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When Love Becomes Hate

Germany is asking the European Union to ban the display of swastikas, claiming that it's a "crime to deny genocide." Having a close Indian friend and understanding the sanctity of the symbol in the Hindu religion where it translates in … Read More

By / January 17, 2007

Germany is asking the European Union to ban the display of swastikas, claiming that it's a "crime to deny genocide." Having a close Indian friend and understanding the sanctity of the symbol in the Hindu religion where it translates in Sanskrit to may goodness prevail and is used as a sign of peace, I'm torn with Germany's proposition.

Germany, alarmed by a rise in far-right crime, wants to harmonize the rules for punishing offenders in member states.

"In Germany the fight against racism and xenophobia is both an historic duty and a current political concern," Germany's Justice Ministry said, laying out its plans earlier this month.

Kallidai said Germany's initiative was probably well-meaning but there had been no consultations.

"Every time we see a swastika symbol in a Jewish cemetery, that of course must be condemned. But when the symbol is used in a Hindu wedding, people should learn to respect that," he told Reuters.

In my heart, I disagree with this call because it serves to diminish all that is holy in one culture for the sake of succumbing to the xenophobia of another. On the other hand, I think Germany is responding a greater threat of evil and that the action serves to show that they won't stand for hate crimes and that Europe needs to be on board with them. And unfortunately, what the image evokes in today's Western culture is that of hatred and intolerance.

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