Ebrahim Moosa – Cii News | 25 September 2014/30 Dhul Qa’dah 1435
The fact that the elite in certain prominent countries of the West are vehement drivers of an agenda of Islamophobia has in no way managed to hamper the spread of as iconic an Islamic name as Muhammad across their territories.
This poetic irony again bore itself out spectacularly this week when it was revealed that Muhammad was the most popular baby name in Israel, itself a state viewed as being deeply Islamophobic and one that prides itself as possessing a distinct Jewish character.
Despite authorities trying to keep it hidden from the annual official list, by initially omitting Arabic baby names, investigations by segments of the Israeli press revealed that, considering the names Arab Muslims living within ‘Israel’ choose for their offspring, Muhammad should have topped the boys’ list and Ahmed(another name of the Prophet SAW) should have placed ninth.
Facing criticism for failing to be forthcoming in revealing this fascinating indicator, the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority said it had no intention of skewing the facts, arguing that the list simply reflected the media’s interest in popular Hebrew names.
Considering the succession of vile attempts to blaspheme against the noble personality of the Prophet SAW in recent years, Ziyaee said the continued popularity of the name Muhammad was ample testimony to the unbreakable attachment that every Muslim shares with his/her Nabi.
“Allah SWT has informed us that He gives honour to whomsoever He wills and abases whomsoever He Wills.Non Muslims have even begun to find the beauty in this name..The Barakah of Muhammad is that every mention of amounts to recalling the Habeeb SAW. And it further reminds us that we should praise Allah SWT. This is the name that is recognised by Allah SWT for His Habeeb SAW.”
Ziyaaee said numerous benefits would accrue by choosing to name ones offspring Muhammad.
The Jewish New Year—Rosh Hashanah—came and went last week. The New Year being a time of reflection in the form of top ten lists of the year’s greatest hits, Israel published a list of the year’s ten most popular baby names in the country. The only problem is—it omitted number one. “According to this list, Yosef was the most popular boy’s name, followed by Daniel, Ori, Itai, Omer, Adam, Noam, Ariel, Eitan and David,” Haaretz reported last week. That’s not quite accurate however, as the New York Times pointed out on Tuesday, “Muhammad was by far the most popular name for babies born in Israel last year: 1,986 boys shared the name of the Muslim prophet.”
Sabine Haddad, spokeswoman for Israel’s Population, Immigration and Borders Authority— the department that published the list—told the Times “the missing Muhammads [were] something between a mistake and a misunderstanding.”
The list, she said, was simply a response to requests “for Hebrew names” in conjunction with the start of “the Hebrew New Year.” It would have been better, she acknowledged, to put an asterisk noting that what she called “obviously Arabic names” were left off. “There was no intention, no political intention,” Ms. Haddad said in an interview.
Haaretz notes: “The authority put out a similar list last year, also without citing the fact that it included only Hebrew names, and nor did it issue a separate list relating to the Arab population.” And in that omission Haaretz sees a larger issue at play. Here’s more:
No distinctly-Arab baby name made it to the top 10 of popular baby names in Israel (Yosef and Adam are common among both Jews and Arab-Israelis), although Arabs account for 20% of Israel’s population. On the face of it, the omission smacks of a deliberate attempt to exclude the Arab population of Israel from yet another thing Israeli. Yet this isn’t a matter of simple, blatant racism. It’s worse. It’s denial. Denial of what? First of all of Arabs, of course. Failing to acknowledge the existence of its big Arab population is a much subtler of exclusion, and in a way worse than outright racism: at least when we discriminate, we acknowledge the other.