Monday, October 24, 2005

Don't Eat Your Piggy Bank

From Australia's The Age:

British banks are banning piggy banks because they may offend some Muslims.

Halifax and NatWest banks have led the move to scrap the time-honoured symbol of saving from being given to children or used in their advertising, the Daily Express/Daily Star group reports here.

Muslims do not eat pork, as Islamic culture deems the pig to be an impure animal.

Salim Mulla, secretary of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, backed the bank move.

"This is a sensitive issue and I think the banks are simply being courteous to their customers," he said.

How about a warning label: "Your piggy bank is not actually made of pork, but if you are concerned about the possibility, remember that you probably should not eat it."

However, the move brought accusations of political correctness gone mad from critics.

"The next thing we will be banning Christmas trees and cribs and the logical result of that process is a bland uniformity," the Dean of Blackburn, Reverend Christopher Armstrong, said.

"We should learn to celebrate our difference, not be fearful of them."

Khalid Mahmoud, the Labour MP for a Birmingham seat and one of four Muslim MPs in Britain, also criticised the piggy-bank ban.

"We live in a multicultural society and the traditions and symbols of one community should not be obliterated just to accommodate another," Mr Mahmoud said.

"I doubt many Muslims would be seriously offended by piggy banks."

I applaud Mr. Mahmoud for showing us that one special interest group does not speak for all Muslims. It may also be worth noting that Jews cannot eat pork either, but this apparently was never enough to abolish the piggy bank.

Update, Oct. 25: I forgot to note yesterday that the Muslim prohibition on interest could possibly keep devout Muslims out of Western banks in the first place, rendering the bank-eating issue moot.


April said...

That can not possibly task like pork.

April said...

It's like a cow's opinion!

Nick said...

It's moo!