Ilta-Sanomat: Kansanedustaja: Tiedossa sisällissotia ja terrori-iskuja

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: Perussuomalaiset (PS) party MP Olli Immonen belongs to the Counter-Jihadists behind PS MP Jussi Halla-aho. In a story on tabloid Ilta-Sanomat, Immonen warns of a “race war” in Europe due to multiculturalism.

“Due to the present trend of multiculturalism, I believe we will see in the future of Europe a number of terrorist strikes and civil war in which the other warring adversary will be notably the representatives of Islam,” he was quoted as saying on Ilta-Sanomat from a 2009 blog entry.

When contacted by the tabloid, the MP said that he still stands by what he wrote two years ago.

Immonen, who is a member of ultra-nationalistic associations like Suomalaisuuden liitto and Suomen Sisu, which believe that marriage between Finns and foreigners should be discouraged, is another PS MP who sees Islam taking over Europe.

One of the matters that always surprises me about people like Immonen is the message behind their total rejection of multiculturalism. It is the same thing that PS MP Jussi Halla-aho said on July 24 on his Facebook page: “…because bad immigration is bad and multiculturalism sucks ass irrespective of what Breivik did.”

In other words, what Immonen and Halla-aho are saying in effect by “bad immigration” and “suck-ass multiculturalism” is that they don’t want Muslims in Finland and the future of those that live here of that religion will have to endure their wrath.

Immonen remind me of the American Nazi Party and how it’s been getting ready for a race war against non-whites and  Jews. You can Google a number of these type of hate sites on the Internet. I did not want to link them on this blog because they are offensive.

In Europe, far-right parties and Counter-Jihadists like Immonen, the enemy aren’t blacks and Jews but Muslims. It is the same sad broken record played in the 1930s by the Nazi regime and many others in the last century. Counter-Jihadists, however, have tried to distance themselves from that baggage by being pro-Zionist and against Nazis.

Strange ideological world, no?  

__________

Perussuomalaisten kansanedustaja Olli Immonen uskoo monikultturisen kehityksen Euroopassa johtavan tulevaisuudessa väkivaltaan.

Read whole story.

  1. Mikko

    I am fully aware that nazi is a provacative term often misused – although nazism was, and is not just a practice, but it started off as a theory – but I call these pro-Israel bigots post-nazis. Not a perfect neologism, but I think that when you stop to understand nazism (again, not just its practices during the second world war) there are too many similarities for comfort with the ideology.

  2. Mark

    Enrique

    I’m not sure of your approach to this debate sometimes. I understand that you are opposed to hate speech, racism, and nationalist rhetoric that inflames ethnic relations, and I fully support you in that stance.

    What is your opinion though about the fact that some people will always oppose multiculturism and that that in itself does not constitute ‘hate speech’. Whether ill-informed or not about the realities of mono-cultural vs. multi-culture, opponents of multiculturalism often begin from a position of assuming that to maintain national identity and to preserve the historical culture, then mass immigration and multiculturism as a political policy goal should be opposed. On the face of it, I do not see that as ‘hate speech, but a perfectly valid political stance, even while I disagree with it and also strongly question its assumptions about the historical culture and the effects of immigration.

    My view is that this political stance appeals to a romanticised view of national culture and builds on an exaggerated sense of ‘other’ cultures and the fundamental differences between cultures, hence ‘incompatibility’. The line that often gets crossed and reveals an overt racism is when the ‘other’ culture is placed consistently into the ‘inferior’ position, with no work whatsoever to balance the good or ills of either culture adequately. But even overt racism is not necessarily ‘hate speech’.

    Once the theoretical discussion puts a face to the ‘other’ in the form of Islam, then a whole host of new nuances enter the debate. Islam’s own internal struggles with extremism have generated many inaccuracies about the nature of Islam and Islamic cultures (of which there are very many diversities) given opponents genuine ammunition in being critical of Islamic culture or militant tendencies. Even this does not constitute hate speech, as it is clearly understandable that moderates would oppose these excesses of political Islam. The line is crossed here when all Islam is put into one pot and only the negative aspects are repeatedly offered as representing the ‘true’ nature of Islam. The silencing of voices within Islam and the right of Muslims to define themselves and their own culture is the most negative consequence of this crossing the line.

