A French court has told a couple they cannot name their baby Jihad as that would likely have a negative effect on the boy’s life, and has ordered the vowels in his name to be reversed.

The ruling by the court in Toulouse came after the town hall alerted the prosecutor’s office last summer when the boy’s parents chose Jihad as the name to be put on his birth certificate.

The French Civil Code states that any first name may be given as long as it doesn't go against the child's interest. In the past the name police have banned a series of names that have fallen foul of those rules including Nutella and Fraise.

Jihad in Arabic word means "effort", "struggle" or "self-denial" rather than "holy war" as many believe, so ostensibly there should be no reason not to use it as a first name.

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