Riyadh : Saudi Arabia's interior ministry has banned 50 names they argue contradict the culture or religion of the Kingdom, according to reports by local media.
Parents in the Kingdom will reportedly no longer be able to call their children by names such as Linda, Alice, Elaine or Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin) after the civil affairs department at the ministry issued a list of the prohibited names.
Binyamin is believed in Islam to be the son of Prophet Jacob, but is also the name of the current Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Some names on the list are allegedly banned by the interior ministry because they are considered “blasphemous,” non-Arabic or non-Islamic, or contradictory to the kingdom’s culture or religion, Gulf News has reported.
The ban was also allegedly justified by the ministry because some of the names were deemed foreign or "inappropriate".
Other sets of forbidden names include those with royal connotations, such as Sumuw (highness), Malek (king) and Malika (queen).
Some on the list do not fit into any of these categories however, leaving the reason for banning them open to speculation.
The full list of forbidden names as reported in Gulf News is listed below:
Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin)
Al Mamlaka (the kingdom)
Rama (Hindu god)
Basmala (utterance of the name of God)
Jibreel (angel Gabriel)
Nabiyya (female prophet)