Abdulah: Healing the wounds inflicted by intolerance and regaining balance

by , under Enrique

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.

  1. PS voter

    In my opinion, seeking 100 percent self-acceptance is a kind of cult and seems to be typical American thinking, which should be approached with scepticism. In my opinion, accepting yourself completely, makes you easily passive and is hindrance for improving yourself. And it is worth to remember, that for example in arts or science, people without completely happiness and who have conflicts in their life, have been some of the most important people in their fields. And I am sure all people have some things that they should not be proud of, things they should regret and things that they should try to improve.

    Having said that, I feel that it is important to accept that there are things you cannot or should not change. For example, colour of skin is one of those things and both excessive tanning and using creams that whiten your skin, are harmful for your health.

    I think that Hommaforum might be interesting experience for Abdulah, if done correctly. However, I think it carries certain risks, if not done properly. If you just have a quick look at it at some random point of time, it is quite possible that you will see something you don’t like or which upsets you. Even though you seem quite sensitive person, I think you could handle it, if you have been able to handle more racist forums, like Iltalehti and Suomi24. I have some ideas how you could approach Hommaforum with success and I would like to offer them to you in privately. I hope that some day you will contact me.

    You might even try to introduce yourself with some background information on Hommaforum and you might even get some friends, if you select your words in a wise way. You wouldn’t be the first immigrant person writing on Hommaforum, although I think there should be more persons with immigrant background on Hommaforum, to bring some balance. And if you are able to analyse the messages instead of jumping too soon to any conclusions, you might notice that not all immigration critics are alike. And some persons on Hommaforum aren’t even immigration critics. And I have noticed that many immigration critics show some curiosity of knowing more personally immigrants. However, some immigration critics are too harsh towards immigrants and don’t seem to be willing to give a chance, but I think that even many of them might be “converted”, by giving them truly positive and personal examples.

    In my opinion Uusi Suomi, is not that good platform. It insists that writers and commenters should show their name and picture and although they have allowed some exceptions, policy like that droves away many person who would have the most important things to say, but cannot reveal their identity because it could be harmful for them and carry even high risks against personal safety (for example in a situation where Muslim youth might became a victim of honour murder if his/her sexual orientation becomes known to the family). And I have noticed that it seems to ban people from the forum for far too light reasons and quite arbitrarily. However, I fail to see what is wrong in opposing EU? Is EU some kind moral good where the only allowed opinion is that EU is so good thing and that we should have deeper integration and you just aren’t allowed to have political discussion about it?

    PS, I hadn’t heart about Mediaseuranta before either, but I would like to mention that your link to it is broken. However, having browsed quickly through Mediaseuranta, I found it much less interesting than Hommaforum. On Hommaforum you are able to comment things, make arguments, provide more information and offer counter opinions.

  2. Mark

    Ps voter

    WHERE did it mention that self-acceptance had to be 100 per cent? Seems like you latched onto the first thing you could to try to ridicule this person’s personal journey. Shame on you. I can tell you that while seeking 100 per cent self-acceptance indeed would seem pointless, failing to properly listen to a person that wants to tell you what might be seriously WRONG with the society we live in is a massive lapse in judgment. But hey, at least you want be led astray by the New Age folks! Just the neoNazis, instead!

  3. Mark

    PS Voter

    for example in a situation where Muslim youth might became a victim of honour murder if his/her sexual orientation becomes known to the family

    Or where a young Finnish woman would complain about the 15-25 women EVERY year who are being murdered by the partners/ex-partners in Finland in ‘pride killings’. Because of course, we all know that Finns never murder for ‘honour’!

    • Farang

      To be fair, there is a difference:

      When a muslim kills for honour, he believes he is doing the right thing.

      But when a Finnish loser kills his partner, he knows it’s wrong.

    • Mark

      Rubbish. The vast majority of Muslims do NOT believe in honour killings, so the world of the Muslim that suggests what he is doing is WRONG is just as strong as the Finnish culture that says its wrong. The issue here is that there are problems in both sections of society, with Finnish attitudes to violence against women, and violence against women within Muslims communities.

      And that was my point. This notion of ‘cultural superiority’ that PS voter takes completely for granted is a myth, and a very dangerous one at that.

    • Farang

      Do you do that intentionally, or don’t you just get it?

      I said that SOME muslims do honour killings and believe it’s the right thing to do.

      You respond that MAJORITY of muslims don’t believe it’s the right thing to do.

      So? Once again you responded to totally different thing that was discussed.

      I repeat: Those muslims who DO honour killings, believe it’s the right thing to do.

    • Mark

      My comment was relevant, Farang. You seem to suggest that violent Finnish men somehow know they are doing wrong when violent Muslim men don’t. I don’t see how you have any grounds for saying that except to suggest that one community accepts it more than another. And then it is relevant to point out that honour killings are not accepted in Muslim communities living in Europe.

      Let’s face it Farang, when it comes to speaking about what a murderer does or does not think is ‘right’, you have absolutely no evidence to go on, do you? None.

      The best we can do is look at attitudes within the community, to see what the peer reaction is likely to be. Which I did. There are problems with too much acceptance of violence against women in both communities. There is no room whatsoever for Finnish men to gloat over their moral superiority to Muslim men. None.

    • Farang

      You are wrong. Tell me, why would a muslim man kill his own daughter if he wouldn’t think it’s the right thing to do?

    • Mark

      Why does anyone kill a family member? Shame, anger, pride, ego, aggression! The idea of an honour killing is not related to Islam but to the traditions and historical abuses of women in those countries. For example, India, a predominently Hindu country, suffers a shameful history of ‘dowry death’, where families murder and hound young women to suicide or engage in ‘bride burning’. Dowry deaths consistently go unpunished in India despite decades of work by the UN and other agencies to stamp out the practice.

      So, are you now going to start stigmatising all Indians or Hindus moving to Finland?

      There is no question that honour killings have to be addressed and that this is more relevant to Muslims. But then other forms of femicide are more relevant to native European cultures.

      The whole idea that you can rate cultures by the degree of bestiality and brutality that you can find in their cultures and use this as a means to stigmatise particular people is abhorrent. By all means condemn the practice, but don’t use it stigmatise people when its clear the vast majority of Muslims in Europe oppose it. That isn’t dealing with violence against women – that’s hijacking violence against women to make political capital and create victims of a totally different kind.

      PS Voter – show me how you take the issue of violence against women seriously? Tell me what research you have read on the issue? Tell me how many women die a year in Finland over the last ten years? Tell me what society as a whole has done about those deaths?

    • PS voter

      It is true that not only Muslims commit honour murders and honour violence, although it is much more common in some ethnic groups than in others. And I don’t want try to argument which is honour violence and in which ethnic groups honour killings tend to happen, but I suggest you go to read Wikipedia article “Honor killing”, which gives some kind of hints where this problem tends to occur.

      And I never said that only persons with immigrant/Muslim background have need for anonymity in discussion. Quite the opposite. Usually the most important discussions contain quite personal or controversial things and revealing them with your real name, might be disastrous to your career or family life, even if you hadn’t done or said anything wrong or illegal.

    • Mark

      PS voter

      I’m well aware of the literature on honour killings, without the help of Wikipedia.

      And I never said that only persons with immigrant/Muslim background have need for anonymity in discussion. Quite the opposite. Usually the most important discussions contain quite personal or controversial things and revealing them with your real name, might be disastrous to your career or family life, even if you hadn’t done or said anything wrong or illegal.

