A bill in New York that would have mandated the teaching of the meaning behind hateful symbols including the Nazi swastika has been pulled after objections from Hindus and Buddhists.
The Times Union reports New York Sen. Todd Kaminsky agreed to rewrite the bill to address the concerns of some.
To Hindus and Buddhists, the swastika is a symbol of peace and central to their religion. They accuse the Nazis of coopting their religious symbol for hate.
“It is part of our festivals, temple rituals, and is displayed at homes, weddings and even below the deity as a yantra,” said Dr. Uma Mysorekar of the Hindu Temple Society of North America to India West.
“Today, misrepresenting and teaching Swastika as a symbol of hate will cause confusion in the minds of young people who utilize it in their daily religious practice, and can lead to bullying and biases against them. It can also perpetuate misinformation.”
Kaminsky’s bill would have mandated the teaching of hate symbols to 7th through 12th graders.
According to PIndia, the Coalition of Hindus from North America launched a petition drive against the bill that gathered more than 40,000 signatures on Change.org.
The petition described the bill as “misguided and unconstitutional as it attempts to mis-label a significant Hindu Symbol and fails to consider the symbol’s Hindu religious and cultural significance. It is akin to labeling the symbol of cross or Star of David as a hate symbol.”
Nazi symbol via Wikimedia Creative Commons byThis site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.