Belgium: Moroccan consulate rejects non-Arab names

After the Netherlands, Belgium also discovers this problem.  I think this is just symptomatic though of a more serious issue.  After all, Moroccan women cannot pass on their citizenship to their kids.  Is that a reason for a 2nd generation Moroccan woman in the Netherlands to marry only a Moroccan?  Would a woman who marries a non-Moroccan be able to come with her family to visit her family?

Moroccans living abroad have ties and connections to their homeland, if not for anything else, because many have family in Morocco and they visit regularly.  The article below says Belgian nationals without a Moroccan passport cannot visit Morocco.  I am unsure whether that is true - Morocco does not require a visa for EU nationals. 

In similar articles about the Netherlands, heavy fines were mentioned, but it's possible those fines only come into play if somebody asks for a passport.  I might misunderstand the whole issue, but if Moroccan demands so much for a passport, and the advantages are minimal, then why bother getting one?


Belgian children of Moroccan origin who also want Moroccan citizenship will not get it if their first name is (too) Flemish or French.  The Moroccan consulate rejects names that do not appear on an Arabic list.  The children can therefore not get a Moroccan passport or come on family visits.
Source: HLN (Dutch)

See also: Netherlands: Moroccan babies get only names approved by Morocco, Netherlands/Belgium news roundup

1 comment:

Jillian said...

First of all, there was a new law passed a few weeks ago (it was raised two years ago but the king just signed it) that states that the child of a Moroccan women is now a Moroccan citizen. Several people have applied for passports since then, I don't have statistics on how many have been granted citizenship.

Regardless, Moroccan women have and do marry non-Moroccans, but very few would marry a non-Muslim as that's how they've been raised and taught.

Now, as far as the naming from the list is concerned - there are no official fines - the whole thing is a big bunch of corruption, just like anything that involves authority in Morocco. On this part, we agree. Oddly enough, though, Muslim Moroccans inside Morocco seem to have an easier time naming their children what they like - I've met some kids with seriously odd names here, that are definitely not Muslim.

It's worth noting that Jewish Moroccans are exempt from these laws and can name their kids whatever they wish. Most members of the Jewish community have either Hebrew or French names (I know a David and a Mathieu).