The interior ministry of Saudi Arabia has banned 50 baby names that they believe offend or is affiliated with the Kingdom’s cultural or religious sentiments, reports The Independent quoting various Saudi news sites.
According to the local Saudi newspaper The Gulf, parents are prohibited to keep names that fit into at least three categories: those that offend perceived religious sensibilities, those that are affiliated to royalty and those that are of non-Arabic or non-Islamic origin.
Parents in the Kingdom will reportedly no longer be able to call their children by names such as Linda, Alice, Elaine or Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin) after the civil affairs department at the ministry issued a list of the prohibited names.
Binyamin is believed in Islam to be the son of Prophet Jacob, but is also the name of the current Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Some names on the list are allegedly banned by the interior ministry because they are considered "blasphemous," non-Arabic or non-Islamic, or contradictory to the kingdom's culture or religion, Gulf News has reported.
The ban was also allegedly justified by the ministry because some of the names were deemed foreign or "inappropriate".
Other sets of forbidden names include those with royal connotations, such as Sumuw (highness), Malek (king) and Malika (queen).
Some on the list do not fit into any of these categories however, leaving the reason for banning them open to speculation.
The full list of forbidden names as reported in Gulf News is listed below:
Malaak (angel) Abdul Aati Abdul Naser Abdul Musleh Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin) Naris Yara Sitav Loland Tilaj Barrah Abdul Nabi Abdul Rasool Sumuw (highness) Al Mamlaka (the kingdom) Malika (queen) Mamlaka (kingdom) Tabarak (blessed) Nardeen Sandy Rama (Hindu god) Maline Elaine Inar Maliktina Maya Linda Randa Basmala (utterance of the name of God) Jibreel (angel Gabriel) Abdul Mu'een Abrar Iman Bayan Baseel Wireelam Nabi (prophet) Nabiyya (female prophet) Amir (prince) Taline Aram Nareej Rital Alice Lareen Kibrial Lauren