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Foreigners can't pick new German names, court rules
by Alice Baghdjian
A German court has refused to allow a family to shed their "foreign-sounding" names for new German ones they said would protect them from discrimination and aid integration into a country becoming attractive for immigrants.
The family, living in Germany under asylum after fleeing Azerbaijan, were given the opportunity to take on German versions of their names, some of which carry Islamic associations, the administrative court in Goettingen, in the state of Lower Saxony, said in a document.
But the family refused this offer, wanting instead to pick completely new German names with the goal of preventing any discrimination in finding work that could arise from an overly complicated spelling or connection to Islam.
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