Netherlands: Arabist accuses bank of Islamist propoganda

Arabist Hans Jansen is accusing SNS bank of using Islamist propaganda on their site. I bring here the letters which were sent back and forth, as brought on the Dutch Hoeiboei blog.


Madam, Sir,

I have put about ***** euro in savings by you. I see on your site Islamist propaganda: A woman in a type of headscarf which doesn't refer to a liberal form of Islam. Already before that you had on your site an Arab looking young man with a Muslim extremist beard showing the clients the soles of his feet, a standard insult in the Muslim world. It's known that Islamic schools commit fraud and for example pay for trips to Mecca with their entrusted money, according to recent news. [ed: I know of only one such school]. The last big Islamic bank, BCCI, went under with a fraud of millions. Have you become an Islamic bank? Did you hire an Islamic advertising agency? The trust in a bank is vulnerable, do you know that? Wouldn't it be better if a bank, just like the government, was religion neutral?

Hans Jansen


Dear Mr. Jansen,

Thank you for your email of July 28, where you stte that you don't appreciate that our site has a Muslim woman with a headscarf.

This was a deliberate choice of SNS Bank. We are a bank for everybody and our clients are then also a reflection of society. SNS Bank does not differentiate. For us everybody is equal and we wanted to show that. It is your right to think differently. It would be regretful if you decide to terminate your account. I respect your choice.

[name withheld]



It's not only a Muslim woman. It's a Muslim woman whose clothing represents a political choice, and a particular interpretation of Islam. That you don't know that is dangerous and sad. What else don't you know yet? You wrongly write that I'll terminate my account. You still owe me interest. Your announcement that your bank makes no differentiation is certainly far from the truth. Would you place on your site pictures of girls who belong to the Black Stocking Church? Your implication that I do make a differentiation, in other words discriminate, is insulting.

With all due respect,
Jans Hansen

Source: Hoeibei, SNS Bank (Dutch)


Hanz said...

Crystal Clear, The man is mis-interepreting the words of the bank lady. He squeezed her statement "It is your right to think differently" as as if she says "it is your right to think like a decriminator of people".

The lady's stmt is very simple and clear, she just wanna say "it is your right to not agree with me", and this is full repect to the reader (the man), not as insutling as he complained in his reponse.

The wearing a scarf has nothing to do with the bank operations or management of clients, or even teh bank trustworthy. I do not know how these guys are thinking. They really have the so-called Islamophobia, although I do not agree about this statement.

Esther said...

Hi Hanz,

I think Jansen got the right drift. They only said that it's Jansen's right to think differently after stressing that they did not discriminate.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this Islamic slant would go over in an ad for a SPERM bank?