(LONDON) -- In Britain, the classic boys' names like Jack and Oliver are being challenged in popularity by the non-traditional British baby name of Mohammed.
Taking into account the different spellings of Mohammed or Muhammed, the name of the Islamic prophet would be in the top five of the country's most popular baby names for boys in 2009.
Some British publications, however, have determined that Mohammed has risen to be the No. 1 favorite name and are indignant that Jack, the king of British boys names for the last 14 years, has been dethroned.
"It's obvious how it's an area of great interest," said Office of National Statistics media relations officer Richard Miles, which released the data Wednesday. Miles said he'd fielded calls on Mohammed all day.
The surge in the number of British boys named Mohammed stems from a growing Muslim population and a rise in Islamic pride.
"It's a popular name because he is the prime prophet of the Muslim community," said Khalid Anis, a spokesperson for the Islamic Society of Britain. "Muslims are becoming more aware of their own faith. Part of the reaction to this is being proud of who you are, and part of that might be the increase in the name Mohammed."
Anis points out Muslim numbers in Britain have been on the increase for the last few decades, at the most recent Census back in 2001 Muslims made up 2.8 percent of the population. Keziah Mookram-Gray, a Catholic resident of London who's six months pregnant with her second child, said she could understand while a Muslim mother would name her son Mohammed.
"Ultimately you want your kid to be popular," said Mookram-Gray.
She spent months going back and forth with her husband to find the perfect name for her first born. "In this competitive world, if you give them a good popular name it will give them a little head start," she said, indicating one would pick a popular name.
London resident Fernanda Palone is pregnant for the first time and spent about three months choosing the name of her upcoming baby. She works at a pregnancy center and hears all sorts of baby names, including ones she finds strange like Apple. Naming a baby, she said, can bring a lot of pressure.
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