ISIS’s flag is legal in Sweden!
SIS flag does not constitute hate speech and is therefore legal in Sweden.
Staff report: In an interesting development last week, the ISIS flag has been termed as legal in Sweden and can be used under the expression of freedom. The interesting development came from Prosecutor Gisela Sjövall who announced last week that she would not prosecute a 23-year-old man who had posted the black ISIS flag on his Facebook page in June.
The case happened Laholm, a town on Sweden’s west coast, where the police had launched a criminal investigation into a man, who has come originally from Syria, on accounts of suspicion of committing “hate speech” and racism.
In a TV interview to the local Swedish television she said “Put simply, one can say that he is expressing contempt for “all others”, and not against a specific ethnic group,”
The case got highlighted and compared to the notorious swastika symbol that has been used predominantly against Jews and is considered as a major sign of “white supremacy” in the Nazi ideology. She said that while the swastika had now come to symbolize a specific hatred against Jews, the same could not yet be said of the IS flag and the connotations associated with it.
“Up until now, we haven’t come to that point. That could change in ten years.” She told a local newspaper about the complexity of the case.
According to Sweden’s hate speech laws, for an image or statement to represent “incitement to hatred”, it needs to threaten or disparage a group of persons in connection to race, color, national or ethnic origin, religious belief or sexual orientation.
“If there had been anything in the text [posted alongside the flag] with more specific formulations about certain groups, for example homosexuals, the ruling could have been different,” Sjövall continued. “For me, there are no doubts about the decision not to prosecute.”
When the man was questioned in June, he told police he did not in fact support Islamic State. “He claims that this is not an IS flag, but instead a symbol which has is used within Islam, and which has been used for many hundreds of years before it was misappropriated by IS,” his lawyer Björn Nilsson told the local newspaper.
The black “Banner of the Eagle” is one of the flags flown by the prophet Mohammad in Islamic tradition. The flag has been banned from public demonstration in the Netherlands in August 2014, and forbidden in Germany (for non-educational purposes) from September 2014.
Author: Zak Hades – Serbia