      You weren’t even thinking about ethnicity, but you just saw an opportunity to link anonymity to one of your pet peeves against Muslim immigrants. You were so sure of your ground you didn’t even realise that someone was going to pull you up on it. But your selective choice example, and quite frankly the least relevant to the issue of anonymity in immigration debates, gives away your broader agenda of prejudice.

      You are so comfortable in attacking Muslims and thinking because you talk of ‘honour killings’ that you MUST have the moral high ground, you don’t even bother to qualify it for a second.

      This is typical of the ‘privileged’ conceitedness of people who are quite happy to stigmatise other people for the sake of a political argument!

  4. PS voter

    Rubbish. The vast majority of Muslims do NOT believe in honour killings, so the world of the Muslim that suggests what he is doing is WRONG is just as strong as the Finnish culture that says its wrong.

    Don’t try to deny the facts. Honour killings and honour violence is real problem and not just some myth. Although majority of Muslims do not do honour killins (minor forms of honour violence are much more common), it is not myth and there is more understanding and acceptance for it than against typical spousal abuse in Finland. For example, in Jordan, which is not ultrafundamentalist muslim country, honour killings have been long tolerated, although recently there has been some effort to punish the murderers. This is what IRIN news (a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) has written:

    JORDAN: Honour killings still tolerated

    Jordanian law continues to be lenient on those who kill their female relatives in the name of protecting family honour. Last year, between 15 and 20 women were stabbed, beaten or strangled to death by family members, sometimes women themselves.

    Rights activists point out a number of cultural and political obstacles in their uphill battle to stamp out the socially acceptable practice.

    And at a time when policy-makers are trying to make way for women to gain political posts, they remain unable – and sometimes unwilling – to fight this practice.

    “There is no political will to fight so-called honour crimes. The tribal mentality is the main driving force that makes this phenomenon spin out of control,” said Reem Abu Hassan, a leading women’s rights activist in the kingdom.

    She said that sometimes those who commit such murders are treated with sympathy by local communities who see them as victims of the shameful actions of their female relatives. Such actions range from illicit relationships with men to innocent teenage flirting.

    “It is often found out that victims were virgins but when the court looks at the case, the sentences they give are very mild compared to the crime,” said Rana Husseini, a journalist who has been campaigning to raise awareness of the custom.

    Activists say current legislation makes it easy for killers to get away with murder, as long as the killing is proved to be honour-related.

    Premeditated murder in Jordan is punishable by death, but the penal code exempts from the death penalty men who kill female relatives found committing adultery. Instead, men committing honour crimes receive short prison sentences.

    However, when the government introduced a bill outlining stiff penalties for honour killers, parliament rejected it outright, saying it would encourage adultery and create new social problems.

    • Mark

      PS joker

      Don’t try to deny the facts. Honour killings and honour violence is real problem and not just some myth

      And don’t lie in order to win an argument. Read what I said. I specifically said IT IS A PROBLEM. Any violence against women is a problem, but this is not exclusive to Muslim communities by any means. But the word ‘honour killing’ makes it seem all the more dramatic, when in fact, elements of pride and honour are just as relevant in European native violence against women.

      there is more understanding and acceptance for it than against typical spousal abuse in Finland.

      Really? And you come to this conclusion how? You have researched this topic? You have read research on this topic? You are talking out of your prejudiced arse?

      We are not living in Jordan or any other part of the world except Finland and Europe. It is COMPLETELY FALSE to hold Muslims in Europe accountable for what happens in other countries of the world. Or are you going to hold European Christians responsible for the killings and maimings done by extremist and militant Christians in Africa? Didn’t think so!

  5. PS voter

    Read what I said. I specifically said IT IS A PROBLEM. Any violence against women is a problem, but this is not exclusive to Muslim communities by any means. But the word ‘honour killing’ makes it seem all the more dramatic, when in fact, elements of pride and honour are just as relevant in European native violence against women.

    You try to whitewash the issue and redefine honour killings to suite your needs. Although it is true that some forms of honour killings and honour violence is known in some other ethnic groups as well.

    And the threat of honour violence or honour killings is worse than random violence, as it keeps the potential victims lives severely limited and terrorises them even when they avoid becoming victims of it. And I doubt you would like if I said that we should never talk about hate crimes or hate violence because it makes it sound more dramatic, because everything is just violence, which I don’t buy your arguments of trying to redefine the word honour violence.

    Really? And you come to this conclusion how? You have researched this topic? You have read research on this topic? You are talking out of your prejudiced arse?

    Well, read the news article I mentioned to you. It specifically mentions for example that it is “socially acceptable practice”. And I don’t remember seeing that the punishment for murder of a spouse would be only few months in prison in Finland.

    We are not living in Jordan or any other part of the world except Finland and Europe. It is COMPLETELY FALSE to hold Muslims in Europe accountable for what happens in other countries of the world.

    It is true that we are not living in a Muslim country. However, honour killings happen in Europe as well, usually done by certain immigrant ethnic groups. You can check what Wikipedia article “Honor killing” mentions about the backgrounds of honour killings that have happened in Europe. And when the practise is widely accepted in the immigrants original country, it is no wonder that when they move to Europe, they still retain some values and cultural habits from their original country. And that includes also bad values and habits, like honour violence.

    Or are you going to hold European Christians responsible for the killings and maimings done by extremist and militant Christians in Africa? Didn’t think so!

    Well, I am an atheist and not interested defending any religions, Christianity included. If western Christians have something do do with those killings and maimings, I am happy to denounce them. And I know that in at least some cases western Christians have had at least some influence, like in the case of Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, where American evangelical Christians gave at least some inspiration for it.

    • Mark

      PS voter

      You try to whitewash the issue and redefine honour killings to suite your needs. Although it is true that some forms of honour killings and honour violence is known in some other ethnic groups as well.

      Show some integrity. Where is the whitewashing? I have no problem with you talking about violence against women. If you have followed what I have written on this blog, you would know that. What I cannot stand is you hijacking this topic to make political points and to stigmatise Muslims.

      And the threat of honour violence or honour killings is worse than random violence, as it keeps the potential victims lives severely limited and terrorises them even when they avoid becoming victims of it. And I doubt you would like if I said that we should never talk about hate crimes or hate violence because it makes it sound more dramatic, because everything is just violence, which I don’t buy your arguments of trying to redefine the word honour violence.

      This is all true. I’m glad you are learning something from your recent visit to Wikipedia! But that does not make up for your ignorance in using this issue to make political points. But I am not redefining ‘honour’ killings; I’m showing that pride and honour are a big part of male violence against women in European natives too. One of the most cited reasons for violence against women by men in Europe has been the ‘lack of respect’ shown by the women for the man. Don’t you think this has anything to do with the feeling of ‘honour’ of the man? Ever heard the phrase ‘give her a smack and let her know who is the boss!’

      It is true that we are not living in a Muslim country. However, honour killings happen in Europe as well, usually done by certain immigrant ethnic groups.

      And no-one said they didn’t happen in Europe. The issue is that when we talk about the attitudes of Muslims in Europe, you jet over to Jordan to do your research. Why?

      And when the practise is widely accepted in the immigrants original country, it is no wonder that when they move to Europe, they still retain some values and cultural habits from their original country. And that includes also bad values and habits, like honour violence.

      I agree. But the answer is not to isolate that community through exploiting violence against women for political ends, which leads to greater stigmatisation. I find it particularly distasteful when European men start harking on about Muslim violence against women while doing absolutely NOTHING to challenge violence against women here. Now I have been active in campaigns addressing violence against women for over ten years, so I really think that I do have the right to comment about this.

