China this month banned a series of Islamic names – including “Mohammad” and “Jihad” – in an attempt to help “curb” the “religious fervor” that has become prevalent in the Communist country’s western region of Xinjiang.
A document titled “List of Banned Ethnic Minority Names” catalogs more than two dozen banned names, such as “Arafat,” “Mujahid” and “Medina,” according to a copy obtained by The New York Times.
The document was provided to The Times by the Muslim minority Uighur community. The region has seen a string of extremist attacks, including a stabbing spree by a group of attackers that killed at least eight people in February.
Chinese officials around the country confirmed the ban, listing a reduction in essential services – such as education and health care – as the penalty for those who rebelled against the restriction.