What would you say if the police, the National Border Guards, Regional State Administrative Agencies (AVI), Customs, Rescue Department, and City of Helsinki health inspectors came knocking on your door on a Saturday afternoon? Such a thing happened yesterday at the Puhos shopping center of Easter Helsinki, where the majority of customers are visible migrants and minorities.
A Migrant Tales reporter, Muhammed Shire, who was at Puhos Saturday afternoon, asked one of the police why they didn’t carry out similar inspections of white Finns’ stores and stop their customers?
The police didn’t answer his question.
Even people coming out from a mosque were stopped and asked for identification.
Writes Shire in an email: “At the Rukous kerho (mosque), people can’t enter the premises or leave through the main entrance since the police carefully check everyone’s identity. At the main entrance, the police prohibited a young man from going in [the mosque] or leave and checked the person’s identity and registered it in the laptop. Other congregations in Finland don’t have to put up with these types of inspections in Finland.”
A very good question and we know the answer: Migrants, especially Muslims, are political cannon fodder for the government and a constant obsession about security marks these people and gives the police and authorities justification to get more funds.
The big question that emerges is if this operation by the police and other authorities is just another case of ethnic profiling.
The police and other officials like the Finnish Border Guards at Puhos on Saturday. Photos by Muhammed Shire.
And why wouldn’t you believe that ethnic profiling was at play? Can we trust the police when it comes to relations with non-white Finns? Remember June when a secret Facebook page with over 2,800 members made openly racist comments about Muslims? That amounts to about one-third of Finland’s police service of 7,000, according to the Long Play scoop.
Read the full story here.
What about a year before that, in April, when the police and National Border Guard carried out spot checks on “foreign-looking” people? There’s also the Musta Barbaari case where his mother and sister were stopped by the police.
When was the last time you were stopped by the police?
Do the police ethnically profile people? I am pretty certain that you will get a candid answer from members of the Roma minority, who have lived in Finland for over 500 years.
As long as the police and other public officials continue to have obsolete and racist views of Others, the less migrants and minorities will trust the police and continue to see them as enemies.
One of the “short leashes” that officials use to keep migrants and minorities oppressed and treated like second-class citizens is ethnic profiling.