Netherlands: Moroccan babies get only names approved by Morocco

In case anybody wondered why Muhammed will continue to be a popular name... While the Dutch government talks about the problems of integration, it makes sure its Moroccan and Turkish citizens will continue to get non-Dutch names.


It is insulting that the Netherlands cooperates with the discriminatory and Arabic-nationalistic police of the Moroccan government, according to Haarlem city council member Moussa Aynan. It bothers him that Dutch municipalities, including Haarlem, gives Moroccan parents, without any request for it, a list of names approved by the Moroccan government, when they want to register a birth.

Aynan: The list only contains Arabic names, not Berber or Christian and is therefore discriminatory.

Aynan (34) recently became the father of a son. "During my registration it was pointed otu to me that I would have problems with "my government" if I don't choose an approved name for my son. As if the Moroccan government is percieved as "my government"."

It especially bothers Aynan that the list is handed over without request to anybody with a Moroccan name. "I would feel somewhat better with it if it was first asked if somebody wanted to use the list."

A spokesperson for the municipality said the list was offered as a service in case parents also wanted to register their baby by the Moroccan embassy. "Haarlem accepts all names, unless it's insulting. In the Moroccan embassy they only accept names from teh list. That can lead to a whole lot of expenses if people don't know it."

Haarlem also has a Turkish name list.

Source:Haarlem Dagblad (Dutch)


Jillian said...

While on a personal level I disagree with this, there's a good point you left out.

Moroccans are not allowed to give up Moroccan citizenship. Any child born to a Moroccan man, regardless of his having dual citizenship, is still Moroccan by Moroccan laws.

That means that if a Moroccan man names his child "John," then tries to take that child to Morocco even to visit, he's going to run into serious fines.

Although I do believe that the Dutch government should ask, in my view, they're doing a public service to Moroccans who, if they didn't grow up in Morocco, might not even know about these citizenship laws.

Esther said...

I do see your point, but why should the Netherlands stand for that? Would Morocco sit quietly if the Netherlands passed a law saying that non-Dutch names are illegal?

There are a lot of things that Moroccan-Dutch have to deal with. As far as I know Moroccan courts do not accept Dutch divorces, for example. That is a problem faced by Muslim immigrants in many European countries.

By agreeing quietly to this discrimination, I'm not sure how much the European countries are doing their immigrant residents a favor.

One on one, the Moroccan government has power, but if most Moroccans in Europe would name their child "John", how long would the Moroccan government be able to deal with it?

Anonymous said...

The name "Muhammad" existed in pagan Arabia, and the founder of Islam was named by pagan parents. The names that are known as Muslim now are really pagan Arabic names that have existed since antiquity. Names are attached to a language; they are not primarily attached to religion. The same argument can be made for supposedly "Jewish" names.

Why any government should have any say whatsoever in what parents name their children is nothing short of fascism--and it is a deliberate attempt by the impotent Muslim world to flex its symbolic (and hence immaterial) muscle.

Anonymous said...

Time the eu stopped this pandering to muslims. The Rabat committment also the Eu/Arab dialogue should have nothing to do with Europe.
Calling it the med does not change where most muslims countries are,
And why an open door policy to muslim countries this can only lead to disaster for europeans.
This axis is never mentioned by politicians from any Eu state yet they hold great power over us all, many edicts re education of islam in our schools etc all begin with this real axis of evil.

Anonymous said...

You can sign the petition against this namelist on