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Wednesday, 21 November, 2001, 15:27 GMT
Your questions on the war
Alex Chan from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia asks:

The mass media always refers to the most wanted in America as "Osama Bin Laden". But I went to the FBI Top 10 Fugitive website and found out that his full name is "Osama Bin Mohammed Bin Laden". Isn't the Islamic naming convention the person's name followed by his father's name? Is the media making a mistake here by calling him Osama Bin Laden? Or, is the FBI wrong?

Roger Hardy from BBC World Service's Islamic Affairs writes:

Osama is indeed the son of Mohammed bin Laden, and he himself uses the full name "Osama bin Mohammed bin Laden". But it is not incorrect to use the shorter form, Osama bin Laden. An Arab man may describe himself, if he chooses, as "X son of Y son of Z" - but he may also use a shorter form for everyday usage.


An Arab man may describe himself, if he chooses, as "X son of Y son of Z"

For example, this naming convention can be seen in the Saudi royal family. The king, usually known in the media simply as King Fahd, has the official title of King Fahd Bin Abd al-Aziz Al Sa'ud, because his father was King Abd al-Aziz.

In the same way, King Fahd's brother and heir to the throne, Crown Prince Abdallah, should officially be referred to as Prince Abdallah Bin Abd al-Aziz Al Sa'ud.

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