      Well, I am an atheist and not interested defending any religions, Christianity included. If western Christians have something do do with those killings and maimings, I am happy to denounce them. And I know that in at least some cases western Christians have had at least some influence, like in the case of Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, where American evangelical Christians gave at least some inspiration for it.

      Well that clears things up, doesn’t it! Your ignorance really knows no bounds. The Church in Uganda is an Anglican church, and it was Anglical priests who opposed it most fiercely–but hey, don’t let facts get in the way of a bit of bashing of US evangelicals!

      I can clearly see that you have your pet ‘hates’ and ‘peeves’ and that keeps you from feeling unhappy about your own life circumstances! I’d be intrigued to know what those are!

  6. PS voter

    What I cannot stand is you hijacking this topic to make political points and to stigmatise Muslims.

    Well, my message to Abdulah was friendly and mentioned Muslims in just one sentence as a conrete example of extreme case of risks what can happen if you cannot have discussion without your real name. It was you who wanted to expand that discussion and try to twist and deny facts.

    This is all true. I’m glad you are learning something from your recent visit to Wikipedia! But that does not make up for your ignorance in using this issue to make political points.

    My visit to Wikipedia was not to educate me, but to provide example what is commonly meant by honour killings and which ethnic groups tend commit them. Unlike you, I provided more or less neutral source, unlike you, who like to present your own biased views (and sometimes the views shared by some fringe group).

    But I am not redefining ‘honour’ killings;

    I disagree.

    I agree.

    I am genuinely surprised to see that there is something you are willing to agree with me. So far the it has seemed that no matter what I say, you want aggressively (and often with curse words) argue the opposite, just because of my nickname and perhaps because I am critical towards immigration on many issues.

    Well that clears things up, doesn’t it! Your ignorance really knows no bounds. The Church in Uganda is an Anglican church, and it was Anglical priests who opposed it most fiercely–but hey, don’t let facts get in the way of a bit of bashing of US evangelicals!

    Again, you are twisting what was said and moving the “goal posts”. It was not question whether or not some members of Anglican church have done something good, but wheter or not some western Christians have done something bad in Africa and am I willing to condemn them if I feel they are responsible for some bad things. Yet again, I provided an example where it was at least arguable that western Christians had done something bad in Africa and that I was willing to condemn them as well.

    And the fact that some members of Anglican church may have opposed the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, does not in any way relieve the US evangelicals of their bad deeds. Let me again quote Wikipedia for you, as you don’t seem to be aware of the facts on the case:

    • Mark

      PS Voter

      Well, my message to Abdulah was friendly

      Hardly. You started it with a completely off topic rant about being too self-accepting. I couldn’t have thought of a more insulting way to start an exchange, to be honest! Conceited and condascending. You are so self-deluded about your own ‘niceness’ it’s fucking scary! You might as well have written “Well, I did offer the little nigger boy a cup of tea, but he declined. I cannot for the life of me think why!”

      and mentioned Muslims in just one sentence as a conrete example of extreme case of risks

      I don’t care if it was once, it was once too fucking many in my book. I’m sick of twats like you who pretend to extend the hand of friendship and yet its ALL on your fucking terms. Oh, and you just HAPPENED to mentioned Muslim extremists in the middle of that friendly welcome.

      just because of my nickname and perhaps because I am critical towards immigration on many issues.

      NO, I just don’t like YOU as a person. I’ve read enough of your clap trap to form an opinion, thank you very much. Being geniunely ‘critical’ of immigration is about understanding ALL of the issues and aspects, both social and political, not just your pet subject of Islamic extremism, for which you readily head off abroad look for reasons to attack Muslims in Finland.

      Yet again, I provided an example where it was at least arguable that western Christians had done something bad in Africa and that I was willing to condemn them as well.

      You provided the example and it doesn’t by any means let you off the hook. For example, as a result of your example, do you feel the need to challenge all Christians moving to Finland to take a stand on the extreme anti-homosexuality stand being taken in various parts of Africa or the Carribean by fundamentalist Christians, whether inspired by UK or US Evangelicals or Anglicans? No. You only saw fit to mention the extremist practices of Muslims. Get in there, my son!

      I have truncated your rather large and pointless post. Please, in future, do not quote large tracts of text from Wikipedia.

  7. PS voter

    Hardly. You started it with a completely off topic rant about being too self-accepting.

    Well, the original message (which was not written by you) to which I replied, mentioned difficulties in self-accepting and I just tried to provide some encouraging words and my viewpoint on the issue.

    I couldn’t have thought of a more insulting way to start an exchange, to be honest! Conceited and condascending. You are so self-deluded about your own ‘niceness’ it’s fucking scary! You might as well have written “Well, I did offer the little nigger boy a cup of tea, but he declined. I cannot for the life of me think why!”

    Well, at least I have some manners, I don’t use curse words and I didn’t use abusive language — which are something I wouldn’t say about you. And I would like to remind you that my message wasn’t meant to you and it is not your job to try to interpret it in your twisting and paranoid manners.

    I am too a member of a minority (although almost all persons are, if we just interpret the word creatively) — a minority which is very threateted by some religions — and I know that minorities cannot change thing like laws just by themselves, because minorities have too limited power by themselves. That is why co-operation is such a valuable thing for minorities. I have often seen than some members of ethnic minorities, GLBT minorities etc seem to have overly sensitive or hostile reaction to well meaning people outside the minority groups, who try to offer help. Of course, not being a member of that minority, outsider usually cannot know 100 percently what living as a member of that minority feels like, and they may time to time say things that at least some members of those minorities find awkward, even though the intent has been good. But I don’t think that the correct reaction in those situations is abusive hostility, but constructive criticism. And we should also remember that on many if not most issues, not all minority members agree with each other. There is room for dissenting opinions as well. Being hostile towards well meaning persons makes them to leave and soon you have far too few supporters or friends left.

    You might not value my niceness, but in real life, outside Internet, my best friend (with whom I have lived for years) as well as some others have a Muslim background (although they tend to be quite secular, which is why I am hesitant to call most of them really Muslims). Some of them haven even quite dark skin. And I have been asked to join executive committee of a Somalian association, to a business, I have given and received presents and I been helpful in some quite important and difficult events in life. I have been shared some secrets not even their family members know (and not just gay related things), I have been said to be like a brother etc. At least they seem to value my niceness and I am not that interested what you think as I am not interested in friending with you, having seen your abusive language more than once. And before you call my racist by saying that I am condescending towards immigrants/persons with a Muslim background, I can tell you that most of the things I mention on this paragraph, are true also towards some white Finns, without Muslim background.

    You provided the example and it doesn’t by any means let you off the hook. For example, as a result of your example, do you feel the need to challenge all Christians moving to Finland to take a stand on the extreme anti-homosexuality stand being taken in various parts of Africa or the Carribean by fundamentalist Christians, whether inspired by UK or US Evangelicals or Anglicans? No. You only saw fit to mention the extremist practices of Muslims. Get in there, my son!

    Again, you are wrong in many ways, but I don’t think there is point on continuing the discussiong with you on this matter.

    I have truncated your rather large and pointless post. Please, in future, do not quote large tracts of text from Wikipedia.

    The quote was relevant, as it offerent counterevidence to your claims and also some context.

    • Mark

      PS voter

      mentioned difficulties in self-accepting and I just tried to provide some encouraging words and my viewpoint on the issue.

      Which you took completely out of context, implying that it meant of course 100% self-acceptance, and then promptly told us how all the useful people in the world have never ever tried to achieve this.

      Your first post was a fucking disgrace in terms of being a humane response to a person’s personal story about their suffering at the hands of racists. No amount of fudge will remove those words from your first post. I couldn’t believe my fucking eyes when I read it…how fucking twisted a mind do you have to have to go off on a fucking tangent like that!!!!!!!!

