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Parents win battle over toddler's last name of 'Allah'

22 April 2017, 01:03 | Jan Cross

Parents win battle over toddler's last name of 'Allah'

Parents win battle over toddler's last name of 'Allah'

A couple in the USA state of Georgia have won their legal battle to give their baby daughter the surname Allah.

The Department of Public Health originally rejected the parents' chosen name - ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah - on the birth certificate after the child's birth in 2015, saying that state law required a baby's last name to be the father's or mother's for the initial birth record, The Associated Press reported.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which assisted the couple in the suit said the state's decision was "unconstitutional" and violated the first and 14th amendments.

But the largest Muslim advocacy group in the U.S. said the surname could be considered offensive.

A toddler in Atlanta who was given the last name "Allah" has been issued a birth certificate after having been denied for nearly two years. The authorities objected to the name Allah since it was not part of both the parents' name.

Allah is the word for God in Islamic theology.

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Director Nihad Awad said several Arabic names refer to God, such as Abdullah, which means "servant of God".

"You would never use just Allah".

After the certificate was issued, ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young said in a news release, "This is an important vindication of parental rights and a long-overdue victory for Elizabeth and Bilal ..." "No one wants to live in a world where the government can dictate what you can and cannot name your child."A spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Health declined to comment on the matter. That would be considered very inappropriate".

At the time the ACLU argued that not having a birth certificate would make it hard for Walk and Handy to enroll their daughter in school, obtain food stamps or receive medical coverage.

State officials said the child's name did not fit the naming conventions set up by state law.

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