Tarry for the Nonce

October 26, 2005

I Like To Be in America

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 4:41 pm

British banks are banning piggy banks for fear they will offend customers:

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.

Best of the Web notes that Islam forbids interest, so would the bank customers really be orthodox Muslims anyway?

Further, some sign-makers weren’t minding their Qs and Ws:

A Turkish court has fined 20 people for using the letters Q and W on placards at a Kurdish new year celebration, under a law that bans use of characters not in the Turkish alphabet, rights campaigners said.

The court in the southeastern city of Siirt fined each of the 20 people 100 new lira ($75.53) for holding up the placards, written in Kurdish, at the event last year. The letters Q and W do not exist in the Turkish alphabet.

Sesame Street would never survive in Turkey.



  1. The whole flap with piggy banks is not really an instance of Muslim over-sensitivity, but rather preemptively guilty “progressive” Westerners unable to tell the difference between being respectful and being patronizing.

    Muslims don’t eat pork, but neither do they live in mortal fear of all things pig-related. As is normally the case with political correctness, the whole thing is moronic.

    Comment by Toly — October 26, 2005 @ 11:14 pm

  2. Let’s see, isn’t there some big lawsuit over knives in that part of the world? I seem to recall seeing something about that recently. I think there is something about dying by the knife that’s a big no-no to those of the Muslim faith, supposedly, haven’t checked up on that yet. So the threat of dishonor by knife is going out the door. Hmmm. Wonder what’s next? Rugby? Isn’t that the British equivalent of throwing around the ol’ pig-skin……

    Comment by michael — October 26, 2005 @ 11:27 pm

  3. HA! Nice ….

    Well, here’re two related tidbits:

    First off … there is a somewhat new western structure regarding interest & investments for Muslims in the banking industry….

    “As Islamic banking operates without the use of interest, the products that we offer our customers are structured in a different way to those in conventional banks,” explained IBB Managing Director Michael Hanlon.

    To deal with the no-interest payment rule, the IBB will itself buy the assets sought by its clients then sell them back at a fixed price via monthly payments.

    For example, if someone wants to buy a computer, the bank will buy the computer and then sell it on to the customer at a fixed price, leasing it to them or charging a rental fee until the item is fully paid for.

    Second…why, o’ why, would Turkey do this when they are trying to get their foot into the EU door?! No wonder there’re so many Europeans who want to keep Turkey out of the EU. I can totally understand now….$75 for printing a letter?! Imagine their other laws…

    Comment by Andrew P. — October 27, 2005 @ 1:26 am

  4. To deal with the no-interest payment rule, the IBB will itself buy the assets sought by its clients then sell them back at a fixed price via monthly payments.

    I’ve heard of this form of “Islamic banking.” It strikes me as hair-splitting: in the end, you still borrow money and pay back more than you borrowed, meaning that you pay interest. The structure of the interest is not really what’s important.

    Sort of reminds me of the Shi’a Muslim concept of “temporary marriage.” In Lebanon and Iran, you can find institutions where a man can walk in, be “married” to a woman for an hour, pay a fee for the “marriage,” and then get “divorced” when the time expires. Over here, I believe there are places that provide essentially the same service, minus the marriage sham. We call them brothels.

    Comment by Toly — October 28, 2005 @ 12:09 am

  5. You know of places like this in Illinois?! I’ve heard of this in Nevada, but never in Illinois ;o)

    Actually, this one friend of mine knows of this Chicagoland bar…. its probably best that you don’t know.

    Comment by Andrew P. — October 28, 2005 @ 8:47 am

  6. Toly, the “pleasure marriages” line you read here:


    and here is the USA Today story:


    On a different part of the thread about usury/interest and religions, I think I recall the Bible saying lending money at interest is bad, or perhaps it was just lending at interest to people of your faith.

    Jacob Krimble told me a lot about that, ask him.

    Comment by Jess Olson — October 31, 2005 @ 11:45 am

  7. Usury was pretty much looked down upon by the western world for a long time, until the late 1800s. Its now become part of everyday life. Usury was different than the current system, whereas w/ usury there was always the possibility that you would either get perpetually in debt, or that you could eventually become a slave to your creditors (literally). Most Christian religions were against it until very recent history. And even now the banking interest rate system is monitored by a government’s central bank to ensure that people aren’t abusing the system…

    Pronunciation Key (yzh-r)
    n. pl. u·su·ries

    1. The practice of lending money and charging the borrower interest, especially at an exorbitant or illegally high rate.
    2. An excessive or illegally high rate of interest charged on borrowed money.
    3. Archaic. Interest charged or paid on a loan.

    Comment by Andrew P. — November 1, 2005 @ 9:12 am

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