Speisa.com reports that an IS sympathiser in Sweden who flew the ISIS flag will not be prosecuted for incitement to racial hatred

The question of the ISIS flag, whether it's a hate symbol in the same way as for example the Nazi swastika, has never been tried in Swedish courts before.

The short answer, according to [prosecutor] Gisela Sjövall's assessment, is no.

  • You could say that merely waving the flag of the Islamic State in the current situation can not be considered hate speech. It is not an expression of disrespect towards any specific ethnic group.

Is it true that someone flying the ISIS flag is not being prosecuted?

  • Welcome to Skeptics! I have made a substantial edit to this question to match the claim being made in the article. No-one is suggesting that they are ignoring existing laws. The body of the article makes it clear that they aren't changing any laws. The prosecutor has decided not to prosecute.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 15:20
  • @MohammadSakibArifin In Germany, the Black Standard is illegal en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strafgesetzbuch_section_86a see the list of illegal symbols at the bottom of that page, and the phrase in the law "Symbols, within the meaning of subsection (1), shall be, in particular, flags"
    – DavePhD
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 19:06
  • @DavePhD The ban on Swastika and the black standard are meaningless. I live in Bangladesh and see the Swastika all the time in the banners and walls of Hindu places of worship (and they aren't claiming to be the supreme race). It's a hypocritical ban. Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 19:59
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    @MohammadSakibArifin it's unfortunate that hateful people hijacked the Hindu symbol
    – DavePhD
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 20:11
  • The swastika symbol is more European in origin since it was used by the Ancient Greeks, Celts, and Anglo-Saxons and also some of the oldest examples have been found in Eastern Europe, from the Baltic to the Balkans. So it is not unique to Indian Hindus or limited to the country of India!-bbc.com/news/magazine-29644591 Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


Has the Swedish government determined that flying the Daesh flag is not hate speech?

They determined that a long time ago. According to current Swedish laws, someone waving the black standard used by Daesh can not be prosecuted or arrested by Swedish security forces. The Independent reports:

Flying the Isis flag in Sweden is not illegal and cannot be considered an incitement to racial hatred, according to a Swedish prosecutor.

A 23-year-old man from Laholm has avoided prosecution after he allegedly posted a picture of himself with the Isis flag as his Facebook profile photo.

The black standard is not exclusively a symbol of Daesh. Other organizations use it too. As far as I know, there are at least three organizations that use it:

1. Al Shabab

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2. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

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3. Jund al-Aqsa

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The Independent writes in another article:

Is the flag unique to Isis?

Monochrome flags are an ancient tradition in ancient Eastern, Arabic, and Islamic tradition, and some people believe one of the Prophet’s original banners was black, according to the Quilliam Foundation. Modern jihadists therefore adopted this style to legitimise their causes.

Therefore, the flag is in fact not unique to the group, according to Charlie Winter, senior researcher on Jihadism at the counter-extremism think tank the Quilliam Foundation.

“A lot of people talk about the Isis flag or the Islamic State flag, however there is no such thing. It’s a flag they have adopted that has political and theological significance.” he told The Independent.


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