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Mohammed retakes top spot in English baby names
August 14th, 2012
12:19 PM ET

Mohammed retakes top spot in English baby names

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Mohammed reclaimed its place as the most popular name for baby boys born in England and Wales in 2011 - convincingly ahead of Harry, in second place, according to data released by the government this week.

The government declared that Harry was the most popular boy's name, but if you add up the five most popular different spellings of Mohammed, that name comes top.

Mohammed is also the most popular boy's name of the past five years for England and Wales, ahead of Oliver and Jack. It came first or second every year since 2007, the only name to do so.

And it could become even more popular in 2012, given the adulation around long-distance runner Mo Farah, who won two gold medals for Britain at the Olympics.

The popularity of the name comes as Britain's Muslim population is expected to double in the next 20 years.

The country, which was about 2% Muslim in 1990, grew to 4.6% Muslim in 2010, with nearly 2.9 million followers of the faith, according to analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

By 2030, the United Kingdom will be just over 8% Muslim, with more than 5.5 million adherents, the Washington-based think tank projected in a 2011 report, "The Future of the Global Muslim Population."

Mohammed first became the most popular boy's name in England in 2009, then was knocked back into second place the next year as Oliver enjoyed a huge surge in popularity.

Harry, the name of Prince William's younger brother and J.K. Rowling's boy wizard, leaped into second place in 2011, with 7,523 boys given the moniker, topping the 7,007 Olivers.

But the name of the Muslim prophet was given to 7,907 baby boys, according to CNN analysis of Office of National Statistics data. Mohammed, Muhammad and Mohammad were all among the top 100 most popular names, with Muhammed and Mohamed also coming in the top 200.

A total of 37,564 babies have been given a variation of the name in the past five years. Some 36,653 Olivers and 36,581 Jacks were born in England and Wales since 2007. The British government keeps separate statistics for Scotland and for Northern Ireland, the other two nations that make up the United Kingdom.

The 2011 British census had an optional question about religion. Results are expected in November.

At least four different spellings of the name Mohammed are among the 1,000 most popular American boys' names in 2011, according to the Social Security Administration.

Mohamed is the top, in 428th place, with Muhammad in 480th, Mohammed in 562nd and Mohammad in 609th.

The United States is about 0.8% Muslim, with about 2.6 million adherents, the Pew Forum calculates.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Islam • Muslim • United Kingdom

soundoff (1,026 Responses)
  1. MISTER MR

    IT IS TIME FOR MUSLIMS TO TAKE OFF THEIR TURBANS AND SHAVE THEIR BEARDS.

    IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO LOOK LIKE BIN LADEN.

    I REPEAT – TAKE OFF YOUR TURBANS AND SHAVE YOUR BEARDS.

    PLEASE DON'T DRESS LIKE BIN LADEN.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Neeely

      Get used to it buddy.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  2. Mohd.

    Most of our muslim babies are inbred since we marry are first cousins. The gene pool of England is toast.
    Thank god I left Islam and now leaving England.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Neeely

      Both are happy that you did. Bye Bye.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  3. REM

    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Neeely

      REM, are you loosing your religion, AGAIN :)

      August 15, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  4. Jesus freaker

    Looks like Jesus has some catching up to do.

    August 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  5. Claire

    Just great. How long before Great Britain is a desert run by small, angry men with inferiority complexes who have to lash out at anyone who isn't a fellow loser?

    August 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • goku

      suck my dragon balls jew girl

      August 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  6. Sam

    Sickening.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  7. Tumbling Ben

    England is toast.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  8. Ali

    Who cares if the name "Muhammad" takes the top spot? Muslims are just like everyone else...what does it matter what religion someone follows? Also, "Muhammad" is a very popular name among Muslims and is also the most common name worldwide.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • James Tripp

      Hey Ali,
      Why so defensive?

      August 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • George

      Ali: I guess you didn't get the memo that "everyone else" doesn't intentionally crash planes into buildings or blow themselves up in the name of God.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  9. Letsrock

    Let me get this straight..... The world for most part of it is in a rescission,Poverty is at a record high, the rich keep getting richer , people are dying from useless wars and gun violence , but the starw that broke the camels back ( pardon the pun) is the name Mohammed.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • JeffinIL

      Yep. That pretty well sums it up.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  10. Answer

    Parents these days aren't looking towards the future too carefully...

    In the coming up generation they're gonna need to differentiate their names.. because with so many common names they'll be prone to name fraud and the abuses that come with it. Even if they manage to take over Britain with their sharia they're being awfully too stupid with the burden of the future of handling it's citizen base.

    Way too stupid. All because they believe that a savior's name is all so cool to have for your kids due to their religion. Too stupid – way too stupid.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Mohamed

      Really?

      August 14, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  11. Mohammed

    Fact: Muslims are required to take up arms only when defending their faith NOT for attacking unprovoked. In contrast, most of the other religions including Christianity preach their followers to attach in the name of religion.
    Fact: Muslims are not allowed to harm women and children even when they are defending against aggressors. In contrast, other relogions especially Christianity specifically says to kill everyone including women, children and infants.
    No wonder, the group who killed most people (more than the combined of all other groups) is not Muslims.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • God

      Deary, you forgot the stoning for adultery part.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • CSB

      Cool story bro. I guess that's why honor killings, genital mutilation and lack of women's rights continues to be a predominately Muslim thing.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • God

      BTW, please tell us where Christianity says to kill anyone.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Mohammed

      When you point one finger an someone, don't forget you are pointing three fingers at yourself.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Kellie

      You seriously have picked weak facts. Fact: Muslim women try to self immolate because of the abuse in their home. It isn't even all from the husband, but his family too.
      Fact: Muslim women are forced to wear burqas in the desert heat because men can't keep their eyes to themselves?
      Fact: If a muslim woman is unaccompanied in town by a male relative, she is charged with pros-ti-ti-uti-on.

