Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hindus in Europe are joining forces to oppose German calls for a law across the European Union banning the display of the swastika

Paul Majendie:

Hindus in Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy plan to visit each EU member state, European Commission leaders and members of the European Parliament to garner support for a pressure group intended to resist the German move.

Germany plans to use its presidency of the EU to launch an initiative which could lead to common laws across the bloc making it a crime to deny genocide and display Nazi symbols.

"The swastika has been around for 5,000 years as a symbol of peace. This is exactly the opposite of how it was used by Hitler," said Ramesh Kallidai of the Hindu Forum of Britain.

"It is almost like saying that the Klu Klux Klan used burning crosses to terrorize black men, so therefore let us ban the cross. How does that sound to you?"

The European umbrella group of Hindus plans to launch in the European Parliament in May.

The swastika, the symbol of Hitler's Nazi Party, is banned in Germany, which assumed the EU's six-month rotating presidency on January 1. In Hindu tradition, it is one of the religion's most sacred symbols of peace.

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