Silence is a statement, acceptance of racism in Finland

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Silence is the first thing after hate that is dangerous…silence is not the answer, hate is not the answer.

Holocaust survivor

There is one form of racism that stands out a lot in Finland and elsewhere: silence. Silence, if anything, is a political statement.

Those who answer with silence are not only ordinary citizens but politicians, policy-makers, and other public servants. Even if their silence aims to deny and keep matters as they are, their hesitance reveals an ugly truth.

That ugly truth is inaction and the conscious or unconscious wish for racism and inequality to continue being part of our society’s DNA.

Martin Luther King Jr (1929-68) hit it right on the nail: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”

If you want to challenge racism in Finland, ask for a response. Tell the person that it is important because our first and foremost reaction to racism must be a reaction.

Deporting an asylum seeker and her child from Finland and ending up in Canada

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THE STORY WAS UPDATED

W. Che learned of a Palestinian asylum seeker who was deported recently from Finland to Turkey but ended up in Canada. Her son and her came to Finland in 2015.

Finland locks up children in immigration removal centers like this one in Joutseno. The picture of the girl has no relation to the story. Source: Iltalehti/Migrant Tales.

This is her story:

“I am a Palestinian woman born in Iraq who applied for asylum in Finland in August 2015 and who worked as a pharmacist in Iraq. My Iraqi husband was killed by ISIS in Mosul. I was granted Iraqi citizenship based on marriage.

Five months after applying for asylum [in Finland] in 2015, I had my first interview [with The Finnish Immigration Service, Migri]. I was alone [in Fnland] with my fatherless child. I have no family or anybody to support me in Iraq. After a series of appeals and rejections, the Supreme Administrative Court rejected my appeal.

The police appeared at my home to deport me, I placed my phone and started recording while they held me from my clothes and dragged me inside my home; they were shouting [at me]. This frightened my son as he is just a child who was scared by the savage way they treated me as I cried and as they dragged me [on the floor]. We were both placed in a prison cell for two days.

After two days, they took us to the airport and put us on a flight to [Istanbul’s] Ataturk Airport in Turkey on transit to Iraq. I started screaming at the airport and asked help from the Turkish police when they wanted to put us on another flight to Iraq. It was our luck that the Turkish police officer refused to put me on that plane to Iraq and asked the Finnish police to return to Finland.

I was taken later on by the Turkish police to the United Nations office where I told them what happened to us in Finland and how badly they treated me. I showed them the video I took.

At the UNHCR I was accepted as a refugee to Canada.

Name one PS MP who didn’t get elected without the help of Islamophobia, racism, and misogyny

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Helsinki City Councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussain tweeted in July: All the Perussuomalaiset* and their voters/supporters are racists. Yes i said it. Do you need proof? Take a look at your [party’s] history and how you became Finland’s second-biggest party [in parliament].”

On July 19, Hussein tweets from India: “Was yesterday’s tweet update too much for you. Let me be more concrete. All of the Perussuomalaiset and their voters/supporters are racists. Yes i said it. Do you need proof? Look at your history and how you were elected as Finland’s second-biggest party [in parliament].”

In addition to Hussein’s tweet: “Name me one Perussuomalaiset MP who was not elected without the help of Islamophobia, racism, and misogyny?

If by some miracle you find one PS MP, try to find another one if you can.

The far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.

Like Trump, like Halla-aho

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The closing of US borders to Latin American asylum seekers, detaining minors, vilifying Latin Americans and Muslims, emboldening white supremacy and relegating and maintaining migrants and minorities as second-class members of society are some of the things that we have seen and read about President Donald Trump’s presidency.

One will find many similarities if we look at Trump’s immigration policy and that of the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party’s. The overriding force that unites both of them is the fear of people of color and that whites will become a minority in their countries.

Donald Trump and Jussi Halla-aho. Source: The Atlantic and Vantaan Sanomat.

If PS chairperson Jussi Halla-aho would be prime minister and could rule like Trump, he too would not hesitate to enforce travel bans on Muslims, tighter naturalization laws, and fuel the hostile environment to new heights.

Halla-aho would water down or scrap Section 6 of the Constitution that guarantees that everyone, irrespective of their background, is equal before the law. If enforcement of non-discrimination laws in Finland are weak, they would not exist under Halla-aho.

Just like Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, wants to change the famous words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty that welcomes immigrants, Halla-aho would be ready to scrap our non-discrimination laws.

