Victoria Has Officially Banned The Swastika

"In our state, nobody has the right to spread racism, hate or antisemitism."

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Victorian parliament has passed legislation to ban the swastika symbol.

The legislation means that it is now a crime in Victoria to publicly display the symbol, with offenders facing up to twelve months in jail and fines in excess of $20,000.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews was announced the new legislation in a Twitter post today, stating that “nobody has the right to spread racism, hate or antisemitism”.

Victoria is now the first state in Australia to pass legislation formally banning the swastika, with similar bans also being prepared by Queensland, Tasmania, and New South Wales.

The swastika was the official symbol of Nazi Germany and represents the horrific murder of over six million Jewish people during the Holocaust.

Prior to its adoption by the Nazi Party in the 1920s, the swastika had a multiplicity of meanings for different cultures and religions. Migratory cultures in Northern Europe have historically used the symbol, which would sometimes represent the Viking thunder god Thor.

The swastika originates from ancient Buddhist and Hindu faiths, who to this day see the symbol as relating to the peaceful expression of their faith, existing separately from any associations of fascist ideology.

Victorian lawmakers have deemed that religious use of the symbols as it pertains to Buddhist, Jainist and Hindu faiths will remain legal. Vice President of the Hindu Council of Australia Surinder Jain says that the new legislation will help dissolve the symbol’s association with fascism.

“This bill makes a clear distinction between the two. It does the right thing by banning the hate symbol. And it does the right thing by exempting sacred symbols used by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains,” Surinder Jain told SBS.