Nearly All Top Ten Baby Names in Paris Suburbs Have Islamic Connection

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The majority of baby names given in the suburbs of Paris have Islamic connections, according to figures released by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE).

The Paris suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis is known for having a high proportion of residents from migration backgrounds as well as a high illegal alien population.

The INSEE figures state that the number one male baby name in the suburb is Mohammed, followed by Adam, Ibrahim, Amir, Rayan, and Ishmael.

Mohammed is also the most popular male baby name in the district of Essonne, Le Parisien reports.

For girls, the most popular name in Seine-Saint-Denis for newborns was Lina, followed by Inaya, Sarah, Nour, Sofia, Aya, and Assia.

While names like Adam and Lina have a long history in France and other western countries, they have been described as “chameleon names” by Le Parisien, which wrote earlier this month that all three monotheistic religions frequently use such names.

“This term refers to a first name that has a cultural or historical resonance in each of the three monotheistic religions and which can also, thanks to its sounds, have the advantage of pleasing secular people,” expert Stephanie Rapoport said.

Gabriel, the most popular name for baby boys in 2019, is also seen as a “chameleon name”, according to Rapoport.

“Gabriel, like Adam, has taken over and both are typically first names that are suitable for parents with different religions or religious origins. They are found in the sacred writings of Islam and the Christian and Jewish religions,” she said.

It is widely known that Seine-Saint-Denis has a sizeable Muslim population through other indicators, including the high rate of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the area.

According to a 2018 report, at least 30 per cent, nearly a third, of girls were facing the threat of FGM, according to sociologist Isabelle Gillette-Faye.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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