Couple try to name baby bin Laden
BERLIN, Germany -- A Turkish couple living in Germany who want to call their child Osama bin Laden have been refused permission by German officials but are to appeal to a judge.
Names can only be registered in Germany if they fulfil certain criteria. A name must clearly identify the child's gender and must not ridicule the child or be offensive.
"Hitler" is banned as a name for that reason.
Registrations officials in Cologne, where the young couple live, rejected the name because it would not be allowed in Turkey, a spokeswoman for the magistrates court now dealing with the case said on Thursday.
"Another reason was the obvious association of the name with the terror attacks of September 11," she said.
The German rules on babies' names also say that non-German parents must give their children names that are acceptable in their home country.
However, registration officials do not have the power to ban the couple from using the name of the al Qaeda leader for their child and the case has been referred to a judge.
The parents, both under 30, have been asked to make a statement to the judge, the spokeswoman said.
She declined to comment on whether the couple had other children and what their names were.
The United States blames al Qaeda and its leader, Saudi-born bin Laden, for the September 11 attacks.
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