Want to give your kid a funny name? Not a problem in the West, as Kanye and Kim Kardashian have made it their mission to prove.
In other parts of the world it’s not as easy:
In Tajikistan the secular, but authoritarian, President Emomali Rahmon rules without much regard for his rubber-stamp parliament. Now he has ordered the body to introduce a bill that would prohibit parents from giving their children foreign sounding names. Only a short list of 4000 to 5000 original Tajik names will be available to them.
Most Western media is reporting on this as a strategy by the government to counter Islamic influences in the country.
The government is engaging in an unacceptable campaign against Islam, with some men being forced to shave their beards and women in hijab being called prostitutes.
However, the move appears to be also directed at Russia and the West, as Western names and Russian names will also be banned.
Tajikistan is a former soviet satellite and president Rachmon has been complaining for years about Russian sounding names like Wolk (which means wolf) and Topor (meaning axe).
He would prefer proper Tajic names like the popular girls name Sitora (meaning star) or the wide spread boys name Dschachongir (the strong one).
However, majority of the Tajik population is Muslim and names like Mohammed, Hussein, Hassan, Fatima and Suchra will still be allowed. For now.
Just to put all of this into the proper context, here is a humiliating video of President Emomali Rahmon. The president apparently really hated his own performance and the clip is thought to be the reason the country blocked YouTube access for all its citizens for a week in 2013.