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Nov 28 2007

The Name Game

Ok, maybe you want to be a bit more careful when you are naming your stuffed animals. I’m sure you have heard by this point about Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher who was arrested after her class voted to name their teddy bear Muhammad.

BBC News is discussing the rules about what can and cannot be named after whom.

The issue has been a vexed one for Muslims through the ages. Some believe that the name can only be given to boys – to give it to an object is idolatry. Others say that pets and toys can bear the name.

Dilwar Hussain, of the Islamic Foundation, has no problem with a teddy bear called Muhammad. For some years, the Islamic Society sold a soft toy made for British Muslim children named Adam the Prayer Bear. “Adam is also the name of a Prophet.”

They named their bear Muhammad,
And their teacher was arrested;
Religious views around the world
Are sorely being tested.

It’s cool to name a pit-bull
After Odin, Zeus, or Thor;
A fuzzy little kitten
Aphrodite–and what’s more,

If you search the pets in lands
From Argentina to Moldova
I suspect you’ll find a turtle
That’s called Yahweh or Jehovah.

An octopus named Kali?
I’m sure someone’s been enticed;
And the lizard called the Basilisk
Is nicknamed Jesus Christ.

There is one that’s so ubiquitous
It’s overlooked–how odd.
Imaginary friends, across
The planet, are called “God”.

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