How Syrian refugees fleeing war show how the Finnish media gives (again) racists inflated respectability and importance

by , under Enrique

Migrant Tales published a while back a story about how the media gives racists and radical anti-immigration groups inflated respectability and importance. Why should we care what a Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP like Jussi Halla-aho, who was on top of it convicted for ethnic agitation, thinks about giving asylum to Syrian refugees? 

Kuvankaappaus 2013-9-19 kello 20.41.58
Verkkouutiset is run by the National Coalition Party. Read full story here.

Why should the media care if another PS MP like James Hirvisaari, who was convicted for ethnic agitation as well, is “forced” to resigns from an extremist association like Suomen Sisu but supports a far right and racist group like the Finnish Defense League?

And what would you say about PS MP Vesa-Matti Saarakkala, who has sent a written question to parliament about the government’s plan to give asylum to a few hundred refugees from Syria?

Certainly all of the above have some newsworthiness. The PS is an anti-immigration, anti-Islam and anti-gay party. MPs like Halla-aho, Hirvisaari and Saarakkala, who are the most vociferous opponents of cultural diversity, are expressing their opposition to government policy, which is already pretty thin to begin with when it comes to Syrian refugees.

Here’s the question we should probably ponder: How is it possible that a country like Finland, which knows too well what the suffering of war and refugees are, is doing so little to help refugees fleeing a country that is suffering one of the worst sectarian bloodbaths in modern history?

Folks, we’re talking about granting a few hundred Syrian refugees asylum to our country, while our neighbor Sweden, has already given permanent residency to half of the Syrian refugees and announced it will give 8,000 more residency. 

Is the “news” Halla-aho’s or Saarakkala’s lowly opinions of refugees, or that Sweden is giving thousands resident permits to Syrians while we’re having a philosophical discussion about why we should even let in a few hundred?

Why isn’t there anything written by Ilkka or Verkkouutiset that compares our response to the Syrian refugees question with Sweden’s?Aren’t we always competing against our eternal rival in the west in almost everything?

True, Finland’s worst rivals are Sweden. But we don’t compete in some areas that really count and are important, like giving shelter to those fleeing war.

In that match, Finland gets romped every time 6-0 against Sweden.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Jssk

    Inside, what do you care about? The amount of “cultural diversity” or actual benefit to those fleeing war? We cannot help all of them. Whole europe cannot, without problematic societal and economical impacts. We may take 500 or 5000 refugees but in the end it doesnt matter.

    I say, there will be big problems in Sweden because of their current immigration and citizenship policy.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Whole europe cannot, without problematic societal and economical impacts. We may take 500 or 5000 refugees but in the end it doesnt matter.

      It doesn’t matter to you but to Syrians affected by the war it does. What’s the choice: be in the war zone, be in a refugee camp or be in a European country. Common sense tells me the third option is the best.

      Sweden is a great country that beats us every time 6-0 in these things. Sweden will do better in the future than Finland because it has immigrants and a humane immigration/refugee policy.

    • Mark

      Sweden’s gesture to help Syrians by giving them citizenship was one of the most positive things I’ve read in many months, on the human rights front, on the Syria front and on the ‘immigration’ front. Of course that decision needs to be supported by good planning, good dialogue and good humour! Let’s see how long it takes those miserable bastards to get all pessimistic about it….tick, tock…hmmm, that didn’t take you long, Jssk! 😀

    • Klay_immigrant

      A suicidal policy by the Swedes. One which won’t be felt immediately but in the future.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –A suicidal policy by the Swedes. One which won’t be felt immediately but in the future.

      I didn’t know, Klay, that you can predict the future.

  2. Klay_immigrant

    Enrique it doesn’t take a genius to work it out. All these Syrian refugees (as well as all other refugees) have to be housed, fed, and educated with schools for the children or language classes for the adults. Now where is all this money going to come from to finance this? Either the government will have to go further into debt or raise the already very high taxes.

    The first option would reduce the spending on public services (education,health,infrastructure etc.) for everyone else as there would be less money available as a consequence for these and the second option would lower the disposable (take home pay) income of working people. So a lose lose situation for the rest of the country.

