In an effort to streamline US Homeland Security efforts Secretary Janet Napolitano has asked immigrants to "get real names". The move follows a number of cases in which the same individual has appeared at different places bearing different names, or documentation containing more than one name, or inconsistent names.
"Due to the sensitivities of Americans we do not wish to move towards permanent individual markers such as numbers or biometric indicators", said Napolitano. "Many Christians object to such identifiers on religious grounds. We have concluded that the traditional identifier, a name, is the one that we will use to identify people. Consequently it is now mandatory that anyone who wishes to enter the United States have a name".
Ethnic groups have reacted with outrage to the demand. "We already have names", claims Abdul Al-Farrouk Muhammad El-Shaddah Moustafah Bin Haalal of the Arab Defense Foundation. Abdul, also known as Jessef Bin Hadad Ata'al Rahman Mukarram Khalaf, or Bob Samir Jenkins, defends the rights of ethnic minorities to adhere to their traditional identities.
So far the State Department appears to be intransigent on the issue. "You get three names", states Napolitano. "One is a personal name, one a secondary name or religious name, and one is a family name. If you want ten more names then knock yourself out, but only three may appear on your official documentation, and it has to remain the same three in the same order".
State Department officials are quick to point out that the requirement is not racially motivated. "We appreciate the distinct nature and traditions of different cultures", states Napolitano, "but people need to be reasonable. I mean, what kind of name is NG? It does not have any vowels. That is not a name - it sounds like a bowel movement. Family names need at least three letters, and need at least one vowel and one consonant and no special characters that require ascii codes to type. Personal names need to be between three and twelve letters, and again need an appropriate amount of vowels and consonants. Is this too much to ask?"
Jenkins, also known as Taj al Din Yasser Imad al Din Hanbal Mohammed Falih, disagrees. "How am I to be recognized if you force me to conform to profane infidel naming conventions?" he asks. You would not ask this of any other ethnicity. It is a clear case of unconstitutional racial profiling."
The artist formerly known as Prince agrees. His name was at one point a complex and unpronouncable written symbol, and he claims that for years he was severely discriminated against in restaurant lineups where everybody else's name would be called while he sat waiting. Other artists have rallied in support, notably those with one-word names but also including Bob Geldof, whose name technically conforms to Homeland Security requirements but who just enjoys randomly jumping onto causes for reasons known only to himself.
Taj, whose name is also Dakir Asad Mahhsur Quasim, has filed a class action against the State Department in which he has collected over 10,000 unique signatures, 317 of which are from himself. "We need to stand up for our rights", he claims. "If a man cannot even have his oen name then what kind of freedom does he have?"