Our Nordic welfare social justice values and laws would only apply to white Finns.

Cuccinelli was quoted as saying in NPR that the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty could be rewritten to state, “Give me your tired and your poor — who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”

Just like Trump has declared open warfare against migrants and minorities in the United States, the same is happening with the PS in Finland. The latest attack is by PS vice-president Riikka Purra, who believes that Finland will look like Mexico City in 2100.

“If people come to Finland from faraway lands and cultures,” said Purra recently, “[these] people don’t change and become Finns. Certainly, some changes could occur, and we help migrants to integrate with programs, but it doesn’t work that well.”

The far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.

The term “harmful immigration” is just as bad a word as using the n-word

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THIS STORY WAS UPDATED

Racists, xenophobes and populist opportunists from parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* like to be intentionally mean to Muslim and African asylum seekers by labelling them “harmful” immigration.

Using the term harmful immigration to describe non-EU migrants by especially politicians of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is as bad as using the n-word.

Ville Manner did not understand in a tweet what was wrong with calling certain migrant groups harmful.

When Helsinki councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussein tweeted that the PS, its voters, and follower are racist, it’s clear that the party got a generous taste of its own medicine.

PS vice-chairperson Riikka Purra is now on a rampage to prove that Europe’s whitest country will look like Mexico City in 2100. In her far-right conspiracy theories about “The Great Replacement,” she wants to keep out Muslims and Africans from coming to Finland.

A paper by Frank Ndukwe about the experiences of Africans in the Helsinki area states: “When immigrants migrate, especially to such a culturally homogenous country, there is often the tendency of fear from the natives in the mainstream and the political circles, about the ‘cultural disruption’ immigrants could bring to the society.”

Whenever the PS uses the term “harmful immigration” when speaking of Africans and Middle Easterners, we can also ask if there is such a thing like harmful native, or Finn?

Who is a harmful native? A vulnerable member of society who is probably unemployed and living on the fringes of society.

Either way, the term is insulting and should not be tolerated.

A white supremacist terrorist strikes again in Norway. White supremacist terrorism is the biggest threat to Europe and Finland.

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THE STORY WAS UPDATED

It is surprising that in Norway, one of Europe’s wealthiest and whitest countries has suffered some of the worst terrorist attacks in Europe. Eight years ago, on 22/7, Anders Breivik emerged and killed 77 people.

The most recent terrorist attack by an alleged white supremacist in Norway on Saturday attacked with the Al-Noor Islamic Center near Oslo overpowered by a 65-year-old man who suffered minor injuries.

According to Aktuelltfokus, the suspect, Philip Manshaus, 21, was armed with shotguns, pistols and wore a uniform and helmet aiming to kill as many Muslims as possible. Manshaus was overpowered after he shot one person.

The suspected terrorist is  Philip Manshaus, 21. Source: Aktuelltfokus.

The Nordic region has seen a spike in Islamophobia in recent years and fuels Finland’s hostile environment against migrants and minorities.

Muslims in Finland don’t feel safe, and the recent terrorist act in Norway will not reassure them. Matters are exacerbated in Finland by the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, where anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam rhetoric is their political bread and butter.

The Mosque in the northern Finnish city of Oulu has suffered nine acts of vandalism since September 2018. After the Christchurch mass killings when a white supremacist killed 51 Muslims in March, the Oulu congregation guards the Mosque during Friday prayers.

“This is very sad what happened in Norway,” said Dr. Abdul Mannan, the imam of the Oulu Mosque. “Norway is supposed to be one of the safest countries [in Europe]. These things should not be happening. We need to forge peace [between people],”

With parties like the PS fear-mongering that white Finns will lose power at the cost of non-white Finns, it is clear that matters will get worse before they improve.

Even so, our society, politicians and the media must wake up to the threat of white supremacist terrorism, which is the biggest threat to our security, democracy, and the rule of law.

Vänsterpartiet MP Malcolm Momodow Jallow of Sweden posted his reaction on Facebook: “The Government, the security service and so-called terrorism experts, can continue to mislead, lie and pretend like others but as long as you are not prepared to realize the seriousness [of the situation], it is a fact and true that these terrorists will continue with their terrorist acts and attacks!!! I hope that the police department is doing everything in their power in Sweden that makes sure that Muslims in Sweden can celebrate in security their [Eid] feast tomorrow.”

The far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.