LAS VEGAS, July 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Events for the 4th annual World Swastika Rehabilitation Day, initiated by the International Raelian Movement (IRM), are being held today in cities worldwide, including Karlsruhe, Germany.
But Karlsruhe recently issued an order  barring displays of swastikas other than that included in the Raelian's own symbol, which features a swastika intertwined with interlocking triangles. The city order was partly upheld by both the local administrative court  and the appeals court . The courts issued a specific ruling deeming 7 additional swastika variants acceptable for public display, but banned 5 others.
"We invited Hindus, Buddhists and members of Falung Gong and other religions using the swastika as part of their sacred symbolism, to take part in the Karlsruhe events," said Raelian Guide and President of the ProSwastika Alliance Thomas Kaenzig. "But the court ruled that 5 of the 12 religious and cultural symbols on our posters  cannot be shown. They claimed that the Christian, Japanese, Hopi, Tibetan and Ceylonese versions too closely resemble the Nazi swastika."
Kaenzig pointed out that German law explicitly allows swastika displays for educational purposes."So this new ruling creates a double standard by discriminating against those whose symbols are banned," he said. "How dare Germany discriminate so openly against people of certain religions and backgrounds? Japanese, Hopi, Tibetan, Sri Lankan and Christian visitors are now unwelcome in that country." He said those groups should avoid making holiday plans in Germany and that the IRM will do its best to make them aware of the discrimination. And he pointed out that many official government buildings in Germany are adorned with swastikas, including the German presidential residence  and the Karlsruhe administrative court  that ruled on this case. "Since swastikas used on these buildings resemble the Greek version, maybe the courts made this arbitrary distinction about which swastika variants are acceptable and which are not to avoid tearing those buildings down," Kaenzig speculated. "That's completely unacceptable and discriminatory!"