      I don’t use curse words and I didn’t use abusive language

      Well, fucking bully for you! It doesn’t sanitise your racism and Islamaphobia, though, does it! No amount of soap and water will clean your character of that particular stain!

      PS voter – the idea that because you are gay that you get off with being a fucking Islamaphobic racist does not wash. You don’t get a free ride on this issue because you are gay! The question for me is clear – do you understand what it is like to live as an immigrant in Finland? Do you want to understand? Do you try to understand? And you have answered that very convincingly in the negative!

      Being hostile towards well meaning persons makes them to leave and soon you have far too few supporters or friends left.

      I’m not looking for friends or supporters. I’m calling shits like you out on your prejudices. That’s it. And the crap that I have to take in return is plenty hostile enough to make my rag boil from time to time. So you will have to put up with my cursing. Your post was a disgrace and I will keep saying it until you stop for a second and try to imagine how it would have been like to read that piece of crap that you wrote in response!

      At least they seem to value my niceness and I am not that interested what you think as I am not interested in friending with you,

      I guess you are just good at deceiving people. Look, you have a long way to go to convince me that you are not a raving Islamaphobe, and that is nothing to do with your username, which I pay very little attention to. It’s based on what you write! What you wrote about being a member of a minority sounds very theoretical, it lacks something tangible – a real sense of the pain and suffering. I cannot feel it in your writing. And that makes me wonder…

      Your post to Abdullah lacked sincerity and empathy, instead using the opportunity as a promotional message on the merits of Hommaforum for immigrants – which in itself is such a huge fucking joke! Yes, there are lots of different kinds of people writing there, but they are united in their hostility to immigrants from Africa and Muslims, of which Abdullah is both. And yet you want to sell the merits of engagement – as if that was the only way, on their terms, into the lions den. Unbelievable. And you insulated yourself from the potential harm that would come from it by saying ‘well, I think you will have a thick enough skin’.

      From start to finish, you are a fucking disaster when it comes to a truly deep and meaningful human response to someone else’s suffering. Instead, you tell me about how good friends you are with an ‘ex-Muslim’, and even quite dark-skinned people’.

      Sorry. Phoney. Fake. Insulting. Come back when you’ve lived some life and understood what real suffering is about. Perhaps then you will be open to hearing what living with racism is really like!

  8. PS voter

    how fucking twisted a mind do you have to have to go off on a fucking tangent like that!!!!!!!!
    Well, fucking bully for you! It doesn’t sanitise your racism and Islamaphobia, though, does it! No amount of soap and water will clean your character of that particular stain!

    I think I have seen enough your profanities, you not listening nor answering arguments, you deleting counterevidence from my posts etc. I don’t think I will continue this with you, as I am not really interested in you and I think that other people can judge both of us to some extent based on the messages published so far, even though you have twisted facts and deleted evidence. However, I think I might later answer some previous messagages, which might deserve some additions or comments.

    • Mark

      You are welcome to link to the appropriate Wikipedia page, so stop crying. But cutting and pasting a dozen paragraphs is taking the piss!

  9. PS voter

    Yes, there are lots of different kinds of people writing there, but they are united in their hostility to immigrants from Africa and Muslims, of which Abdullah is both. And yet you want to sell the merits of engagement – as if that was the only way, on their terms, into the lions den. Unbelievable. And you insulated yourself from the potential harm that would come from it by saying ‘well, I think you will have a thick enough skin’.

    I think I will still add to my previous message, that as far as I know based on previous postings, Abdullah has considered himself atheist for (at least) two years (unless I have mixed up two pseudonyms). And I congratulate him for this.

    And let’s not give false testimony about Hommaforum. Although there are some quite racists persons there, not all persons there are so racists. And I offered Abdullah help for approaching Hommaforum in a way that would be most pleasant for him and I warned that it is quite possible that he will see also things that he doesn’t like or that upset him. One relatively safe way of approaching this for very sensitive person might, if somebody (like me) would filter away first some most insensitive comments, and then gradually the filtering could be lightened, if the comments don’t seem to be too hard to handle.

    And for him handling it, I said it conditionally – if he has been able to handle discussion forums which contain more racism, he should be able handle Hommaforum as well. But I still recommend that in order for the experience being as successful as possible, I might be able provide some help. Because there is also risk that if he approaches it in a wrong way, it could lead unnecessary conflict.

    Before him going there, I think there should be plan for what he is trying to accomplish and then think how to proceed. Does he want to have as accurate image of Hommaforum as possible, would he be more interested in seeing neutral or the most positive comments about immigrants there, does he want to comment some other messages, does he want to introduce his background to some extend, would it be interesting to see that some commenters there might have sympathy for him as they can relate to his experiences of being bullied at school etc.

    I have always been interested of seeing things from more than one angle. That is why I follow news, comments etc even from different kind of biased sources that I don’t agree with. Sometimes you will find something interesting, that you would have otherwise missed. And at least you will get more knowledge how some others think, even though you might not agree with them on most issues.

    • Mark

      PS voter

      And let’s not give false testimony about Hommaforum.

      And let’s not give false testimony about what Mark writes, PS voter!!!!!

      You wrote this:

      not all persons there are so racists.

      and before that I had written:

      Yes, there are lots of different kinds of people writing there

      and you wrote:

      there are some quite racists persons there

      and before I had written:

      they are united in their hostility to immigrants from Africa and Muslims

      So exactly where do we differ enough for you to say that what I had written was false testimony? You seem incapable of giving an objective view of other people’s opinions!!

      And I congratulate him for this.

      lololol. There are as many versions of atheism as there are theism, PS Joker. Ironic that all you need to know is that he is an atheist and you’re ready to back slap. This once again shows your bigotry towards religion, or should I say, religious people! Cannot get any more personal than a ‘congratulations’ from the man himself, after all!

      And I offered Abdullah help for approaching Hommaforum in a way that would be most pleasant for him

      How the hell you think that visiting Hommaforum on a regular basis would be a pleasant experience for a Somali or any other visible immigrant I will never know. You are utterly deluded! The fact that there are twats like you that imagine that you can create an atmosphere of hostility and racism towards immigrants and then expect them to want to be your friend afterwards is just beyong belief. Utter arrogance and entitlement! You absolutley have no clue about the harm that these hate forums create! You are so ‘detached’ from this that you think it’s all just a matter of dodge this, dodge that, and no-one will come to any harm! That’s because it’s not PERSONAL for you. But for others it is, very personal!

      One relatively safe way of approaching this for very sensitive person might, if somebody (like me) would filter away first some most insensitive comments, and then gradually the filtering could be lightened, if the comments don’t seem to be too hard to handle.

      You need a psychiatrist! So your answer to this ‘phobia’ is a desensitisation program. The last thing that people should become is insensitive or passive towards racism. That’s the PROBLEM already!

      The other problem is that you are just not willing to engage in real criticism of your wonderful Hommaforum or the effects of racist forums like it. Engagement with immigrants generally helps a few of those racists to polish their arguments so as to appear more sensitive to immigrants and appealing to themselves, but it does nothing to move the foundation that gives rise to this racism in the first place: a misplaced and diseased sense of Finnish nationalism. This is the ‘critique’ that Finns are extremely reluctant to have.