      You are talking about war tactics from 500+ years ago.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Kellie

      I am talking about the lack of human rights for the female gender in the muslim community. We are no less of a human being than a man. That is my issue with Muslim men.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • sstephen

      are you freaking kidding me?? I'm assuming by typing Mohammed your just being sarcastic right?

      August 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • James Tripp

      And they treat thier women with such respect and dignity. Glad to see that society has come so far in 7oo years

      August 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Dean

      All those buses and cafes filled with civilians were attacking you?????

      August 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Ralph

      Ummm, Mo, you might want to get your facts straight before you write, because you're making yourself into either a liar or a moron, neither of which is a good quality outside of the Muslim world. Islam was spread through war and conquest. Mohammed, and his successor, lead followers to conquer areas and convert people by force under threat of death. The Islamic conquest of India, for example, is believed to be the bloodiest conquest in history, based on the number of innocent people slaughtered by the "Religion of Peace".

      Early Christianity was a pacifist religion. I'm not at all religious, but if one is to believe that there's any religion that has the blessing of God, it'd have to be Christianity. Christianity conquered the most powerful empire in the world at the time in less than 300 years with no army, based only on a simple message of love and charity for others. True Christians were not permitted to serve in the military or otherwise participate in war or even commit violent acts until the concept of the "just war"– fighting only when doing so was required to protect the innocent against an aggressor– was developed hundreds of years after the death of Christ.

      Muslims today are, as indviduals, far more likely to commit acts of violence in the name of their religion than other groups. You can't deny that as the statistics are well known. My guess is that you'll try to argue that those supposed Muslims who commit violence aren't "true Muslims". Those people, themselves would disagree with you...and, if one looks at the history of your religion, in commiting violence against the non-Muslim innocent, they are, in fact, immitating the conduct of your religion's founder, Mohammed.

      Again, I'm not religious, but if I had to make a choice, I'd much rather live in a nation that is majority Christian than Muslim. As a non-believer, I think I have a longer life span.

      Sorry, but, as we say in America, you're full of s–t.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Haneefah

      Thank you Mohammed I couldn't have said it better.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  12. conrad

    So if every 20 years the Muslim population doubles as a percentage of total population then by 2090 Britain will be 64% Muslim and the Queen will be wearing a head-scarf, and Sharia will be the rule of law. Now there's something to look forward to.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • OTOH

      Maybe a pipe dream... but if these new generations can be exposed to reality, they may well reject the old culture and superst'itions. Still, we're left with waaaaay too many people and it doesn't sound pretty.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • rainyday

      There won't be a Queen. Women are considered lower than dogs to Muslims. There is no way they'd tolerate a female ruler. And they'd be the majority.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Yank33Z

      How do you sleep at night with that kind of paranoia? LMAO!!!

      August 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  13. LNBigBearCA

    Great. Next step: turn St. Paul's Cathedral into a MOSQUE after getting rid of all statues there.

    New Istanbul on Thames.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Yank33Z

      Good idea, hahahah. They're 002% of the entire English population. Get real!

      August 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Tom Boyce

      YANK33Z: Read the article again in 20 years the population of Muslims is more the doubled to 4.6% from 2% not .002%
      and rule is when the populatio reaches 10% they demand seprate laws and start a revolution for Homeland :)

      August 14, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Mohamed

      Nice suggestion, but not necessary. Tolerance and civility would be a good starting point.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  14. fishyone

    Just so England keeps them over there. We don't want them. I feel sorry for the Brits.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      It's a NAME,/b>...it does not define them as a person by any means...they don't choose this!!! To even assume they'd be unworthy just because of a name, proves your ignorance.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  15. lroy

    Whatever happened to "normal" names like Francis, David, and Carl.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • God

      How about some cool Brit names like Flinders, Bertram, and Meadows, and Heathcliff ? At least they could grow up to be good proper butlers.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • OTOH

      Heh... just yesterday I was trying to think of the name of our one-time frequent poster, Flinders the Butler! Thanks.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Francis (Catholic), David and Carl (German) are not that popular in England.

      David (Patron Saint of Wales) is on the list at 57.

      The top 10 on the list are:

      HARRY
      OLIVER
      JACK
      ALFIE
      CHARLIE
      THOMAS
      JACOB
      JAMES
      JOSHUA
      WILLIAM

      August 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  16. JG

    America should learn from this.....

    August 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  17. Atheist & Proud

    F_U_C_K Muhammad

    F_U_C_K Islam

    August 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • below me

      +1

      August 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Neeely

      More and more are coming. Get used to it.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  18. CM

    Great more ugly babies named Mohammed who grow up to be hairy and beat their wives!

    August 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Neeely

      Get used to it.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  19. Atheist & Proud

    Islam is the biggest cult in history... feel bad for newborn Muslims learning how to blow themselves off

    August 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Mohammed

      Fact: Muslims are required to take up arms on when defending their faith NOT for attacking unprovoked. In contrast, most of the other religions including Christianity preach their followers to attach in the name of religion.
      Fact: Muslims are not allowed to harm women and children even when they are defending against aggressors. In contrast, other relogions especially Christianity specifically says to kill everyone including women, children and infants.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  20. God

    Why would you name your child after a pedophile ?

    August 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Atheist & Proud

      To spread their sharia law...

      August 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • OTOH

      Old Mo didn't even hide the fact (pedophilia), so it must have been OK with those folks back then?! Take note, all of you "morals are absolute" people.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.