18:07 GMT18 January 2021
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    Over the weekend, the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) published a report highlighting the most popular first names for baby boys and girls in England and Wales in 2017 using birth registration data.

    According to the UK Office for National Statistics, Muhammad became one of the top-10 most popular names for baby boys in London and several other large British cities last year.

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    While there were 679,106 live births recorded in England and Wales in 2017, the name Muhammad was given to 3,691 babies compared to 1,815 in 2007, when it ranked only 38 on the list.

    Oliver remained the most popular name for boys, although Muhammad was more popular in London, the West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.

    Meanwhile, other spellings of the name of the Muslim prophet, Mohammed (1,982 babies), Mohammad (837), Muhammed (450) and Mohamed (269) are ranked 30, 79, 133 and 199 respectively.

    In its previous reports, the ONS explained that combining spelling of one particular name would distort the list, knocking other names off their spots.

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    Social media users, however, seemed to be annoyed by the fact that the Muslim name was trending in the UK:

    The growing size of the Muslim community in England and Wales, as well as the popularity of the name among Muslims, were listed as the key reasons for Muhammad’s rise to the top-10 in previous ONS reports. At the same time, the Office believes that prominent sports figures, such as boxing legend Muhammad Ali and the UK’s finest distance runner, Mohamed “Mo” Farah, may have contributed to the increasing trend.

    Prophet Mohammed, name, baby, boy, islam, Muslim, Muhammad Ali, Wales, England
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