Sweden bans Allah as baby name

swedenThe issue of what parents can legally name their child has arisen once more in Sweden after a ruling by the Swedish Tax Authority that an infant cannot be called Allah.

The parents of the two-month-old baby boy from the southern county of Skane were advised of the decision by the Tax Authority who declared that they would not approve “names that can give offence or be seen to cause discomfort for the bearer”. The name Allah was deemed by officials as “objectionable for religious reasons”.

The Local reports that legal representative from the Tax Authority Lars Tegenfelt felt that the obviously high religious connotations associated with the name Allah would likely cause offence amongst devout members of the Swedish public. “God or Allah or the Devil is offensive to the public. Not me personally, but there are religious people who think so,” he claimed. “Some religious names though, like Jesus, are normal,” Tegenfelt added.

The latest instance is just one in a long line of high profile naming cases in Sweden where the Tax Authority has been accused of inconsistency in its rulings. The most famous case was in 2007 where the name Metallica was rejected when the parents attempted to apply for a passport for their already baptised baby. The authority has also rejected the names Michael Jackson, Q, Token, Ikea, and Veranda.

The name Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 which is pronounced Albin in protest to the naming authorities in 1996 was also unsurprisingly rejected, although a computer expert did manage to name his son Google in 2005.