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Parents refused right to name son Allah

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12:26 CET+01:00
In the latest battle over what people may legally call their children, the Swedish Tax Authority (Skatteverket) has ruled that the parents of a two-month-old boy in Skåne in southern Sweden may not call their child Allah.

According to the decision, Skatteverket does not approve “names that can give offence or be seen to cause discomfort for the bearer”. In this case, Skatteverket was “of the opinion that the name can be seen as objectionable for religious reasons.”

Skatteverket legal expert Lars Tegenfeldt told The Local that devout members of the public might take offense to certain names with highly religious connotations.

“God or Allah or the Devil is offensive to the public. Not me personally, but there are religious people who think so,” he said.

“Some religious names though, like Jesus, are normal,” he added.

There have been several high profile cases in Sweden over the authority's seemingly arbitrary decisions regarding first names it deems acceptable.

In 2007, for example, a couple was initially banned from calling their daughter Metallica (a decision later overturned), while authorities in another part of Sweden allowed a baby boy to be called Google. Other controversial names rejected by the agency have included Q, Token and Michael Jackson.

The parents told The Local they do not plan to appeal the Skatteverket's decision rejecting the name Allah.

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