Chinese authorities have issued a ban on 22 Muslim names among Uyghur residents of Hoten prefecture in northwestern China’s troubled Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to discourage extremism, threatening to forbid children with such names from attending school unless their parents change them, according to local police and residents.
A Uyghur woman named Turakhan who lives in a suburban village of Niya (in Chinese, Minfeng) county in Hoten (Hetian) prefecture told RFA’s Uyghur Service on Wednesday that the village chief and police had informed all residents about “the list of forbidden Muslim names.”
“My daughter’s name is Muslime, so the village police came to our house and told us that we must change our daughter’s name as soon as possible,” she said. “The police explained to us that a name such as Muslime was officially forbidden. Under such circumstances, we were forced to change our daughter’s name.”