We have previously discussed how some European countries limit the names that can be given to chidren, including some with approved lists of names. We have seen such controversies arise in this country with children, for example, named after Adolph Hitler. However, this generally remains a protected right of parents in the United States. The latest case comes out of France where a court will decide whether a Muslim family can use the name of Mohamed Merah, an Islamic radical who killed seven people in 2012.
Nice authorities were informed of the name controversy this month. Merah is a radical Islamic terrorist who murdered seven people in attacks on a Jewish school and French paratroopers in the southwestern Toulouse region.
Nice mayor Philippe Pradel and regional president Christian Estrosi declared that the use of a terrorist’s name “may be contrary to the child’s interest.” It is not clear if this was an intentional naming of the child after the terrorist or simply the use of a name that appealed to the parents.
Merah, 23, killed three French paratroopers, three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi in an effort to “bring France to its knees.”
As truly offensive as I find this name (and cannot imagine saddling a baby with the name of a murderer like Merah), I still view such decisions as properly left to the parents.
What do you think?
20 thoughts on “French Parents Fight To Give Infant The Name of Notorious Terrorist”
Disregarding etiology of the child’s proposed name (for duration of this comment), the fundamental question is:
“Who ‘owns’ that child?”
Does the Omnipotent Cult of the State (i.e. ‘government) own that child?
Or, do The Parents (alternatively, the child his/herself) own that body?
In a free society, the individual owns his/her body and mind, regardless of age. Parents are custodians who are supposed to protect and educate their children until the kids are old enough to provide such care for themselves. The only role of government should be to ensure that parents neither neglect nor abuse their children. Ideally, parents could entrust their children to schools run by private organizations or governments, or choose to educate them at home. In reality, everyone seems to think they know what is best for everyone else, and then schools, churches, governments, and all sorts of other groups go way too far in trying to control people’s choices and their everyday lives. True freedom then gets covered in the dust of the ensuing fights and struggles.
. . .to entrench itself. . .allowing these. . .
Another glaring example of the enemy within. Ship the whole f’ing family, including its entire degenerate and soulless clan, back to whatever filthy cesspool from which they emerged. The French, as a culture and as a society, are finished, and it is wholly attributable to allowing scum, such as this, entrench itself into the very fabric of French society. The French will, one day, rue the moment that they flung open the floodgates, allowing the these demonic barbarians refuge. That day is now.
Children can be brutal. One’s name is often the victim of ridicule. Use a private nickname, but an acceptable one for school, etc.
I suppose I can’t name my daughter to be Barack Hussein? Guess I’m stuck with “Beyonce”.
Pascal’s Mouse – take pity on your child’s teachers. They have to break up the fights.
The “socially accepted name” thing is missing the point. This is a message that the parents have no trouble with it’s origin. Indeed he might be a hero to them. ….eh hem…”note to self”…
However I believe that they have a right to name him whatever they care to. That would be none of my business.
The Roman Catholic Church requires their children to be named after saints. France is not as big as the Roman Catholic Church. The kid is going to go through hell in school if they do not change the name.
It’s amazing. They want this name and then they will complain when others treat them differently. Their desire for this name says a lot about them.
They should have the right to name the child whatever they want. The parents however should have no objections to having their entire family immediately placed on the terror watchlist.
I wonder if the name “Donald” is going to make a comeback. What has interested me is I have not seen any kids named Barack. I’m not making a political statement here. When he was elected in 2008, I said I expected to hear kids being called that name. I’m sure there are some, but I’ve not heard even one.
People are idiots, but perhaps not quite that [-insert preferred adjective here-].
It could have been much worse. They could have named him after a poster on this blog.
How about having an official list of sensible names. Maybe several hundred or a thousand. Well, probably not a thousand. So the birth certificate would reflect the official name. Then if his mom wanted to call him D’Jarius or whatever, that would be fine.
It could have been worse. They could have named him, “Orville”.
I suppose like letting your child die rather than have modern medicine take the place of devout prayers to the big doctor in the sky, it should be left up to mentally challenged parents. Naming your child after a universally hated or even locally hated person is all about parental narcissism. It brings to mind the American actor Albert Brooks whose family name was Einstein. His dad named him Albert Einstein. His dad was a comedian. It comes down to degrees, like yelling fire in a theatre or inciting hatred and violence against certain religious groups. Extremes on both ends. That’s why it’s all about the middle ground.
Several European nations look at the matter as for the benefit of the child in the sense that strange names might tarnish a child socially during years vulnerable to torment from peer pressure. I read somewhere about twenty years ago a condition where children suffer as a result of their given name. There might have been a psychological condition for this but I was not able to find its name.
A few others do so to preserve their culture. I believe Iceland has this tradition.
Still, I wouldn’t want to see a naming police dictate who should be named what. I cannot imagine this being such a problem that it warrants the attention of authorities.
I suspect the child upon majority could petition the court for a name change for matters such as this where I certainly believe a judge will grant such a change.
I can tell you from personal experience that having an unusual name has caused people to ask me a lot of questions that most folks would not have to endure, and perhaps it has created problems for me. But certainly, those problems were far less than those caused by people who took offense to the mere fact that I did not hold the same political, religious, or ethical opinions and beliefs as they did. Rejection because of what a person thinks rather than what a person does toward others is often harsh and unwarranted.
Even worse than having a strange (or notorious) name is being treated badly because of appearance. I remember when people condemned cross-racial marriages because they said the children would suffer socially for it. Imagine a government passing laws to prevent this. It used to happen, but it seems unthinkable today. Governmental meddling in personal choices and individual lives by controlling what names a child may be given is just as outrageous to me. Besides, an unsuitable name can be legally changed, as you point out.
Naming your child Adolf Hitler or Mohamed Merah is child abuse.
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