We can only assume what was the public employee’s look on his/her face when the father of the newborn baby showed up to name his child into the public registry and said the name he had chosen would be: “Jihad”.
Yes, you heard it correctly, a couple from the Toulouse suburb of Léguevin has tried to name their son “Jihad” (which stands for ‘struggle’ and is referred to as a ‘holy war’ in Islam) when he was born but the local town hall immediately alerted the public prosecutor to their controversial choice of name.
French law does not per se restrict parents' name choices for their children, as long as the name they give does not harm the child's interests and is not opposed by other family members.
But of course to be calling a child “Jihad” in the European country the hardest hit with terrorist attacks since the Syrian war started is probably not the best idea.
The French public might be raising an eyebrow or two if this is allowed.
The term "jihadists" is after all known to describe Islamist militants, such as those who carry out terror attacks in the name of so-called Islamic State (ISIS).
Back in 2013, a Muslim mother sent her three year old to school wearing a T-shirt bearing the words "I am a bomb" and "Jihad, born on 11 September". She received a one-month suspended jail term and a $2,300 fine.
However, in the past three year, Islamist from ISIS have killed more than 230 people in France in several attacks. A state of emergency remains in force and military patrol the streets in all major cities.
The biggest attack was in November of 2015 when a group of 9 terrorists simultaneously attacked the French capital Paris and killed 130 people; shooting people dining in restaurants in the center, trying to bomb supporters during a football match and shooting 89 harmless rock concert goers during a performance by the Eagles of Death Metal in the concert hall called Bataclan.