By Emma R.
The Swedish Government is trying to make certain runes from the runic alphabet, as well as some old Norse Scandinavian symbols illegal.
Their official reason for banning the runes is that Nazis used some of them during the second world war, for example the Odal rune that means O and the Tyr/Tiwaz rune that means T.
Reportedly, the Social Democratic Minister of Justice Morgan Johansson is behind the initiative.
According to the proposal, Old Norse symbols and jewelry may also be banned as incitement to hatred. This includes Mjolnir, hammer of the Norse God Thor, the Valknut/Odin’s knot and the Vegvisir.
However, runes are over 1200 years old and have absolutely nothing to do with Nazis.
For many Swedes, the runes are a big part of their religion Asatru, and for some they just have a great historical meaning.
In the definition of racism in Sweden it is included that any kind of oppression against a religion is racist.
Which means that banning runes is racist and against Swedish law. Nonetheless, the government is now trying to ban the country’s pre Christian heritage, religion, culture and art.
To ban runes because they were used by Nazis is exactly like banning the Christian cross because it was used by Ku Klux Klan or in the crusades, or to ban the Arabic letters that are used by the soldiers of the Islamic State, IS/ISIS or Al-Qaeda.
At the Asa-Community, which organises Asatru and people with an interest in the Old Norse cultural heritage, the outrage is great about what they mean is a restriction on, among other things, religious freedom.
A petition has been launched, and on Friday May 24, a manifestation in protest against the proposal will be held outside Parliament in Stockholm.
The interest in Old Norse traditions has grown strongly in recent times, both in Sweden and abroad, and includes TV series such as Vikings, The Last Kingdom and Game of Thrones.