Authorities in China’s Hotan prefecture (which is part of the far west Xinjiang Autonomous Region) have recently banned 22 specific Muslim baby names in “an apparent bid to discourage extremism among the region’s Uyghur residents.”
In fact, Beijing has long been restricting the rights of the mostly-Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uyghurs, which make up the largest ethnic group in Xinjiang (45% of the population).
And the name-ban doesn’t just apply to babies. It also applies to young children who already have these names. Uyghurs in the region have told reporters that “authorities were forbidding children whose parents did not change their names from attending kindergarten and elementary school.”
Here are the 22 banned names (15 male, 7 female):
|Male names||Female names|
According to Ilshat Hesen, vice president of the Uyghur American Association in Washington, D.C., the name ban is a “violation of human rights, and an example of Chinese authorities’ extreme assimilation policy for Muslim Uyghurs.”
Sources: Chinese Authorities Ban Muslim Names Among Uyghurs in Hoten (found via Clare’s Name News), Xinjiang territory Profile – Overview – BBC
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