Respecting Muslim sentiments, Dutch bank withdraws piggy banks for kids

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London, Feb.23 : A bank in The Netherlands has decided to stop giving piggy banks to children for fear of offending Muslims.

Not only that, it has also decided to remove its mascot, a piglet going by the name of Knorbert.

According to The Times, the Fortis Bank has opted for political correctness, though critics view it as the latest sign of uncertainty in Europe's most tolerant country.

Muslims and Jews consider pigs unclean, and Knorbert was culled after be a Fortis mascot for seven years.

"Knorbert does not meet the requirements that the multicultural society imposes on us. There have been a number of reactions to the pig, and a new gift and character is being developed that would be fun for children of any persuasion," the paper quoted a spokesman of the bank, as saying.

Children who had received a Knorbert piggy bank for opening a EuroKids account will be given a junior encyclopaedia instead.

Fortis Bank, which is based in the Netherlands and Belgium, was keen to play down the influence of cultural concerns on its decision.

Lilian Tackaert, a spokeswoman, said that Knorbert had reached the natural end of his product life cycle.

Tackaert said that the bank was in tune with the openness and welcoming nature of Dutch society. She repudiated the statement that multiculturalism meant that Knorbert's luck had run out.

The Muslim population of the Netherlands is put at about one million, or six per cent of the total of 16 million. Most are of Moroccan or Turkish origin.

ANI

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