      They will not deconstruct their own national identity, and it therefore is the basis for ‘othering’ people of different nationalities. Tied up in that ultra-nationalism is the very clear ‘blond and blue-eyed’ Finn. Yes, some variation in hair and eye colour, but they can be overlooked just as long as the surname is Finnish and they denounce anything remotely ‘Swedish’. The idea that a Finn could be black or Arab, or Asian, or even Russian in appearance just doesn’t compute. And that is the problem. There is no getting around it, and all the discussions with foreigners about how they are expected to ‘behave’ while in Finland does nothing to undermine this bed of racism built into Finnish nationialism.

      I have always been interested of seeing things from more than one angle.

      I doubt that somehow!

  10. Farang

    And let’s not give false testimony about Hommaforum. Although there are some quite racists persons there, not all persons there are so racists.

    That is business as usual here in Migrant Tales. They are condemning generalisation if it’s about immigrants, but themselves they are free to generalise all Hommaforum members as racists.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –That is business as usual here in Migrant Tales. They are condemning generalisation if it’s about immigrants, but themselves they are free to generalise all Hommaforum members as racists.

      Hommaforum is in my opinion a hate site that will wither away. It’s a PS site used to spread anti-immigration diatribe. Why should I respect a forum whose only aim is to be the mouthpiece of PS MPs like Jussi Halla-aho, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation?

    • Mark

      You know this is just a plain old lie, Farang. Every time this comes up in the conversation, we repeat again and again that Hommaforum attracts all sorts of different people, some who are racist and some who are just curious or just ‘nationalist’ in a mildly xenophobic way. But time and again you ignore the balance and reasonableness in our judgments and instead repeat the same lies about us ‘generalising’ about Hommaforum. Well, we are allowed to generalise as well as be specific, and in a ‘general’ sense, Hommaforum is a ‘hate forum’.

  11. Joonas

    Hommaforum is in my opinion a hate site that will wither away. It’s a PS site used to spread anti-immigration diatribe. Why should I respect a forum whose only aim is to be the mouthpiece of PS MPs like Jussi Halla-aho, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation?

    I have heard a lot about Hommaforum, but I think I have never read it. I decided to make an exception and I was first quite positively surprised after reading couple random topics. Some of the topics are almost like from MT: “Miten määritellä “suomalainen”?”

    http://hommaforum.org/index.php/topic,60888.0.html

    After skipping the couple joke answers from the beginning, there are actually some real discussion about the topic. And as you can read, some people have same kind of ideas of what “being a Finn” means to them than people here in MT. Of course, there are some joke/troll messages, but even MT (or any website with anonymous username) has not been able to avoid those.

    Sadly there was quite many topics which I didn’t find very pleasant to read. Not because the topic was difficult or I disagree too strongly about it, but because some of the language was not acceptable and some of the users were too extreme with narrow opinions. However, I find it positive some people in Hommaforum would like to have more immigrant/minorities views on the topics and more open discussion with them.

    “No voisiko provota tänne ihan oikeita maahanmuuttajia keskustelemaan omilta foorumeiltaan, ainakin sen suuntainen viesti olisi ihan yleisesti saatava vähän laajemmin julki, että tämä keskustelu koskee yhtä Suomen tulevaisuutta koskevaa yhteiskuntapolitiikan osaa, ei ensisijaisesti maahanmuuttajia henkilöinä. Ja pointtina on kuitenkin se, että mahdollisimman monella olisi tulevaisuudessa täällä mahdollisimman hyvä olla, koska ongelmia on sekä maahanmuuttajataustaisilla että maahanmuuttajataustattomilla.”

    • Mark

      Joonas

      Some comments on the Homma thread. One person suggested that it depends what a person is feeling as to whether he is Finnish, to which the OP was positive, and that really was my first thought – what respect is shown to what the person themselves actually thinks and feels. After all, identity is and should not be ‘a test’, where there are only right and wrong answers and you either get the certificate or you don’t.

      However, the Homma administrator gave expression to the more problematic response to this question of who is to be considered a Finn and who not: “Itse en mene valittamaan kenellekään, jos hän haluaa tuntea itsensä suomalaiseksi, mutta en myöskään ota minkäänlaisia valituksia vastaan siitä, jos en tunnusta jotain henkilöä suomalaiseksi.”

      He doesn’t mind that someone wants to think themselves Finnish, he wouldn’t complain, but if he doesn’t consider someone a Finn, then he is not going to take any complaints either.

      That sums up the approach of Homma to this issue of national identity: there are certain people who he and others will never think of as Finns and he doesn’t care what they think about it, they can call themselves Finns, but he will never think of them as Finns. His stance is one of exclusion, no argument, no complaints, no discussion even, really!

      For me reading that, I can see that such an approach is authoritarian, rigid and a strong basis for prejudice. The Admin in his next comment turns the discussion to one of ‘majority rights’, stating that Finns should be allowed to decide who is Finnish, through controlling ‘immigration’, i.e. the ‘kind of immigration they support’. I think we know what that refers to.

      The final point I want to make about Miniluv’s comments is that he thinks ‘citizenship’ is a strict criteria, i.e. an administrative label, that I assume is therefore controlled by the State. So it is not in the power for individuals to decide if they are Finnish or not, but rather in what the State tells you that you are. I find this extremely unrealistic and troubling.

      As for my own opinion, I don’t think it is such a black and white answer as people seem to be looking for. It’s not a switch that is either on or off, as to whether you are Finnish or not. Indeed, there is no ‘essential’ thing in the world that we can identify as ‘Finnishness’. Of course, there are administrative categories, but people are not defined by what is written on a piece of paper in a council or state archive! The question is how people live their life and how much they identify or are allowed to identify with the collective identity of the people they live with, in the same neighbourhood, workplace etc.

      There are some interesting and though-provoking comments. And that is what I mean when I say that there are all kinds of people on Homma. But there is enough of the very troubling nationalism and implicit racism for me to hold on to my concern about Homma. Most often people talk about culture in quite rigid ways, and about identity purely in terms of belonging and membership. Identity is a passport into Finnish society and into hearts and minds, and the difficulty is that without that passport, there is exclusion. Indeed, anything outside the circle is seen negatively, especially if it is preferred to what is seen as ‘Finnishness’. As an example, the Finn who seemed ashamed to be seen as a Finn drew very strong reactions, someone even calling him a ‘horrible’ person. Why does being Finnish entail only ‘loving Finland’? In a mature relationship, we can talk openly about the things we don’t like as much as the things we do like. It doesn’t result in being excommunicated from the family.

      I would say that the discussion lacks any real critical counterview. For example, it seems that the thread was inspired by Allah-oho writing about his ‘intuitive’ understanding of what it means to be Finnish. Other’s say that only an ‘intuitive’ definition has meaning, outside of administrative categories, which I agree. But the danger is that subjective feeling is also subject to bias and prejudice, as demonstrated in the Administrator’s claim to the right to exclude those he doesn’t think of as Finnish. If it is my intuition that I am Finnish, but a majority of other’s refuse to accept that, then I am basically excluded, whatever I think. No-one challenged the right of the Admin to ‘exclude’. We cannot force him to accept people he doesn’t think of as Finnish and he’s not interested in ‘complaints’, but we could challenge him and his ‘holding of the power’. Empowering and disempowering are central to any understanding of national identity and of abuses of that power such as racism.

  12. PS voter

    The idea that a Finn could be black or Arab, or Asian, or even Russian in appearance just doesn’t compute. And that is the problem. There is no getting around it, and all the discussions with foreigners about how they are expected to ‘behave’ while in Finland does nothing to undermine this bed of racism built into Finnish nationialism.

