Piggy banks 'offend UK Muslims'
October 24, 2005
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.
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 differences, 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"