During her break from lab work, my wife was just updating me on the latest hoo-ha out of Bollywood; that Saif wanted to rename his son to Faiz from Taimur but Kareena prevailed.
To be fair before the naming controversy last year I didn’t really connect Taimur with Tamerlane but I can understand the objections.
However I do think that India gives far too much of a pass to its Bollywood fraternity. Taimur Ali Khan is by rights 3/4 Hindu by descent but the way he’s been named (like his older half-siblings) it’s straight up Muslim.
To be honest I don’t think Saif was trying to invoke the ghost of Taimur but even so I do think a classy Hindu/neutral name would have worked.
If I had a child I would think of ways balancing out the heritage in the name so it would reflect all of its identity, rather than a part of it.
Alot of the Indian Bahá’í pioneers have very heavy Iranian/Muslim names but they started giving Hindu names to their next generations in order to better integrate. I was reading about this Buddhist/Muslim marriage in Ladakh (the NYTimes had profiled them with a strong sympathy for the Muslim perspective) and no surprise the Buddhist wife converted in the end.
This insistence on unilateral transmission of faith and identity makes Islam very difficult to digest in some societies. Maybe intermarriages should follow the Irish model where sons take on the confessional status of their fathers and daughters of their mother (until the Catholic Church put a stop to that) but again Islam has a problem with that.
Islam has a lot of problems; Muslims really need to start fixing them..
As an aside here is a little excerpt about young Taimur’s name sake (from the book, the Mongol Conquests):