    I don’t bother answering rest of your hateful and abusive message, but I think I will offer some counterexamples to these claims. I will not give direct quotes, because you would probably yet again delete them:

    Even on the first page of the discussion that Joonas mentioned, one of writers (and not just some random writer who is just passing by, as the writer has written over 4000 message on Hommaforum), said that he defined a child who was originally from Namibia to be a genuine Finn, although the colour of the skin was not typical for a Finn.

    Later some other writer mentioned that one of his/her parents is an Arab.

    One writer said that we have lot of common with Russians.

    One of the writers references Migrant Tales and quotes Abdirahim Husu Hussein and seems to partially to agree with him.

    Many messages defends Finnish-Swedes as being genuine Finns.

    And on some other discussions there has been also condemnation against (presumably) white Finns, that have committed some racists acts. For example, many writers expressed their view that it was regrettable that somebody had put a graffiti at the door of Abdirahim Husu Hussein.

    • Mark

      PS voter

      I don’t bother answering rest of your hateful and abusive message,

      I don’t hate you, PS voter. I just don’t like you personally and the way you come on here condascending to us about immigration.

      The only thing deleted from your previous post was a long and pointless cut and paste from Wikipedia when a summary or a link would have been fine, so stop whining like a baby and trying to get mileage out of it that doesn’t exist!

      said that he defined a child who was originally from Namibia to be a genuine Finn, although the colour of the skin was not typical for a Finn.

      But you leave out the part where he described it as ‘surprising’. That’s the key thing. How do Finns react to the black person who speaks fluent Finnish? Can they accept him as a Finn? Some can and some cannot. The Admin appeared to be among those that ‘reserves his own judgment’.

      I think I will offer some counterexamples to these claims.

      Go ahead. You are not disproving anything I have written by doing this. Homma has a variety of posters, from nationalists, to populalists, to PS supporters. I’ve never doubted that. But I still say that it is a hot bed for racism, both explicit and implicit. What I’ve read there over the years confirms that to my satisfation. I’m happy to let other people make their own mind up about it.

  13. PS voter

    I don’t bother answering rest of your hateful and abusive message, but I think I will offer some counterexamples to these claims. I will not give direct quotes, because you would probably yet again delete them:

    I think I will try my luck and quote following short chapter as it would be difficult for me to reference or translate it without changing any of the meanings. Anu is a person who has been adopted from abroad and apparently she has faced some difficulties:

    Toivon Anulle voimia, en voi vaatia häneltä mitään enempää. Kirjoitin ensin tähän, että “toivoisin häneltä vahvuutta kohdata näitä menneisyytensä tuntemuksia ja kertoa niistä avoimesti” – mutta en minä voi toivoa sellaista häneltä, en kaiken sen jälkeen mitä hän on jo kokenut. Tämän kaiken tiedostaminen ja käsitteleminen aikuisiällä ei varmasti ole mikään kevyt prosessi, ja uskon, että hän on menneisyytensä painolastia parhaan kykynsä mukaan jo käsitellyt. Toivoisin vain, että tämä ympäröivä länsimainen yhteiskunta kasvattaisi viisautta tällaisten asioiden suhteen.

  14. PS voter

    And here is example of criticism against white Finns – or more accurately an example how mass immigration has problems also when Finns have been the immigrants:

    Tuo on jonkinverran mielenkiintoinen väite mihin usein törmää, että suomesta ruotsiin menneet olisivat olleet jollain ratkaisevalla tavalla nykyistä maahanmuuttoa parempaa aineista. Päinvastoin, suomalaisten maahanmuuttajien riski syrjäytyä ja ajatua ongelmiin oli vähintäänkin samaa tasoa kuin nykyäänkin. Sillä erotuksella että suomalainen ei sen lisäksi kieltäynyt viinasta kuten useimmat muslimit.

    Itähelsingissä ei näe maahanmuuttajien joukossa missään sellaista rappiotilaa kuin ennenvanhaan slussenilla.

  15. PS voter

    One writer emphasises that there are respectable and non-respectable persons in Finns as well as in non-Finns.

    One of the writers says that much more important than ethnicity or even nationality is the fact that whether or not that person is advancing the interests of Finns or not.

    • Mark

      Yep, and in another thread looking at political cartoons, the OP put this one up first:snippet sour

      No comments, no complaints! Just another ordinary day down in Homma!

    • Farang

      Mark, do you realise that when police is looking for the suspect, it is essential to mention ethnicity like every other facts that help people to identify the suspect and inform police.

    • Mark

      Farang and PS voter

      Point 1 – and of course it had to be a black robber that was depicted in the cartoon to illustrate the point!

      Point 2 – identification is only necessary where the perpetrator has not been caught and the police need the help of the public. More often than not, we this relates to media reporting of court cases!

      Point 3 – ethnicising crime is racism!

      Point 4 – by ethnicising crime, it is PROPOGANDA for the anti-immigrationists and racists.

      Point 5 – this cartoon remains a disgusting depiction and caricature of Africans, regardless of any other message tied up in the cartoon.

    • Farang

      Mark

      Point 1 – and of course it had to be a black robber that was depicted in the cartoon to illustrate the point!

      Of course, because that’s what the media does. Media only censors ethnicity if it’s non-Finn.

      So, your first point fails.

      Point 3 – ethnicising crime is racism!

      Nobody ethnicised crime.

      So, your third point fails. Also point 4 fails.

      Point 5 – this cartoon remains a disgusting depiction and caricature of Africans, regardless of any other message tied up in the cartoon.

      That was not a caricature of African. It was a caricature of a criminal. Why do you draw correlation between africans and criminals?

      So, your fifth point fails.

    • Mark

      Farang

      Of course, because that’s what the media does. Media only censors ethnicity if it’s non-Finn.

      Hardly. I have not ever seen ‘white Finn’ written in a story about crime. Correct me if you can.

      Nobody ethnicised crime.

      Usual two-brain-cells contribution from you, then. When you have no argument to make, you fall back on an absolute NOBODY. Of course, that means that we should pay special attention to just how crime is ‘ethnicised’. This clearly is something you are in denial about – fingers in ears, “blah, blah, blah!” Usual, stuff from you Farang.

      The ethnicising of crime in Finland is RAMPANT!

      That was not a caricature of African.

      If a you tell a big enough lie, people will believe it!

  16. PS voter

    The only thing deleted from your previous post was a long and pointless cut and paste from Wikipedia when a summary or a link would have been fine, so stop whining like a baby and trying to get mileage out of it that doesn’t exist!

    Well, I had referenced the facts and given some link, but it didn’t stop you presenting your “facts” which where complete opposite to commonly accepted facts. I just quoted the facts directly, so that you wouldn’t have as easy way of ignoring the counterevidence.

    But don’t worry, I probably don’t try again careful arguing with you as you seem to be able or willing to have honest arguing. I may still present some argument or evidence here or there, if I see it fitting, but probably nothing more.

    But you leave out the part where he described it as ‘surprising’. That’s the key thing. How do Finns react to the black person who speaks fluent Finnish? Can they accept him as a Finn? Some can and some cannot. The Admin appeared to be among those that ‘reserves his own judgment’.

    He didn’t say explicitly that he was surprised, although implicitly that seems to be true. But is there anything wrong about being surprised in that kind of situation? According to the writer, this happened several decades ago, when there far fewer immigrants in Finland and a black person was quite uncommon sight, even less so a black person who speaks Finnish and seems to act like a typical Finn. BTW, that same persons emphasises that anybody, who is able to support himself and who wants to define himself as a Finn, should be defined as a Finn and that he accepts and respects persons who do that.

    I am sure if I went to some country where there are almost no white persons living there, I am sure the many of the locals would be surprised if I there spoke perfectly their language, had same customs and acted like they do. Some of them might accept me as one of them and some might not.

