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'Swastika' Earrings Cause Conflict with Government Officials

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By Benge Nsenduluka, CP Reporter
January 12, 2012|11:43 am

A New York City jewelry store manager insists her store has been wrongly accused of selling Nazi memorabilia after a councilman demanded it remove some of its controversial jewelry.

The manager, known only as "Susan" spoke exclusively with The Christian Post and explained that the criticism, which the Bejeweled store is receiving, is unwarranted.

"They are not swastika earrings...we don't carry Nazi memorabilia in our store," Susan said.

The costume jewelry store known for selling affordable fashion accessories recently came under intense media scrutiny after a shopper spotted what appeared to be "swastika" shaped earrings at first glance.

The store, which is located in the dominantly Jewish area of Williamsburg, Brooklyn was forced to remove the controversial earrings after local Councilman Steve Levin caught wind of the matter and blasted the store.

Levin, who represents Brooklyn's 33rd District, told the Daily News that the earrings were "totally outrageous" and demanded they be removed.

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The store maintains that the earrings are innocent and are actually a symbol of eternity in the Buddhist religion.

The earrings display what appears as a backwards facing swastika, which is common in Buddhism.

For centuries Buddhists have used the sign on temples, clothing and signs to present balance and eternity under Buddhist law.

Susan revealed that the store does sell religious jewelry, including "crucifixes" and "the evil eye," and, although she argues that the store is innocent, agreed to remove the earrings.

"It (earrings) has been removed but we are still debating on it because if it was a Nazi...memorabilia, of course we would never carry it," she said.

"The subject is kind of touchy and we are still actually debating over it," she added.

While Susan remains optimistic about reaching a compromise with complainants, Levin's comments suggest the earrings will unlikely be placed back on the shelves and used the situation as an opportunity to warn others.

"I am pleased that Bejeweled has heeded my call... any other city retailers who sell these earrings should remove them from your shelves and help us remove the hate from our city," Levin told The New York Daily News.

Susan says the criticism "is certainly not fair to the millions of Asians," who she argues are unable to express their religious freedoms due to the misunderstanding.

 

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