Home>News Center>World

Jordan rejects ban on Osama, Saddam names
Updated: 2004-07-01 11:13

Jordan's parliament rejected a bill Wednesday that would enable the government to prevent parents from naming their children Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein.

By a vote of 50-38, legislators turned down the proposed amendment to the Civic Status Law, which would have empowered registration officers to reject names that they deem "harmful to public order."

A Jordanian Woman passes by paintings of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, in a frame shop in Amman, Jordan on Wednesday, June 30, 2004. The United States turned Saddam Hussein and 11 of his deputies over to Iraqi legal custody on Wednesday. [AP]
"The bill does not implement democracy, and there is no law in the whole world which restricts the freedom of naming newborns," said independent legislator Mohammed Shawabkeh.

An Islamist lawmaker, Mohammed Abu-Faris, said the bill had been proposed "to please the Americans."

"Only the parents have the right to name their newborns and nobody else," Abu-Faris told the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament.

In Jordan, the fashion in names is often influenced by political events. When relations were improving with Israel, before the Palestinian uprising revived in 2000, some Jordanians named their children after Israeli leaders such as Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu and the late Yitzhak Rabin.

Although the amendment does not mention the names specifically, the government made clear in the parliamentary debate the names of al-Qaida leader bin Laden or Saddam, the ousted Iraqi dictator, would not be permitted.

It was the second time the government has tried to pass the bill.

The upper house of parliament — the Senate, whose 55 members are appointed by the king — is expected to vote on the bill next month. Previously it has supported the amendment.

If the Senate again votes in favor of the amendment, the bill will go to a joint session with the Chamber of Deputies, where it would pass if it receives two-thirds of the vote.

  Today's Top News     Top World News

Beijing ready to talk with Taipei on 'three links'



CDC director resigns for SARS outbreak



China to lift restrictions on foreign banks



China opposes Japan's sea gas decision



New licensing law streamlines bureaucracy



Beijing's heritage status to be questioned


  US strike against 'Zarqawi safe house'
  Powell issues ultimatum to Sudan over Darfur
  Iraq to charge Saddam with war crimes
  Israel to re-route W.Bank barrier on court orders
  Qatar convicts 2 Russian agents
  Fed raises rates, pledges gradual course
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Jordan's Queen Rania gets military rank
Foiled Jordan attack not chemical-'Qaeda tape'
Jordan's Abdullah postpones Bush meeting
  News Talk  
  A "sovereign" Iraq? Do you believe it?