Pagan Chief Says Racists Co-Opt Elements Of Ásatrú

Pagan Chief Says Racists Co-Opt Elements Of Ásatrú

Published August 28, 2014

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Dragonoak / Flickr

The Head Chieftain of the Ásatrú Society says neo-Nazis have attempted to co-opt the pagan faith – a practice the society utterly disavows.

“We strongly oppose any attempt by individuals to use their association with the Ásatrúarfélagið of Iceland to promote attitudes, ideologies and practices rejected by the leadership of the Ásatrúarfélagið. We particularly reject the use of Ásatrú as a justification for supremacy ideology, militarism and animal sacrifice,” a statement the religious order posted on their website in English reads in part. “It should also be known that visitors have no authority to speak on our behalf. There is no advisor to the Ásatrúarfélagið and there is no spokesman other than our allsherjargoði. We respectfully request that visitors not claim any such authority based on their association with us.”

Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, the head chieftain of the Ásatrú Society, spoke candidly with Vísir about white supremacist groups who evoke elements of Ásatrú, such as runes and Norse mythology.

“There are groups to the right of Hitler who in some cases use Ásatrú as a pretext,” he said. “We do not want our name used to give these beliefs any kind of credence.”

In reality, Ásatrú is a polytheistic pagan faith which emphasises harmony with nature, living honourably, and treating others with respect. Due to its Nordic associations, white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups have nonetheless incorporated the imagery of Ásatrú into their own belief systems.

The Ásatrú Society of Iceland rejects racism, and has no association nor affiliation with any racist organisations.

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