Abdulah, who has appeared in a number of postings on Migrant Tales, hasn’t yet rallied enough courage to speak without the veil of anonymity. Like many who are scorned in Finland because of their ethnic background, regaining one’s balance and healing the wounds inflicted by intolerance can be a long process.
“I have learned a lot from Migrant Tales,” he said. “One of the most important matters that has helped me is to accept who I am. It’s been an ongoing process.”
Accepting oneself can be easier said than done, especially for those that have been constantly reminded that their ethnic background is something they should be ashamed of, according to Abdulah.
He says before discovering Migrant Tales, he thought that there wasn’t a single forum in this country that cared about his situation.
“It was awful and I became paranoid every time I walked outside my home in public,” he continued. “All the chat forums that I followed overflowed with racism and hatred for who I am.”
Abdulah believes that the most racist forums in Finland are found on Iltalehti and Suomi24.
“[Tabloid] Ilta-Sanomat’s chat forum aren’t as bad as Iltalehti’s because they’ve cleaned up their act,” he said. “I haven’t visited Hommaforum. Maybe I should one day.”
Migrant Tales believes that visiting Hommaforum would be a waste of time for Abdulah.
Mediaseurantais another website that furthers what Hommaforum spreads but in a subtler fashion. While it attempts to give a balanced view of what is written about immigrants in the Finnish media, it’s a pro-Hommaforum site. This is apparent by the type of stories it publishes that attempt to show immigration, and espcially Muslims, to be a problem in Finland.
Abdulah has never heard of Mediaseuranta and considers Uusi Suomi to be a good online forum because it gives immigrants and visible minorities an opportunity to express their views.
Migrant Tales doesn’t totally agree with Abdulah.
Even if anti-racists publish blog entries on Uusi Suomi, the online publication is openly hostile, racist and a home for Finland’s anti-immigration community.
Uusi Suomi has tried to weed out openly racist writers from publishing on their site. Even so, the website is still a good breeding ground for spreading conservative, anti-EU, right-wing populist, anti-immigration, and especially anti-Muslim diatribe.
Moderation is poor and it’s unclear if the online publication conveniently turns a blind eye to some of its more racist and Islamophobic blog entries.