Buddhist peace symbols

Neo-nazi swastika white supremacistTattoo parlours are giving away free swastika tattoos as part of an international movement to "take back" the Nazi sign and restore its original meaning as a symbol of peace. Picture: Getty Source: AFP

TATTOO parlours have offered free swastika tattoos in a bid to "reclaim" the Nazi symbol as an ancient Buddhist and Hindu sign of peace.

More than 120 tattoo parlours around the world offered the free tattoos as part of the controversial campaign "Learn to Love the Swastika" this week, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports.

In Copenhagen, Meatshop tattoo parlour artistic designer Peter Madsen says he had to turn away dozens of people queued up to get a free swastika tattoo.

"We had to stop taking in people after the 54th client, " Mr Madsen said. Every person who received the tattoo first had to sign a form stating that the tattoo was not for neo-Nazi reasons, he said.

The campaign aims "to reclaim this symbol, which the Nazis abused, and restore it to its original meaning in India, where it has served for thousands of years as a sign of peace and goodness, " he said.

Jewish cemetary Nazi swastika racistThe swaskita has been banned in several European countries as hate speech, and remains a symbol used by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. However, it is also an ancient symbol used by Buddhist and Hindu communities to represent peace and love.

The movement has prompted outrage from members of the Jewish community.

A Jewish man looks at desecrated graves of in a Jewish cemetery in Strasbourg, France. Jewish leaders say the swastika will always be a symbol of Nazi hate. Picture: AP

"I believe that a symbol that was once something else, but which the Nazi took hostage, cannot just be washed clean, " Finn Schwarz, president of the Jewish Congregation of Copenhagen, told mx.dx.

Meatshop owner Mr Madsen says he understands the criticism, but that anyone who gets the tattoo because they are a neo-Nazi "may think they are wearing a symbol of racism, but that doesn’t change the fact they are actually wearing on their bodies the symbol for a better world."

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Popular Q&A

Wrongfully condeming the manji reason?

i refer to two japanese instances, a pokemon card featuring a manji was edited because people were stupid enough to mistake it for a swastika....even though one, the nazi's stole the swastika from hinduism, and the manji is from a different culture altogether....why would one wrongfully condemn what is essentially the buddhist peace symbol just because of its resemblance to a stolen hindu symbol....why?....its not even the same symbol so why is it treated like that?....

We're talking about the same people who thought Pokemon were minions of Satan, here.

What is the Japanese Symbol for Peace?

There are many different places online at many different websites where you can find different pictures of the Japanese symbol for peace. You can find more information here: japanese.about.com

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