Dear Mr. President,
I have been following the latest developments in the controversy surrounding your pre-game show display of the Ugunskrusts symbol on November 17. The fine assessed by the Kontinental Hockey League is shockingly unfair and wrong, since the image had nothing whatsoever to do with the Nazis or any other destructive organization, past or present.
On behalf of Rael, founder and spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement, I want to express my full support for your position. It was definitely appropriate and praiseworthy for you to show the traditional and honorable Ugunskrusts symbol as part of the celebration for the Latvian Republic’s 95th anniversary of independence. You are to be congratulated, not criticized or fined, for including this traditional Latvian symbol!
As you surely know, this geometrical shape in its older, pre-Nazi-era manifestations is one of the most cherished symbols on Earth. Variations are found in almost all ancient cultures worldwide, where it had only positive meanings and associations. But due to miseducation propagated by Western media and educational systems, there is now a blanket discrimination there against all of its forms. The vast majority of people in the West associate the swastika solely with Hitler and the Nazis, and that association has reversed its pre-Nazi-era reputation as an honorable, ancient symbol.
We Raelians believe it’s time to restore the swastika’s original meaning of good will and peace, and initiatives such as yours on November 17 are a step in the right direction!
Things are different in Asia, where the ancient swastika with its positive associations is still a revered religious symbol for hundreds of millions of Buddhists and Hindus. Countless Asian temples are still adorned with it, and it is also found in some Native American cultures and others. In addition, intertwined with the Star of David, it is the symbol of the Raelian Movement (see www.rael.org). The swastika in our symbol stands for infinity in time and the interlocking triangles represent infinity in space.
To restore the swastika symbol in all its dignity, and to rehabilitate it in the eyes of history, we hold an annual International Day for the Rehabilitation of the Swastika (see www.proswastika.org). Our goal is to inform people worldwide about this ancient symbol’s original positive meaning, and to convince them that a Nazi war criminal’s misappropriation of such a revered symbol shouldn’t permanently tarnish its reputation.
Most importantly, it’s unacceptable that the large portion of the world that cherishes this peaceful symbol should have its views disrespected and ignored for so long. Should we force Christians to renounce the cross because the Ku Klux Klan made it a symbol for its crimes? And should we impose a new flag on the United States because the carnage at Hiroshima and Nakasaki was committed under its auspices?
Clearly we should not!
We should instead shed the past and cease to legitimize Nazi ideology by deeming the swastika its emblem in perpetuity. For thousands of years, the swastika was a worldwide symbol of well being and good luck, and so it remains today for a significant portion of humanity.
When Westerners insist on a negative interpretation of this symbol solely because it was grossly misused by a destructive regime, they are fueling discrimination against the millions of people who continue to revere it for religious and cultural reasons. Despite any criticism based on misinformation and miseducation, we must patiently continue to educate the public if we want to reverse this destructive trend. For helping to restore respect for this symbol and the truth of its original meaning, I admire and applaud the boldness with which you displayed this national symbol! Thank you!
Please accept my congratulations and firm support once again!
With my respectful regards,
Latvia Raelian Movement