By Enrique Tessieri
One of the most incredible claims by anti-immigration groups like the True Finns is that they are not allowed to criticize immigrants and Muslims in particular. When they bash and insult minorities they claim that all they are doing is exercising their right to freedom of speech.
I sometimes get really confused when I hear the True Finns and other anti-immigration groups’ reasoning. On the one hand they claim that nobody can criticize immigrants and religious minorities in this country because the law “protects” them. A quick visit to their blogs would, however, reveal another reality.
Let’s get one matter straight: People who have been accepted in our country as legal immigrants or have refugee status are not perceived as a threat by society. If their backgrounds have been rigorously checked and double-checked by the authorities, why do some like far-right groups insist on seeing them as a threat?
When speaking of freedom of speech, there is a big difference if we live in a country where the government abuses human rights. Censorship and self-censorship are never acceptable under such circumstances. Many anti-immigration groups treat and attack immigrants and refugees as if they were despotic regimes. They do so because they don’t have the faintest idea of what it would mean to live in a totalitarian society.
Whenever you hear a True Finn or another candidate of the far-right claim that certain immigrant groups are being protected from their criticism they should take a look at what they say publicly.
What you will see are their blatant and shameful remarks.