Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Swastikas, Crystals and Crescents



The International Committee of the Red Cross has just adopted a new symbol, the Red Crystal. This is supposedly a resolution to the problem of international acceptance of Israel's Mogen David Adom, or, more specifically, agreement by Muslim governments to not attack ambulances and other humanitarian vehicles using the symbol (if such is possible). The Muslims have big time problems with use of a six-pointed star, and the MDA's symbol is "sometimes perceived as having religious, cultural or political connotations. This has affected respect for the emblems especially in certain conflict situations and has diminished the protection the emblems offer to victims and to humanitarian and medical personnel."

Well now, the Muslim countries have supposedly agreed to respect the Red Crystal. We shall see whether they do or not (but I wouldn't bet on it).


Some symbols get a bad rap. The swastika, for example, was originally a symbol denoting positive things such as fertility, health and prosperity. Then Hitler adopted it as his own symbol, and it since has become almost universally connected with hatred and lawlessness. Thus, the brickwork on the facade of the firehouse in Glenside, Pennsylvania built in 1927 before Hitler came to power, features a swastika motif (albeit a reverse swastika). The Glenside firefighters certainly do not attach any hateful or negative connotations to the symbol on their building, and have quite appropriately withstood the controversy that occasionally has arisen regarding the swastika at the top of their firehouse.

But because of what Hitler did to the swastika's image, it is absolutely out of the question for a new innovation to be able to use a swastika symbol without engendering some very, very negative feelings. Thus, the ICRC affiliate in Germany will not be using the Red Swastika as its symbol any time soon.

The same thing can be said about the crescent symbol used Islam. As of September 11, 2001, some Muslims did to the crescent what Hitler did to the swastika. And so, through no fault of the bona fide peace-loving Muslims of the world, the Muslim crescent has now become a symbol associated with hatred, deceit, lawlessness and murder.

Accordingly, the United States and other countries should withdraw their recognition of the Red Crescent symbol, and remove the protection it now accords vehicles flying the Red Crescent flag. Let the ICRC affiliates in Muslim countries use the Red Crystal!!

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