Mohammed tops list of UK baby names
October 29, 2010
[ChattahBox News] – Baby names are a clear indicator of the vibrant palette of humanity that is western Europe, and this year’s list of the most popular names includes a surprise; The number one name in Britain is now Mohammed.
Based in London, the Office of National Statistics announced yesterday that ‘Oliver’ was the most popular name for boys born in 2009. But research conducted by CNN of the top 4,500 names shows that when its various spellings are combined Mohammed becomes #1.Oliver then comes in second, followed by Jack, Thomas, Charles, Harry, William and Daniel.
According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life around 4.6% of the UK’s population is Muslim, totaling just under 2.9-million people. And among that group the name Mohammed is a hugely popular choice;
“The first reason why people keep the name is their love of the prophet Mohammed, because they want to emulate him,” Imam Abdullah al-Hasan of the East London Mosque tells the reporters. “They want to copy him; not just through his behavior and conduct, but also his name.”
Western Europe in general has seen a significant increase in the Muslim population in the last twenty years, according to Pew. From under 10-million in 1990 it stands at around 17-million today, the DC-based think-tank reported last month.
And that growth has endured several laws which made life as Muslim an increasing challenge; There have been reports of racial violence aimed at Muslims in some parts of England, while the wearing of the traditional women’s garment, the Burqa was outlawed in France and Switzerland banned Minarets.
But Imam al-Hasan says Britain has no reason to fear the Islamic faith or its followers.
“One message I would give them is that you shouldn’t be surprised. You shouldn’t be scared. You shouldn’t be frightened or anything like that,” he said. “It shows Islam is here to stay. It’s not alien from the Western society, and it’s not alien to the British context.”