    Now go on tell me that what I’ve just said is racist, xenophobic, elitist, intolerant or whatever other similar term you can come up with.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Klay, the Syrians are not the first group of people that are fleeing from war. There are many and many have done very well in their new home countries.

      Are you opposed to them because they are Muslims? I guess that’s your real motive. All the rest about public spending is a lot of baloney as you well know. Where did you pick up that argument from? Jussi Halla-aho? I don’t recommend you to because much of what he says is exaggerated and made up.

      –Now go on tell me that what I’ve just said is racist, xenophobic, elitist, intolerant or whatever other similar term you can come up with.

      You said it. I didn’t.

    • Klay_immigrant

      -“Are you opposed to them because they are Muslims?”

      No if Finns, English, Germans or any other group were moving to Sweden under the same conditions and needs as refugees going there in general then I would say exactly the same thing as it can apply to any group.

      -“All the rest about public spending is a lot of baloney as you well know.”

      If you think that then explain why that is. There’s no point in saying something is wrong or incorrect if you don’t give reasons or counter arguments of why. It’s like a lawyer saying his defendant is innocent but not providing any evidence to show why that’s the case. Would you hire him?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      If you read you history, Klay, a lot of Jews went to Sweden to the war. Argentina and Mexico received many refugees of the Spanish Civil War…There are many too many cases because the world is in turmoil. Rich countries like the ones in Europe have an obligation to provide refuge to those fleeing war.

      It’s international law and one of the great accomplishments we’ve made.

      Unfortunately, far right and xenophobic groups want countries to do away with these laws. That’s as outrageous as forcing a country to like Finland to be white and deny its cultural diversity.

  3. Jssk

    -It doesn’t matter to you but to Syrians affected by the war it does. What’s the choice: be in the war zone, be in a refugee camp or be in a European country. Common sense tells me the third option is the best.

    With the money we can accommodate 100 refugees here we can help a 1000 of them in for example Turkey.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –With the money we can accommodate 100 refugees here we can help a 1000 of them in for example Turkey.

      Why is this so difficult for you to accept? That’s the issue NOT that we’re bringing 500 refugees here.

    • Mark

      Jssk

      With the money we can accommodate 100 refugees here we can help a 1000 of them in for example Turkey.

      Where is your evidence for saying this? Sounds to me like you are making the case for never accepting refugees, on the idea that we just increase aid. There are several problems with this argument:

        All suggestions from the anti-immigration parties are to CUT ‘development’ aid, not increase it as a type of compensation for taking less refugees.
        Giving money to refugees in neighbouring countries is likely to be spent on temporary measures, such as building and maintaining refugee camps, so the long-term benefits of that money are likely to be very small, especially for Finland, as there is effectively NO RETURN on that investment. On the contrary, resettling refugees inside Finland and investing in them results in the end with 1st, 2nd, 3rd generation immigrants who would be more and more integrated and productive members of Finnish society.
        The difficulties of neighbouring countries is not just one of ‘money’ to fix the refugee problem. Lebanon has seen a 30% increase in its total population – the equivalent of Finland taking 2 million refugees in the space of 2 years. The challenges are MASSIVE. That is the point of an international community and international treaties that support an organised and civilised response to displaced peoples – that a single country is not left stranded in these situations. Take Lebanon’s own fragile peace and you realise that you cannot just rely on lebanon, or Turkey for that matter, to handle matters in their countries.
        What goes around comes around. Investing in people from other countries can always have spin off benefits. When peace returns, so will commerce activity. If connections have been made with foreign countries, this opens up opportunities for future commerce, which benefits both countries and benefits future peace and stability. These countries will always get outside financial support and stimulus for rebuilding, both institutions and in construction and utilities, areas where Finland can of course contribute and benefit. The kind of isolationist stance you are taking only puts Finland on the margins of international commerce and politics, instead of be seen as a world leader, such as Sweden is!n Of course, Finns cannot feed of that ‘Nordic’ glory forever without actually contributing anything substantial to the cause!

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