French family are facing a legal fight after naming their baby 'Jihad'

A French couple are waiting to hear if they will be allowed to keep their son’s name Jihad [Photo: Getty]
A French couple are waiting to hear if they will be allowed to keep their son’s name Jihad [Photo: Getty]

A family in France who have named their son ‘Jihad’ are waiting to find out if the courts will allow them to keep the name.

The parents chose the controversial baby name for their little one when he was born in Toulouse back in August and officials immediately alerted the public prosecutor.

The French Civil Code says children can be given any name unless it is against the interest of the child, but with France currently on a high terror alert it’s likely judges will seriously question whether the family should be forced to change the moniker.

Despite the controversy Arabic experts say Jihad actually means struggle, effort or self-denial instead of holy war, which the word is often used for. Other babies in France have also previously been given the divisive name.

This isn’t the first time a French family has had their baby name debated in court. Earlier this year the court ruled a couple could not use the moniker Fañch that they’d chosen for their baby boy.

The court in Quimper, north west France ruled that the new parents would not be able to use the character ñ (called a tilde) in their baby’s name.

Instead Jean-Christophe Bernard and his wife were told that they would have to find an alternative.

“The principle according to which babies’ names are chosen by their mothers and fathers must have limits when it comes to using a spelling which includes a character unrecognised by the French language,” the court ruled, according to the Guardian.

Google dictionary describes the character as an accent (~) placed over Spanish n when pronounced ny (as in señor) or Portuguese a or o when nasalised (as in São Paulo).

Also in France, back in 2015 a court in Valenciennes, decided that a couple would not be allowed to name their daughter ‘Nutella’.

The judge decided that it wouldn’t be in the child’s best interest to be named after a chocolate spread.

“The name ‘Nutella’ given to the child is the trade name of a spread,” the court’s decision read, according to a translation.

“And it is contrary to the child’s interest to be wearing a name like that can only lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts (sic).”

It won’t be the first time a baby name has been banned [Photo: Getty]
It won’t be the first time a baby name has been banned [Photo: Getty]

Back in the UK, in April last year a Welsh mother was banned by a high court from calling her baby twin daughter Cyanide (her brother was named Preacher).

She also argued that she had the right to name her own children. However, Justice Eleanor King ruled that the name could cause emotional harm to the child in the future.

“It is hard to see how…the twin girl could regard being named after this deadly poison as other than a complete rejection of her by her birth mother,” she said.

Meanwhile though not officially banned, the Internet has been letting its feelings know about the baby names they really aren’t loving.

Taking to parenting site Mumsnet parents have been sharing examples of the worst baby names they’ve ever heard.

The discussion was kicked off by a user who’d overheard a mum calling for her daughter Beige while she was out shopping.

While it’s likely the mums and dads were looking for something unique to stand out in the baby name crowd, perhaps they should stick to something tried and tested like Oliver and Olivia which were revealed as the most popular baby names in the UK earlier this year.

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