Yesterday our Shura Council discussed the draft of the Child Protection Law and during that session they discussed that there should be a law banning “improper names” being given to children. Their reason behind this is to protect children from being distressed because of their names. Kids, whether named Mohammed or Abu Jahal, will be teased and given nicknames regardless of their name and that’s just our human nature or even one of life’s spices that we can’t live without.
My biggest concern is WHAT can be considered an improper name? One of the local papers a few days back (as usual searching through their archives is like looking for a needle in a haystack!) said regarding this, that children’s name should not go against the religious beliefs and traditions of Bahrain. Now this confuses me.
Alhamdulillah we’re blessed in Bahrain with a cultural and religious diversity in our society which have lived for decades in harmony, only in the last couple of decades have we witnessed some sectarian tensions unfortunately. If we were to say that Bahrainis cannot give their children names that go against the religious beliefs in Bahrain, people from both sects would ban lists of names NEVER to be given to children for instance, Hardline Sunnis would demand names like:
to be banned, due to the fact that the prefix Abd (meaning slave) should only be added before Allah’s names (Abdulla, Abdulraheem, Abduljabbar etc..) and being “slaves” to members of Ahl Albayt or any other persons is Haram (forbidden)
Whilst on the other hand we would see Shias demand names like:
- Abu Baker
to be banned based on their beliefs that these Islamic figures betrayed the teachings of the Prophet PBUH and his family and are disliked (to be put mildly).
If anything, a law like this would only cause more controversy. Bahrain does have laws giving people the right to change their name and therefore there is no need whatsoever for them to even discuss such a law!
I suggest the Shura Council to focus more on the much bigger problems of child abuse and rape which have risen to over 450 known cases and practically hundreds more cases hiding in the shadows of fear and shame that we don’t know about.
Laws should be made to protect children from savage hate instigators, and in the case of them falling victims to these instigators, children should not be thrown into jails like adults and see their futures go up in smoke like the tyres they allegedly burnt. These children need to be insured that their education and their livelihood stay intact through rehabilitation and a loving society to embrace them with open arms…
Courtesy of Ahmed Al-Baqer’s Flickr