Issue 3: Uyghur Muslim Names Banned

World Uyghur Congress, 18 May 2018

In April 2017, China banned parents from using ‘Muslim names’ for their children in East Turkistan. A list of 28 names including Islam, Quran, Mecca, Imam, Saddam, Hajj and Medina was published, prohibiting parents from choosing from them.

Following the initial order, another order was posted by East Turkistan’s Public Security Bureau requiring all Uyghur parents to change the names of children under 16 years of age—the age at which they are granted an identity card—if they are among those listed in a region-wide ban.

been prohibited in an ostensible effort to crackdown on “extremism” in the region. China’s recently implemented “Regulation on De-extremification” serves as the pretext for the new policy as Article 9 specifies a long list of “words and actions” that may be considered extremism including “[S]preading religious fanaticism through irregular beards or name selection.”