The government is currently investigating the possibility of banning the use of Norse runes. It is reported that the Minister of Justice, Morgan Johansson (Socialist) is behind the initiative. Among members of the Asa-samfundet, the organization of contemporary followers of the Norse Pagan Religion, and people with an interest in the Norse cultural heritage, the outrage is great about what would amount to a restriction on, among other things, religious freedom. A petition has been started and on Friday a demonstration is planned outside the Parliament House in protest against the proposal.
The background of the proposal is said to be the consideration that neo-Nazis in Sweden use the so-called Tyr-rune as a symbol. The fact that this is is the case is something that neither Norse Pagan-believers nor those interested in cultural heritage are particularly happy about.
It is thought, however, that it is not reasonable to deal with this by banning an entire written language and to also violate the freedom of constitutional and convention-protected religion. When the government applies other meanings to the runic script than the real ones, it make the same mistakes as the Nazis, one points out.
â€œOur attitude is that prejudices and errors are best cured with knowledge and facts! It is not appropriate to try to ban the our symbols on the basis of their own prejudices. To forbid them would be to ban portions of our own history, culture and beliefs – and our right to express them because of political interpretations that have nothing to do with the Ancient Norse Religion!
Contemporary political activists have no right to destroy the expressions of a religion and culture as old as the first evidence of the first human residents of the Norse Region, posted the Asa-samfundet on its website.
According to the government proposal, ancient Norse symbols and jewelry would also be banned as inciting animosity against ethnic groups. This would apply to the Thor’s hammer MjÃ¶lner, Odin’s Valknut and the Vegvisir.
The Asa-samfundet has started a campaign against the government’s plans, called “The Rune Battle” with the slogan “Do not touch our runes”. A petition has been started which at the time of writing had gathered nearly 6,000 signatures.
On Friday, May 24, between 14:00 and 16:00, a demonstration is also scheduled at Slottsbacken in connection with which the petition will be submitted to the government.
Interest in the Old Norse has grown strongly in recent times, also internationally, including TV series such as Vikings, The Last Kingdom and Game of Thrones.
Anyone who wants to sign the petition for the protection of the Norse cultural heritage and the right to practice the Old Norse religion can do it HERE.
Anyone who wants to participate in Friday’s manifestation in Stockholm will find more information about the event HERE.