Queensland MP Annastacia Palaszczuk in Australia brought legislation to ban the public display of hate symbols such as Swastikas.

In a social media post, the MP had informed, “BREAKING: Queensland will ban the public display of hate symbols such as swastikas. We do not do this lightly or without good reason. Late last year, police seized a Nazi flag flown near a Brisbane synagogue. A few months earlier, a train carriage in the suburbs was graffitied with swastikas and Nazi slogans. Today I’m announcing our intention to introduce legislation to Parliament that will make it a criminal offence to display symbols promoting hatred and causing fear. These crimes are not harmless. Nor are their ideologies. They are to be called out, confronted and condemned.”

The Hindu Council of Australia, the Australian Hindu Association Inc., and other Hindu organisations and activists in Australia objected to Queensland MP’s plan to outlaw ‘the public exhibition of hate symbols and including swastikas’ which is a religious symbol. Hindus protested fiercely against the plan.

The Hindu Council of Australia released a press release on May 26 objecting to the plan to add Swastika in hate symbols. The press release stated that it “stands united with the Queensland government in its fight against antisemitism and other racist and exclusionary ideologies and wholeheartedly supports the prohibition of Nazi hate symbols.” And expresses an extreme disappointment in referring to Swastika as a Nazi symbol in the social media post.

The Hindu Council of Australia seeks intervention in three ways:

  1. A public clarification that the ban is limited to the Nazi symbol known as “Hakenkreuz” and not the holy symbol “Swastika”
  2. Exemption from the prohibition for the use of Swastika as a religious and cultural symbol.
  3. Support of parliament of Queensland in multilingual awareness campaign to propagate original positive meaning of Swastika and to counter the prejudicial misunderstanding.
California legally distinguishes between the peaceful Hindu Swastika and the Nazi Hakenkreuz

Assembly Member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan of California read Assembly Bill 2282 for the second time on May 23 (local time), with specific revisions that would distinguish between benign Hindu Swastika and Nazi Hakenkreuz. The Hindu Swastika would be decriminalised if the bill is passed by the Assembly.

“This is the first time in American history that a state legislature measure recognises that the Nazi #Hakenkreuz is a hooked cross, not a #swastika!” stated Suhag A Shukla, executive director of American Hindu foundation. We appreciate Bauer-collaboration Kahan’s with the Hindu American Foundation, and we urge the full Legislature to support CA-AB 2282 as modified!”

Other than that, an Indian origin MP, Chandan Arya in the Canadian parliament delivered a speech with the intent to spread awareness about the difference between the Hakenkreuz and Swastika.

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