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Muhammad is top British baby name — more proof of Islam's growth

Published August 15, 2012 12:02 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Muhammad was the most popular baby boy name in England and Wales in 2011 — if you add together five different spellings.That's according to a just-released British government study, as cited by CNN.Muhammad beat out Harry, name of a British prince and the oh-so-revered J.K. Rowling wizard, which came in second.Naming children after Islam's founding prophet makes sense in England, the article says, given that the country "was about 2 percent Muslim in 1990, grew to 4.6 percent Muslim in 2010, with nearly 2.9 million followers of the faith, according to analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life."It may become even more common in the future because "Britain's Muslim population is expected to double in the next 20 years," the article says, and "given the adulation around long-distance runner Mo Farah, who won two gold medals for Britain at the [London] Olympics."Peggy Fletcher Stack