LAS VEGAS, April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Upon hearing that George Washington University (GWU) decided to expel a Jewish student for displaying a Hindu swastika on campus, the International Raelian Movement (IRM) is asking that the student's status be restored immediately and that an apology be issued by GWU. The student displayed the swastika after returning from a trip to India, where the symbol is still revered as an ancient emblem of good will.
"The university's decision to suspend the student and ban the swastika on campus is discriminatory and offensive," said Raelian Guide Upendra Singh, a resident of the Washington, D.C. area who is originally from Nepal. Singh grew up in Nepal's Hindu/Buddhist culture and is a board member of the ProSwastika Alliance.
"We seek to rehabilitate the swastika by permanently eliminating its association with Nazis and restoring its ancient, positive meaning," Singh said, adding that the IRS granted the alliance 501c3 tax-exempt status last year. "The swastika signifies well-being and is revered by people of many religions and cultures. In fact, it's common practice in some of them to put the swastika on top of public postings. It's placed on top to signify the good intent, peace and harmony of the writing that follows."
Singh said it's unacceptable that the president of GWU, the largest institution of so-called higher education in the District of Columbia, has decided to treat the display of this symbol as a hate crime.
"The swastika is revered by over a billion people on this planet," he said. "It's time to remember and respect that fact and stop linking this ancient symbol to the thugs who abused it in the 20th century."
Singh said it's the president of GWU who should be permanently expelled, not the student.
"How can a university president be so ignorant?" he asked. "Yes, the Nazis used the swastika. But so did Gandhi and the Dalai Lamas, and the swastika is one of the world's most ancient symbols. Remember, the Ku Klux Klan used the cross, but it's also used worldwide by Christians. Will GWU ban the cross on campus too?"
SOURCE Raelian Movement