Finland’s interior minister, Päivi Räsänen, has raised eyebrows again in Finland with her conservative religious views about the type of refugees she thinks would best adapt to Finland.
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Räsänen was quoted as saying on Joensuu-based Karjalainen that Finland should take Christian and Vietnamese refugees because their work ethic is closest to the Nordic.
This is not the first time that the Christian Democrat interior minister has expressed similar views about the types of refugees Finland should accept.
In June 2011, she wrote in a blog entry on Uusi Suomi: Our country’s culture, values and morals have been built around Christian ethics and we must not abandon them starting from our homes, day care centers and when bringing up children.”
The best indicator that Räsänen is a liability to immigrants and visible minorities is how she plays down ethnic profiling by the police, far-right violence and doesn’t think highly of the Romany minority. She is also a staunch homophobic. In a television debate in October 2010, she defined homosexuality as a sin, causing an exodus of thousands of people to abandon the Lutheran Church.
Amnesty International has petitioned the interior minister to halt the detention of refugee minors.
Writes Zuzeeko Tegha Abeng: “According to Amnesty International, children should be in day care centres, schools or skateparks – not in police detention. Finland detains thousands of people yearly, including people who have fled persecution, war or poverty. They are held in prison-like conditions, although guilty of no crime.”
With people like Räsänen in power, it’s clear that the rights of immigrants and visible minorities in Finland will not improve but get worse.