The family contacted a lawyer to help them fight the refusal.
Rabat – Local authorities in Casablanca refused to register a little girl named “Silya,” an Amazigh (Berber) name.
Brahim El Abdeloui, the child’s father, proposed the name to the Commission of Civil Registry in Salam District 2, within the Sidi Moumen district on February 28.
Officials at the office told El Abdeloui the name is not included in the Ministry of Interior’s list of authorized names.
Lawyer and activist Ahmed Arhmouch said that he received a complaint from El Abdeloui about the incident.
“The officers told the family that the name is not included in the Ministry of Interior’s list, dating back to the 1990s,” said Arhmouch in an exclusive interview with Morocco World News.
“The elected officers at the Commission of Civil Registry acted against the ministerial notes released in 2014 by the Ministry of Interior,” added Arhmouch.
“The official notes give Moroccan families the right to use Amazigh names as long as they respect the national foundations of the kingdom,” said the Moroccan lawyer.
This is not the first time authorities have refused to register a newborn with an Amazigh name.
Since the officialization of Tamazight (Berber language) in the 2011 constitution, 50 Amazigh names have been banned, according to Maghreb Voices.
The High Commission on the Civil Registry confirmed that Moroccans are free to choose their children’s names in 2014. The names must not breach morality or public order, however.
The commission makes no distinction between Arabic, Amazigh, Hassani, or Hebrew names, in accordance with the provisions of the law relating to civil status.
Despite the stipulations of the law, many Moroccan parents still face complications.
Arhmouch wrote an open letter about the recent case to Morocco’s Head of Government Saadeddine El Othmani, as well as the Minister of Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit, and the Minister of State in Charge of Human Rights, Mustapha Ramid.
Arhmouch asked for “immediate intervention to give El Abdeloui family their just right of naming their daughter Silya.”
He also called for “canceling all racist legal procedures in the Moroccan administrations.”
Arhmouch asked the government to abide by the international agreements of human rights and fight against racism.
Morocco has signed multiple international UN agreements on human rights to fight racism since 2010.