An Iraqi family in Finland and their brave 13-year-old daughter

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Asylum seekers and migrants commonly get in touch with Migrant Tales like a Turkmen Iraqi family below who feared being deported back to their former home country. Their daughter is 13 years old and she speaks at least five languages. Since she is the only one who can speak Finnish, she not only interprets language but the family’s anxiety and fear. 

What a brave teenager she is. Always ready to help her parents at any time of the day.

How many more children and teenagers like her of families seeking asylum in Finland?

Many.

The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), with the backing of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government, has used asylum seekers as pawns for their own political aims.

Many asylum seekers who came to Finland in 2015 will soon have waited for almost four years for their residence permits.

What is Migri’s response to these people?

Grin and bear it – let’s see for how long.


The Iraqi family that feared being deported has a respite. They are away from danger, momentarily.

Finland’s immigration and asylum policy is inhumane and brings suffering to people who have seen their fair share of it.

When is this societal bullying going to end?

Facebook: Believe it or not, a “foreign-looking man” saved a woman’s life in the Kamppi metro station on Monday

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Migrant Tales insight: The Facebook post sent to me today about a foreigner who allegedly saved a person’s life at the Kamppi metro station. But how is this possible? Aren’t all migrants criminals and cannon fodder used by political parties to attract votes?

Thank you Nadia Hellsten for the heads-up.


 

Migrant Tales’ first-ever “WARNING: ISLAMOPHOBIC AND XENOPHOBIC CONTENT ON STEROIDS (Katie Hopkins, Tiina Wiik and Junnes Lokka)

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Katie Hopkins, the former columnist who got the boot from the Daily Mail and who has had to pay exorbitant sums for defamation, visited Oulu this week and was the special guests of Tiina Wiik and Junes Lokka, both who have made a name in the same way as Hopkins – by spreading bigotry and Islmophobia.

The Washington Post devised a new rating, the Bottomless Pinocchio, when fake statements are repeated over and over again. President Donald Trump is a prime example of the latter. Others that win Bottomless Pinocchios are Hopkins and the Perussuomalaiset* party.

Tabloids like Iltalehti not only show their shoddy journalism as in a column published by Mika Koskinen,

Erna Bodström, a migration researcher and human rights activist, exposed on Twiter Koskinen’s mistakes.

Sakari Timonen, one of Finland’s most popular columnists, described Koskinen’s column as “crap that attracts a lot of flies.”


Read more about the Bottomless Pinocchio here.
Iltalehti is a tabloid that does not hide its adoration for racists like Katie Hopkins. Here is a story about her visit to Oulu. The headline reads: “Super popular foul-mouthed media personality flew to Oulu to look into the rape of children – [she’s been] accused of racism and  Nazi sympathies led to her firing [in May 2017 after she was shown the door from LBC for Tweeting ‘a final solution’ after the Manchester Arena bombing].”

Hopkins Tweets that she tried to meet the mayor of Oulu, Päivi Laajala, without success.

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WARNING: ISLAMOPHOBIC CONTENT – Laura Huhtasaari (Suomen Uutiset)

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Why is this Islamophobic? Perussuomalaiset* Vice President Laura Huhtasaari usually makes Islamophobic comments on steroids and other times without them. In the news story below, Huhtasaari, who is an avid follower of US President Donald Trump’s and Hungarian strongman Viktor Orbán’s anti-immigration policies, says that her party has the right solutions to migration and wants to join hands with other parties to make Finland a safe country. 

Is this believable? The most racist party in Finland has the answers to solving its migration “problems.” I don’t think so. 

Apart from PS President Jussi Halla-aho, Huhtasaari is the top Islamophobe politician in Finland. She hates Muslims and likes to parrot what other Islamophobes in Europe and elsewhere say. Her call for other parties to cooperate with the PS is a deception.  

Read the full story here.

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017 into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity never mind Muslims and other visible minorities. One is more open about it while the other says it in a different way. 

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.

WARNING: XENOPHOBIC CONTENT- “Stripping citizenship from dual citizens” (Yle)

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WHY? The story by Yle flirting with xenophobia or xenophobic? A good news story is one that has different opinions. Certainly, if Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen suggests that naturalization laws should change in light of what happened in Oulu, there are other opinions on the negative impact of such a change in the law. One matter that Mykkänen’s suggestion fuels is suspicion of naturalized Finns and could be seen as a knee-jerk reaction based on populism. Moreover, it will fuel in Finland the perception that naturalized Finns are not “real” Finns and their rights and forfeited.  

