Morocco Bans Unislamic Names in Netherlands
THE HAGUE, 29/01/09 - Moroccans in the Netherlands are not allowed to give their children any Berber names any more. In this way, Islamic identity is being stressed, Trouw newspaper reported yesterday.
By far the biggest group of Moroccans in the Netherlands are of Berber origin, a region in the mountainous north of Morocco. "They will now be forced to give their children a Moroccan-Islamic name," according to Trouw. "Morocco wants to secure the Moroccan identity of its nationals in this way, including the Moroccan Dutch."
The Moroccan government in Rabat sent all embassies and consulates abroad a list of banned name this week. Christian names were already forbidden. "We forbid Berber names because they conflict with the identity and because they open the door to the spread of meaningless names," said Idris Bajdi, a top official in Morocco, in the newspaper.
Labour (PvdA) MP Samira Bouchibti, a Moroccan national (by royal Moroccan decree) like all other Moroccans who moved to or were born in the Netherlands, is angry. "We must get rid of these lists of names and this interference. I want to be able to decide myself how I name my children. This is discriminatory."
Bouchibti also criticised her party leader Wouter Bos, who said at a PvdA party meeting earlier this week that dual passports "belong in the Netherlands." Bouchibti: "Bos has no enforced dual nationality and therefore does not know what it means in practice." Bos considers dual nationality can foster intergation.