Raelians protest Walgreens' recall of swastika-patterned wrapping paper

Tuesday 09 December 2014 - 10:58:45
LAS VEGAS, Dec. 9 – Upon learning that wrapping paper containing a swastika pattern in its trim has been recalled in Walgreens stores nationwide following a complaint by a Jewish shopper, the International Raelian Movement has issued a statement asking that the paper be placed back in stock.

“We feel outraged by Walgreen’s decision and ask for this gift wrapping paper to be made available again,” said Raelian Guide Thomas Kaenzig, who is also president of an organization known as the ProSwastika Alliance.

“The swastika is still a holy symbol for billions of Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Raelians,” Kaenzig explained. “Long before it was unjustly hijacked by Hitler and the Nazis for ill purposes, it was revered for thousands of years as a religious symbol and a sign of good will. It can be found worldwide in architectural features and decorative ornamentation of all kinds, including in Jewish synagogues. It can even be found in many places in Israel.

The federal government deemed the ProSwastika cause of rehabilitating the swastika charitable in nature and recently granted the organization 501c3 tax exempt status.

“It’s unacceptable for us to see a major U.S. retail chain ban this symbol that is so dear to billions around the world,” Kaenzig said. “Would Walgreens dare to remove gift wrapping containing crosses if a Native American complained that his culture suffered enormously under the Christian cross? And what about an African American whose ancestors died at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan in front of a burning cross?”

Kaenzig said if Walgreens were to ban items depicted the cross, Christians around the country would surely boycott their stores.

“Why this double-standard?” he asked. “In the name of Raelians, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Native Americans and others around the world for whom the swastika conveys only its beautiful ancient meaning, we demand that Walgreens swiftly reintroduce this wrapping paper,” Kaenzig said. “And we ask that Walgreens also issue an apology to the millions of people right here in the United States for whom this symbol is sacred.”
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