    Same is true on Hommaforum. I have never said that Hommaforum is a homogeneous group and that nobody there shows any racism. I have said that some there seem to be quite racist, but not all. it is you who have tried to argue that all of them are very racists haters. And if you haven’t noticed, there are more than one admin and even the admins don’t agree on everything.

    • Mark

      PS voter

      Well, I had referenced the facts and given some link, but it didn’t stop you presenting your “facts” which where complete opposite to commonly accepted facts. I just quoted the facts directly, so that you wouldn’t have as easy way of ignoring the counterevidence.

      The Ugandan Anglican church has been leading anti-gay campaigning in Uganda. A writer on Wikipedia is happy to draw attention to the influence of American evengelicals. Fine. Wikipedia is maintained mostly by Americans. But the fact is that Christians throughout the Anglican communinity and beyond, as well as many human rights groups from around the world and within Africa have been trying to affect the debate in Uganda. Nevertheless, what is going on in Uganda is being led most fiercely by Ugandans and particularly by Anglicans. That is what I said and I stand by it.

      This is taken from an [Ugandan] Observer article:

      Bujenje MP Kabakumba Masiko Labwoni told the gay rights activists during their interface with the committee that Parliament would not make a law that doesn’t suit Uganda’s culture.

      The conference where the US evangelicals gave speeches was organised by the Ugandan Family Life Network, which is entirely Ugandan led, supported and based. In particular, the Americans were only repeating the same kind of hate-filled rhetoric put out by the Network’s Ugandan leader Stephen Langa. Uganda has enough of its own twisted homophobics that we do not need to blame American Evangelicals for what is going on there!

      But is there anything wrong about being surprised in that kind of situation?

      It is not surprising, but it demonstrates the challenge that Finland still faces today – how to react to growing diversity? It reveals a basic preconception that Finnishness is exclusively white. Now while some people will accept that that will inevitably change, many others don’t accept it. They reject immigration from Africa or from other ‘visible minority’ parts of the world on the grounds that it ‘waters down’ Finnish identity. In other words, they are not prepared to challenge that preconception that Finnishness equates with whiteness of skin.

      Some of them might accept me as one of them and some might not.

      And you have nothing to say to those that might not?

      I have never said that Hommaforum is a homogeneous group and that nobody there shows any racism.

      And I have not accused you of saying that it is homogenous. In fact, all the way through this stupid argument, I have been consistent in saying that Homma is a mixed bag, but that the racism that does surface there is distasteful and that I would not recommend any immigrant going there – because it is entirely on the terms of those that want to dictate exactly how immigration is ‘supposed’ to work. Even the discussion of Finnishness doesn’t seem to have challenged the right of some individuals to ‘exclude’ those they think are not Finnish.

      I mean, come on PS voter – the whole question that asks what Finns think about foreigners calling themselves Finns is rather a one-sided and loaded question, even if the OP was fairly moderate and sensible in trying to find an answer as were many others. They don’t see their privilege, which is exactly what Enrique has been trying to get across lately. Finnishness is something that they feel belongs to them, and membership by others is likewise put forward as a question about ‘who do we accept as being Finnish’. Since when did a person’s identity become the property of other people? This is barely touched on in the thread. Now come on, are you going to debate this properly with me, or are you going to skirt around these issues trying to score points off me constantly!?

  17. PS voter

    Yep, and in another thread looking at political cartoons, the OP put this one up first:

    Well, the drawing style is crude, but essentially the message is true. News media should publish the true description of the criminals police is looking for and not try two twist the description beyond recognition, like seems to happen often nowadays.

    And even when we are not talking about criminals police is looking for, media should report the facts as objectively as possible, without withholding any unpopular angles, instead of twisting them and trying to present propaganda. Let the readers form their own opinions based on facts.

    And I think that also opinions that I don’t agree with, should be published — at least unless they directly tell to commit violence. And if some violent acts happen, I am very interested to know what has been the true motive and I am not satisfied with the simplistic explanations that the person is just somehow evil or “hates our freedoms”.

  18. Farang

    Mark

    Hardly. I have not ever seen ‘white Finn’ written in a story about crime. Correct me if you can.

    Haha, you must be avoiding reading newspapers 😀 Most outrageous cases have been where a foreigner who had got Finnish citizenship made a crime, the papers reported that the criminal was a Finn 😀

  19. PS voter

    Point 3 – ethnicising crime is racism!
    Point 4 – by ethnicising crime, it is PROPOGANDA for the anti-immigrationists and racists.

    Telling facts is not racism or propaganda, unless the facts are hand picked to show biased sample or otherwise distorted image of reality. Reporting the facts about a crime is not wrong, committing crime is wrong.

    It would be racism, if only the description would tell the ethnic origins when the suspected person looks for example African, but not telling ethnic origins when the person looks Asian. I think it could be argued that withholding the ethnic origins when the suspected looks a Finn, but telling it otherwise, might not be racist as the assumption is a white Finn if nothing else is specified. However, I oppose this and think that the description should mention ethnic origins even the person looks white Finns, to dissolve any suspicious of racism and suspicions of whitewashing the ethnic background of a non-Finnish suspect, which is very common. In fact, often when no ethnic background is specified, people start to suspect that there is whitewash going on try to guess the ethnic background.

    • Mark

      PS voter

      Telling facts is not racism or propaganda, unless the facts are hand picked to show biased sample or otherwise distorted image of reality. Reporting the facts about a crime is not wrong, committing crime is wrong.

      We had this debate last year on MT. Reporting facts can be a form of racism where those ‘facts’ are used to stigmatise an individual or make them responsible somehow for the actions of others. I notice that you very quickly had to qualify your statement because it’s so clear that facts can be used to distort.

      The upshot is that reporting ethnicity when it involves a minority can distort reality. We notice things that stand out. Call it human nature. When it leads to stigmatisation, we have to be wary and exercise some healthy self-censorship. Ethnicising crime, just like ethnicising politics is not justifiable – unless you have the belief that propensity to commit crime is a feature of ethnicity, in which case, you have to accept that this places you in a political camp that we call ‘the Far Right’. Mainstream society has rejected that idea, for lots of reasons, scientific and social. We know that stigmatisation causes its own problems. It leads to higher rates of crime in poor and deprived areas where immigrants are pushed into social housing.

      However, I oppose this and think that the description should mention ethnic origins even the person looks white Finns, to dissolve any suspicious of racism and suspicions of whitewashing the ethnic background of a non-Finnish suspect, which is very common.

      You would still have a problem of the majority white Finns ‘remembering’ the crimes done by ethnics more because the words associated with immigrant are primed for their built-in ‘differenceness’. That is how the human mind works, and we have to understand and hold our hands up when it takes us down an unfair route that leads to the stigmatisation of a minority group. This has happened so many times throughout history – and the way to tackle it is to remove the ethnicising of crime reporting, unless it is absolutely vital to the story.

  20. PS voter

    Hardly. I have not ever seen ‘white Finn’ written in a story about crime. Correct me if you can.

    I am not sure if I have seen words white Finn, but I have seen descriptions that say that the suspect seemed to be Finnish, had a white skin or that the suspect is “syntyperäinen suomalainen”, which some might suspect that it could mean/include a Finnish citizen who has born in Finland, but who has immigrant background. However, I think that when ever it is just possible, the description should include ethnicity, even when the suspect is a white Finn.

    The ethnicising of crime in Finland is RAMPANT!

    If we should ethnicise the victims of crimes, why shouldnät we also ethnicise the perpetrators of crimes as well?

