Wednesday, 20 August 2008

What’s in a name?

Say goodbye to Norman, Walter, Ernest and Clifford.

And say hello to Mohammad.

Because more boys born in Britain last year were named after the Prophet than were given any other name, according to an article by Amol Rajan in the Independent.

But is it ethically right to give a child a “religious” name? After all, young children are essentially open to any sort of religious ideas until they are indoctrinated by their parents. Why should parents presumptuously assume that their kids will follow the same religion that they do?

There are no Muslim children (just children of Muslim parents), just as there are no Christian children (just children of Christian parents), as Dawkins once said.

After all, we would hardly give our children political names that would link them to a political creed, would we?

The other most popular boys names in Britain incidentally are Jack, Thomas, Oliver, Joshua, and Harry, yet surprisingly enough NOT Jesus. Yet why not? After all, it’s easier to spell than Mohammad isn’t it?