An arson attack against an asylum reception center in Finland gets a mixed response

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Juha Maenpää, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* substitute MP, who wrote that the burning of an asylum reception center in Niinisalo Tuesday morning was how god answered his prayers, is an indication of how xenophobia has overtaken Finland. Reaction to what he said are highly revealing as well about the state of Finland today. 

To show how lopsided the present debate about asylum seekers and our ever-growing culturally diverse society is, one could test the latter statement by Juha Maenpää and ask what would happen if a migrant, never mind a Muslim, would have made such a claim.

Instead of the Muslim stating what Maenpää said, “Great. There is a god. My prayers have been answered,” the only word the Muslim would substitute in Maenpää’s statement is god for Allah.

How would the media and politicians react? Would we see a storm or a hurricane?

Migrant Tales spoke to Maenpää by phone Wednesday. He said that “politicians should wake up to the situation, if they don’t it could spark a civil war.”

Today on a Facebook post on his wall, which was published by, Maenpää didn’t appear to repent what he posted on his Facebook wall Tuesday.

Headlined “I’m in the eye of the storm!” Maenpää claims that he didn’t pray for the asylum reception center to be razed to the ground. He said that his statement was taken out of context.

While the PS politician appears to want to confuse us with his double-talk, few people, even from his party, believe what he said was appropriate. But then there’s this usual silence coming from the PS…

Näyttökuva 2015-12-3 kello 15.28.04
Read full story here.

If such a snow job by Mäenpää doesn’t surprise you, check out what the president of The Finnish Police Federation (SPJL), Yjrö Suhonen, wrote Tuesday.

“I’m afraid that soon see in the streets of Finland soldiers like in France,” Suhonen wrote, adding that Finland doesn’t have enough policemen and that the job of guaranteeing security cannot be left to the civilian population.


The president of the police union wrote that asylum reception centers shouldn’t be established in small communities apparently like in Niinsalo that was the target of an arson attack.

“Asylum reception centers have been established throughout Finland and at sparsely populated locations,” continued Suhonen. “Normally at such places they have to wait in the worst cases for hours for the police patrol to arrive. Support from another police patrol [arriving at the scene] is an illusion.”

That’s almost all fine what Suhonen states but where does he condemn in his blog entry what happened in Niinisalo and what Maenpää said? Or is he stating by not condemning the arson attack that it’s fine to act aggressively against asylum reception centers and their inhabitants?

There are so many mixed messages in today’s Finland that sends the wrong message to the wrong people.

The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.


  1. Yossie

    Suhonen didn’t condemn the fire because he wasn’t talking about it. He was talking about how fighting and violence among asylum seekers in refuge centers are overpowering the police. Asylum seekers don’t respect the police like the finns do and they gang up against police officers. There has already been cases where single patrol had to fight their way out. Because of this police always need to go in refuge centers with multiple patrols and those resources are away from their normal job.

    • Migrant Tales

      Gang up against police officers? Where did you read that, Yossie? I think any person, especially the chairman of a union that represents police service employees, should condemn the attack that took place in Niinisalo. The rule of law is crucial.

    • Yossie

      “Gang up against police officers? Where did you read that, Yossie?”

      Where did I read that? From the very same blog that you linked. From the very same post that you quoted.

      “Tietoon on tullut tilanne, jossa ainoana paikalla ollut poliisipartio on joutunut taistelemaan tiensä ulos, kymmenien vihamielisten nuorten miesten piirittäessä sen.”

    • Migrant Tales

      Who are these “kymmenien vihamiesten nuorten miestä?” Are they Finns or asylum seekers?

    • PS voter

      Those dozens of of hostile men that attacked the two lone policeman, were asylum seekers. And there has been numerous of situations where dozens of hostile asylum seekers have surrounded police officers, but this case was the most serious so far. And now the police is warning that sooner or later they will run out of good luck and somebody will be seriously injured or even killed in these attacks.

  2. PS voter

    Why on earth should the police condemn some single crime in the blog entry, especially when the blog entry was serious warning about the fact that the general security situation is quickly spiraling out of control, because of uncontrolled mass movement? And the name of that politician is Mäenpää and not Maenpää.

    It is worth to notice that also in Germany and Austria their police and security organizations have warned that they aren’t anymore able to control the safety situation and that the situation is dangerous. And both Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, and Jean Asselborn, the foreign minister of Luxembourg, have warned that this uncontrolled migration crisis may lead to wars in Europe. And Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte and former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy have warned that this uncontrolled mass migration may lead to the collapse of EU, just like the Roman Empire collapsed, when it didn’t guard well enough the borders (EU must stem migrant flow or risk the same fate as Roman Empire, warns Dutch PM, Nick Enoch, 27 November 2015, Daily Mail Online).

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