Born on September 11th,” was handed a suspended sentence.
In 2009, parents in the town of Valenciennes in northern France were refused permission to name their child Nutella, and a judge in the northern French town of Raismes told a couple that they couldn’t name their daughter Fraise (strawberry) that same year.