Guess What the Most Popular Name for Newborn Babies Born in London Is
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According to an article in the Telegraph, the most popular name for newborn baby boys in London, England, is Mohammed :
When various spellings of the Islamic prophet are added together - including Muhammad, Mohammad, Mohamed and Muhammed - the name is now more than twice as popular in London as the capital's second-ranked boys name, Daniel. There were 1,828 baby boys given the name Mohammed, including varients, in 2008, compared with only 844 who were called Daniel.
This information was gleaned from a report published by the ONS (Office for National Statistics). According to the Telegraph :
The way in which the true figures emerged, days after the official publication, will fuel claims that Government statisticians tried to play down the increasing popularity of the Muslim name. The official announcement by the ONS, which does not take varient spellings into account, states that Mohammed was only the third most popular name in London... In recent years the ONS has refused to divulge regional lists of popular baby names. It is likely that Mohammed has been the most popular choice in the capital for a number of years already, but it has never been demonstrated conclusively until now.
London is not the only part of Britain where the name is popular :
In the West Midlands, 1,399 baby boys were given the name Mohammed last year, including varient spellings, almost twice as many as the next most popular name, Jack, with 768. In the North West 1,337 boys were named Mohammed, including varients, beating Jack into second place with 1,154. And in Yorkshire and the Humber there were 1,255 babies registered with the name Mohammed, including varients, with Jack again second with 854. Throughout England and Wales Mohammed, including its varient spellings, was the third most popular name, with 6,591 newborns given the religious name, behind Jack with 8,007 and Oliver with 7,413.
As mentioned in a previous blog entry, thousands of British-born Muslims have gone to Afghanistan to help the Taliban fight the British Army. Many of them hail from the West Midlands and Yorkshire, mentioned in the Telegraph article as being areas of England where Mohammed is popular as a name for baby boys. In fact, when the British listen in on Taliban communication transmissions in Afghanistan, they sometimes hear jihadis lapsing into a West Midlands accents of English. In European capitals, Mohammed is already the most popular boy's name in Brussels, Amsterdam, Cophenhagen and Oslo. The Telegraph cites more government statistics:
Other ONS data from its July to September 2008 Labour Force Survey shows the Muslim population is growing 10 times faster than the rest of the population. Last year more than 2.4 million people identified themselves as Muslims, according to the survey's findings, up more than 500,000 in four years. In the same period the number of Christians fell by more than 2 million, to 42.6 million.
Mohammed is Most Popular Name for Baby Boys in London Rebecca Lefort and Ben Leapman, Telegraph, Sept. 15th, 2009 Ben Leapman has more comments in his blog entry , Mohammed Now No 1 Baby Boys' Name in London :
For those who follow these things, this won’t come as a huge surprise. We know that the UK’s Muslim population is growing, both through immigration and through its higher birthrate. We know that there are particular concentrations in London, the West Midlands and the North of England. We know that Muslim families tend to choose one particular name for their baby boys - Mohammed - a way that other communities do not. And last week it was reported that the name was now the third most popular in England as a whole. In fact, Mohammed probably rose to the number one slot in the capital some time ago. For several years, I have been trying to pin this down as a fact. But until now, it has proved impossible because for the past decade or so, the Office for National Statistics has not disclosed regional breakdowns of popular baby names, only national totals. My requests for the regional figures were met with the response that this would be impossible to provide, even under the Freedom of Information Act.
So the UK government boasts of multiculturalism yet simultaneously tries to obfuscate the fact that Mohammed is now London's #1 name for baby boys. They can do this because, as I discussed in my surnames article , the Arabic and Latin alphabets are incompatible, giving rise to various transliterations of the same Arabic name. Leapman shows how the ONS used such variant transliterations in its obfuscation:
Now that the ONS has somehow managed to produce regional figures after all, we can see that Mohammed is number one in London, West Mids, North West and Yorkshire/Humberside. Yet you wouldn’t know it from a cursory glance at the ONS press release, issued on Sept 8, which states that Mohammed is ”number three in London”. That is because the ONS does not take varient spellings into account. Fair enough. But in this case, the number-crunchers were being literal to the point of being obtuse. Some will suspect that they were motivated by a well-meaning attempt to avoid interpeting their own findings in a way which would prove controversial. Some would call this political correctness. Even before today’s revelation of the regional findings, Max Hastings accused the ONS of a ”shabby effort to conceal” the fact that Mohammed is the third-most-popular name England-wide. The fact that it has taken a week from the publication of the figures for the full story to emerge will surely reinforce this view in the mind of many people who are already sceptical of Government statistics.
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