    • Mark

      The only time ethnicity is relevant is if the police are trying to catch a criminal or the crime itself is a racist crime, in which case the ethnicity of the victim is relevant and indeed part of the crime.

      Ethnicising perpetrators of crime is particularly dangerous in stigmatising immigrants. You could read ten stories about crimes in Finland and then read only 1 that mentions the involvement of a ‘foreigner’ and the chances are that you will attach far more meaning to it and the ‘ethnicity’ involved. It is weighted naturally against the foreigner. This is such a well-known phenomenon, I cannot believe that you are not aware of it to some extent, PS voter!

    • Farang

      Should this be interpreted so that when victim (of racist crime) is foreigner it should be mentioned, but when perpetrator is foreigner it should not be mentioned?

    • Mark

      Farang

      Should this be interpreted so that when victim (of racist crime) is foreigner it should be mentioned, but when perpetrator is foreigner it should not be mentioned?

      The point is that racist crime should be reported for what it is, an attack on a person’s ethnicity, whether white or black. A crime that does not involve racism should not report on ethnicity unless the police are trying to call for witnesses or to apprehend a perpetrator. That’s my view.

    • Farang

      That’s my view also. I just got the impression that in racist crimes you would only like to see the victims ethnicity reported, not the perpetrator’s.

  21. PS voter

    The point is that racist crime should be reported for what it is, an attack on a person’s ethnicity, whether white or black. A crime that does not involve racism should not report on ethnicity unless the police are trying to call for witnesses or to apprehend a perpetrator. That’s my view.

    Actions speak louder than words. I have noticed that on Migrant Tales there seems to be tendency to call a crime racist hate crime or at least strongly suspect it and spread that kind of rumours, when the we victim has been a member of a ethnic minority, but there hasn’t been any proof that the crime has had some kind racial hatred and even when police has outright denied it.

    And even when the crime doesn’t have racist motive, I think it may be valuable information to know more about the victims background as well (although I think the victim should have more to say how much he/she wants to reveal about his/her background than the criminal). It is quite likely that persons from certain backgrounds are more likely to became victims than some other, even in these cases, which is valuable information.

  22. PS voter

    The only time ethnicity is relevant is if the police are trying to catch a criminal or the crime itself is a racist crime, in which case the ethnicity of the victim is relevant and indeed part of the crime.

    Unfortunately, media very often even in these cases, hides the ethnic background or even deliberately give misleading information. It is so common that on on many comment forums the censorship is made fun of by condemning Finns in a exaggerated way as it is a code expression which is meant to hint that the suspected person is not really a ethnic Finn, although news makes you believe that he/she is. It is one example how multiculturalist censorship has backfired, when it is impossible to conduct honest discussion.

    Ethnicising perpetrators of crime is particularly dangerous in stigmatising immigrants. You could read ten stories about crimes in Finland and then read only 1 that mentions the involvement of a ‘foreigner’ and the chances are that you will attach far more meaning to it and the ‘ethnicity’ involved.

    It is not a job for news media to twist facts or try to present reality in less than objective light, even when the facts are unpleasant and telling them may upset people. The same is true for science.

    • Mark

      It is not twisting facts to leave out ethnicity, PS voter. It is deciding what is relevant and avoiding stigmatisation. You seem to be oblivious to this phenomenon!!!!!

      Why do you jug heads always fall back on spurious arguments about ‘science’, as if that automatically lends credence to an argument. It’s completely fallacious!

  23. PS voter

    The upshot is that reporting ethnicity when it involves a minority can distort reality. We notice things that stand out. Call it human nature. When it leads to stigmatisation, we have to be wary and exercise some healthy self-censorship.

    It is true that we tend to notice things that stand out, but it is justification for censhorship and distorting facts.

    Ethnicising crime, just like ethnicising politics is not justifiable – unless you have the belief that propensity to commit crime is a feature of ethnicity, in which case, you have to accept that this places you in a political camp that we call ‘the Far Right’. Mainstream society has rejected that idea, for lots of reasons, scientific and social. We know that stigmatisation causes its own problems. It leads to higher rates of crime in poor and deprived areas where immigrants are pushed into social housing.

    Is is somewhat unclear what you mean exactly by saing that “propensity to commit crime is a feature of ethnicity”, but certain crimes tend to be more or less common among different ethnic groups, which is shown even by official statistics. Some of these differences can be explained by demographical differencies, but not all. Some crime types (an extreme example is circumcision of girls) are even so tightly tied to a ethnic background that they almost never occur outside these ethnic groups.

    And if and when there are differencies between ethnic groups (or some other factors, like being raised in a family without father which is huge risk factor), people have right to know about these things. Things like these help people make imformed choices in their lives, when voting etc.

    And the reactions don’t always have to be negative, at least in long term. For example, what in my mind should be done, is less immigration from poor socioeconomic groups, more thoughtful monitoring of risk groups (and by this I don’t mean just ethnic minorities) and support before the children become alianated.

    • Mark

      PS voter

      It is true that we tend to notice things that stand out, but it is justification for censhorship and distorting facts.

      I’m getting a little tired of you saying it’s distorting facts!!! There is nothing ‘distorting’ about leaving out ethnicity. Take as an example newspaper obituaries, do you think they should also report the ethnicity of those that died? And traffic accident victims, should their ethnicity be reported? Should we report the ethnicity of house sellers on Etuovi, and housebuyers? Should we report ethnicity on bank account holders and car sellers?

      Why would you justify reporting of ethnicity for crime unless you thought there was a connection between ethnicity and crime?

      Is is somewhat unclear what you mean exactly by saing that “propensity to commit crime is a feature of ethnicity”, but certain crimes tend to be more or less common among different ethnic groups, which is shown even by official statistics.

      Yep, we’ve seen plenty of those statistics trotted out on Migrant Tales comment threads. Care to share the one’s you have in mind and we can look to see if those statistics have been properly weighted, or whether old grandmothers living in Lapland are being compared to young men living in an urban environment!

      Things like these help people make imformed choices in their lives, when voting etc.

      So, knowing what ethnicity is associated with circumcision of girls helps you to vote? Care to elaborate on that one?

      For example, what in my mind should be done, is less immigration from poor socioeconomic groups, more thoughtful monitoring of risk groups (and by this I don’t mean just ethnic minorities) and support before the children become alianated.

      The morality of picking up skilled workers from the developing world is extremely questionable, both ethically and economically. Removing the resources for economic development within the developing world is only likely to accelerate economic migration and economic decline in those countries. If those countries invest in education only to see those professionals ‘poached’ by richer countries, then those countries are not just being ‘asset stripped’, the West is getting a free lunch. I guess you don’t mind about that. Except that the problem will result in greater economic pressures and economic migration.

      Second, by ‘monitoring of poor socioeconomic groups’ do you mean Finnish poor or ethnic poor? What do you mean by monitoring? Ethnic profiling or just statistical monitoring, because the moment in Finland, ethnicity is not officially registered in statistics.

      I agree that support should be given before social or economic problems become established. What kind of support do you propose?

  24. PS voter

    And I would like to emphasize that I oppose also censorship of things or persons I oppose. I recently read that at least one British liberal news magazine routinely censors the fact if some failed asylum seekers etc are on hunger strike, as they feel that the protesting asylum seekers are using unfair methods. Reading about that censorship made me again angry as it yet again failure of the press to report honestly and objectively.

    Maybe even the illegal attack of USA to Iraq could have been avoided if media in USA would have done it job and would have presented dissenting opinions and not just the propaganda of neocons and Project for the New American Century.

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