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Victoria becomes first Australian state to ban public displays of Nazi swastikas

Victoria becomes the first Australian state to ban the public display of Nazi swastikas, or Hakenkreuz, by passing legislation. Those who intentionally display the symbol will face a $15,000 fine or even risk up to a year in prison.

It is understood that the move will respond to growing concerns about the rate at which young locals are apparently being radicalised. The swastika symbol is a hooked cross – to some extent similar to a sacred Hindu symbol, but it is entirely different.

Victoria law does not prohibit the display of swastikas in certain religious and cultural contexts as it is considered sacred among Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and certain other religious communities.

The symbol is widely recognized for its appropriation by the Nazi Party and by neo-Nazis. The West associates the symbol with Nazism, white supremacism and anti-Semitism in the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust.

As quoted by the AP news agency, Dvir Abramovich said on Wednesday he expected Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, and the states of Queensland and Tasmania soon pass similar laws. Abramovich is the chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, which fights anti-Semitism.

“The fact that we have a resurgent white supremacist and neo-Nazi movement is cause for concern in every state,” said Abramovich, who lives in the Victorian capital, Melbourne.

“What the bill does is tell those forces of evil who are trying to break our spirits and instill fear that the law is no longer on their side,” he added.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 3:17pm on Saturday July 2nd, 2022