Swastika Row: New York State legislature stalls hate symbols bill; Hindu American Foundation appreciates move
The New York State Assembly Bill regarding the incorporation of "symbols of hate, including the swastika and the noose, into the curriculum for grades six through twelve" has been stalled and will not be brought up by the Assembly Committee on Education.
Meanwhile, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has appreciated the move. Taniel Koushakjian HAF Director of Public Policy said, "We appreciate that members of the New York State Senate and Assembly are open to hearing from Hindu Americans who, while supporting the spirit and intention of the legislation, have expressed deep concerns with the bill in its current form which inaccurately defines the swastika and ignores its origin and continued use as a positive, sacred religious symbol."
Several Hindu American organizations and community members had started petitions and awareness campaigns to educate New York state officials and the general public about the inaccuracies in the bill and the sacred meaning behind the swastika," read the HAF blog.
According to HAF, the bill defines 'Swastika' as a symbol of Nazi Germany, however, it fails to explain the historical origins and its use today as a symbol in various religions such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism.
“To label the Swastika as a symbol of hate would be a grave insult to 1.8 billion Hindus and Buddhists around the world,” American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD) said in a statement.
AHAD has also demanded that the meaning and significance of 'Swastika' be included in the educational curriculum so that the hate crimes against Hindus are not perpetuated.