The story below unbalanced because it based on power and privilege, which white Finns have, and which migrants and naturalized Finns don’t have.  

Read the full story here.

Migrant Tales to launch new column to warn readers of toxic and racist content on the Internet and print media

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As the parliamentary elections near in April and the EU elections in May, the Finnish print media and social media littered by politicians who are spreading Islamophobic, anti-semitic, racist, Afrophobic, anti-Roma and xenophobic content. 

Each story we pick from the net will get a classification and a short explanation why.



The first one to make it on the list is none other than Sebastian Tynkkynen, a Perussuomalaiset* councilperson who has gained notoriety for his Islamophobic and racist views.

His first posting gets a:

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Finnish white privilege #58: How the police, media and politicians fuel Finland’s hostile environment against Muslims and migrants

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As the sexual abuse cases in Oulu gather more steam and public outrage, one of the lessons we are overlooking is our reaction and racism. What role do the police, media and politicians play in fostering hostility towards migrants in general and Muslims in particular?

Even if Finland claims to have one of the best education systems in the world and is a society based on social equality, don’t let those matters fool you. They are not meant to be taken seriously if you are a migrant or a member of a minority.

Migrants and minorities in Finland not only live in a society that discriminates against them, but reminds them that they live in a hostile environment.


Kuvahaun tulos haulle sally kohn tweet
The term “shooter” could be replaced by “sexual assault.”

If we look at the 2017 hate-crime report published by the Police University College and what happened to a 10-year-old Muslim girl recently in northern Espoo, who was allegedly attacked because of her hijab by four of her classmates, they are examples of the growing hostility and that words have consequences.

One of the most worrying matters about the latest hate-crime report, which showed that they had jumped by 7.97% to 1,165 cases compared with 1,079 in the previous year, is the 58% rise in attacks due to religion. Most of those attacks were against Muslims.

Hate crime reported to the police is only the tip of the iceberg.

Should we be surrpsied by the growing hostile environment? If look at the reaction of the police, media and politicians to what happened in Oulu, our reaction should not surprise us.

Below is a timeline of the statements by the police and how it racialized what happened in Oulu:

  • December 1: The first statement by the police stating they have in custody seven suspects charged with aggravated sexual assault and abuse of minors;
  • December 4: The police states three days later that the suspects are “of foreign origin” and that contacts with “children” were made through social media. This led in some cases to “serious sexual assault” crimes; 
  • December 5: The sexual abuse case in Oulu grows and now involves three more victims who are minors bringing the total number of suspects in custody to ten. It states that “the suspects have come to the country as asylum seekers and as quota refugees. All of them have lived in Finland for years. Some are naturalized Finns;”
  • December 11: The police publish a picture of one of the suspects who is still at large;
  • December 11: The suspect who was sought by the police is apprehended in Germany;
  • December 12: The police state that they have nothing new to report on the sexual assault cases involving minors;
  • December 18: The police state that the number of minors who are victims is five. For the first time, or after 17 days since the first statement, it speaks out against hate speech. It said that “foreigners or foreign-looking people have been the recent targets of hate speech as well as inappropriate and threatening behavior [by white Finns]. One family of foreign origin with their child  were victims of the above.” The police state that nobody can take the law in his or her hands;
  • January 3: The police publish the name of the suspect in Germany who is detained in that country by the police;
  • January 11: The police said that three suspects who are of foreign origin are in police custody for four new cases of sexual abuse of minors. This took place in summer.

If the police have racialized what happened and thereby in the process – willingly or unwillingly – labelled all Muslims in Finland as rapists, Yle is another culprit spreading the same message.

On an A-studio: talk show on December 13, Yle revealed the nationality of the suspects. When I asked Yle why their nationality was important to know, the state broadcaster responded in an email that since the men “came from countries where women are oppressed,” and “from warzones,” where the risk of sexual abuse is higher, reporting their nationality was the right thing to do.

On the same talk show, the reporter quoted the police as saying that young girls should avoid meeting foreigners on social media sites.

The Islamophobic mindset of some Yle reporters can be clearly seen as in the story below.


The woman wearing a niqab does not represent a political party but the reporter, Jyriki Hara, thought it was a good idea to post. The picture was later removed. It was one of last year’s biggest gaffes of Finnish journalism. Source: Yle.

Politicians, even government ministers, are on the rampage.

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Facebook Abdirahim Husu Hussein: Migrants are individuals and you can’t paint them with a single brush

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Migrant Tales insight: Everyone that lives in Finland deserves to live in a safe environment. 


Read the original posting here