The French government has banned the sale of any decoration with a swastika, a symbol of the Nazi party, in a crackdown on “anti-Semitism”.
In an unprecedented move, the French government on Wednesday banned the use of any decorating products that are considered to be “racist”, “anti European”, “Nazi” or “anti Semitic” under a decree that is the latest in a series of measures taken in response to rising antisemitism.
The law also bans the sale or use of the swastika on public buildings, public places and public transport, and a ban on public symbols of “national pride”.
“The anti-Semitic and racist nature of the actions of certain individuals can no longer be tolerated,” Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement.
“This is not a political act, it is a moral act, and it is not the place of the government to legislate on this matter.
We will act against it, with a clear conscience, and with the full support of our citizens.”‘
Racist and antisemitic’It comes after the government banned the purchase of any decorative products that include swastikas, a sign of Nazi ideology, in November.
In France, the word “swastika” is an offensive term that refers to people or groups who practice a practice of anti-Semitism.
The term is also used to describe a Jewish person who is perceived to be Jewish.
On Tuesday, Valls told French TV that he had instructed his department to issue warnings to any individuals who used the term in their daily lives, adding that the government would act to protect people from being stigmatised.
Valls said that he did not believe that people were deliberately being anti-Semite, and that it was the government’s duty to protect French Jews.
“I am convinced that people are acting in a way that is not justified,” he said.
The government has also banned the promotion of a certain “right-wing political organisation”, the National Front, which has frequently used antisemite imagery and slogans, in public spaces.
The party, which wants to reintroduce the death penalty, has also been accused of inciting racial hatred.
Its website features an image of a swastikalike with the word in capital letters, the National Republic of Germany (NDR).
The NDR has previously been branded a “Nazi organisation”.
On its website, the party encourages French Jews to “refuse to assimilate to non-Jews” and to “fight for the French Republic” and for “French sovereignty and independence”.
France has seen an increase in anti-semitism in recent years, with around one-third of French Jews registering anti-Jewish incidents in 2016, according to the country’s national statistics office.