The latest data from the ONS (Office of National Statistics) is out and it shows that Muhammad/Mohammed/Mohammad is the top baby boy name in UK. The headlines, of course, did not lead with this but, as always, the devil is in the detail.
The headlines were that Noah and Olivia were the most popular baby names for England and Wales in 2021. 4,525 boys were given the name Noah, 4,167 were called Oliver and 4,141 George. For the girls 3,649 were given the name Olivia, 3,164 were called Amilia and 2,683 Isla. For the boys Muhammad only made No5 with 3,722 babies being given that name. But when you take into account that this name which comes from the Muslim prophet has 14 variations you get a different picture. When you add Mohammed (No.35 with 1,619 babies) and Mohammad (No.83 with 719 babies) you end up with 6,060 babies. That is not even counting the other 11 variations. This makes Muhammad (or any of the other 13 variations) the most popular name in England and Wales.
This shows the change in the culture and demographics in the UK. Walk down many streets in London or Birmingham and you are transported to different worlds. Its not a church on every street corner but a mosque. The women pushing the children’s buggies are covered in Islamic dress. The language you hear is often arabic. This would, of course, be no problem if we say an embrace of “Englishness”. London is a melting pot of cultures and traditions and languages. But we are seeing more segregation and ghettos and less integration.
Of course England is one country but made up of very different regions and which names are popular in which areas highlights this. Here is a graphic from the ONS. It tells us that Muhammad was the most popular baby’s boys name in four out of nine regions. North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, West Midlands and London.
We are seeing a steady change that is moving the UK away from its heritage and traditions and history and language and towards a religion and culture that is very different. Is this a positive or negative drift. What do you think? Leave your comments below to have your say..