Saudi Arabia released a list of 50 names, including Binyamin, Maya, and Linda, that parents are forbidden from calling their children, the Gulf News reported.
The banned names are either blasphemous, non-Arabic or non-Islamic, or contradictory to the kingdom’s culture or religion, said the Saudi interior ministry.
Some of the banned names seem not to fall under any of those categories, however. Abdul Naser is most decidedly a Muslim name, but it is also the name of the 1950′s and ’60s Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser who was a rival of Saudi Arabia’s. Banned names Amir (prince), Malika (queen), and Mamlaka (kingdom) are all Arabic, but have to do with royalty, which may be a reason for their inclusion on the list. Binyamin just so happens to be the Arabic (and Hebrew) pronunciation of Benjamin (as in Israel’s current Prime Minister Netanyahu).
The banned names, according to the Gulf News, are:
Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin)
Al Mamlaka (the kingdom)
Rama (Hindu god)
Basmala (utterance of the name of God)
Jibreel (angel Gabriel)
Nabiyya (female prophet)