    I guess my point is that there need to be clear lines about what constitutes legitimate debate, legitimate opposition to political or cultural excesses and what constitutes hate speech and racism or xenophobia. I’m not sure you are currently drawing those lines very clearly. What do you think?

    The consequences of this possible vagueness is that your legitimate criticism of hate speech and racism is all too easily dismissed because the target of that criticism can present itself as following a legitimate political opposition to a policy of mass immigration and ‘multiculturism’. We have to be very careful not to alienate those people whose general opinion is that multiculturalism hasn’t fared too well by continuously putting them into the same category as those perpetuating hate speech and overt racism.

    It is better the argument is won by making a convincing case for what constitutes multiculturism and its positives and also responding to the common criticisms of it than to give the false impression that ‘all roads lead to Rome’ – Rome being an extremist position of hate.

    You know I have argued strongly about the extremist tendencies that underlie many populist political parties, and the re-packaging and sanitisation of the Far Right, but at the same time, I think this emphasis on ‘hate speech’ is counterproductive if the lines are not clearly drawn on when opposition to multiculturalism becomes a form of extremism, whether that is through the normalisation of prejudice or an implicit two-tier citizenship.

    In good faith
    Mark

    • Enrique

      –I’m not sure you are currently drawing those lines very clearly. What do you think?

      Hi Mark, you make some very good points. One good matter about this blog and why I appreciate comments from all sides is that it helps tighten the argument by looking at holes and weaknesses in the points one makes. Constructive criticism will make one stronger – not weaker. That is why debates at websites like Homma and Sripta are always the same because there is little dissension. The same people are airing their grievances on an issue.

      Let’s look at some lines to draw. Multiculturalism, as you know, is a social policy in Canada but in Finland it means basically culturally diversity. When a person says that we should “end multiculturalism,” is he saying that we must stop our society from becoming culturally diverse. Our society is, was, and will be culturally diverse. How much we want to accept this fact depends on what period in history we live in. But debating whether cultural diversity is good or bad is the wrong way to go. Addressing what are the challenges and benefits, or how it could work better, is more important.

      One good benchmark we should keep is always a spirit of dialogue. But discussing whether multiculturalism is bad or good is the same, in my opinion, as asking if women should have equal rights to men. It’s not a topic for discussion unless you want women to to go back in time to the 1950s. Certainly we can still debate about gender equality and what must be still done to improve it.

      What do you think, Mark? What benchmarks should we have? What clearer lines can we draw?

      Thank you for your insightful questions!

  3. Mark

    Enrique

    I think there is a distinction to be made between 1) multiculturalism as a policy pursued by a government, 2) multiculturalism as a cure-all response to ethnic tensions and 3) multiculturalism as a simple description of cultural diversity within a country.

    1) Actually, very few governments can be said to be pursuing ‘multiculturalism’ as a policy goal – it is geared to the national and international level. However, parties that favour humanitarian immigration or fairly relaxed immigration rules tend to be seen to justify it with the ‘theory of multiculturalism’, that integration of immigrants is possible because there is a basic acceptance of ‘multiculturalism’ (ethnic diversity) in the native population. Usually, opposition to multiculturalism is a short and convenient way for the Right wing to appeal to their more conservative supporters, and generally equates politically to no more than stricter immigration rules and more emphasis on ‘assimilation’, though this crosses over with 3), where a presumed norm of host cultural identity is offered as the ideal for immigrants to adopt.

    2) Multiculturalism on a more local level usually translates are a framework for empowering minorities. This so often gets a bad press that you could say it’s stuck in a ‘doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t’. If you don’t pursue policies that build harmony between ethnic communities, then you are blamed for allowing ‘ghettoes’ to develop. The truth is usually ghettoes have already developed and ‘multiculturalism’ is an attempt to diffuse tensions that are perceived to arise from prejudice, poverty and government inertia. Multiculturalism suffers by association with some of societies greatest ills, even though deprivation tends to affect native populations in much the same way. As a means of empowering minorities, multiculturalism is a means to bring greater political, community and organisational representation, again, to help with integration and to overcome problems. It’s supposed to be empowering, but the idea of minorities ‘rising above their station’ challenges the status quo and the superior position more generally of the native population. It’s easy to see where multiculturalism gains many critics.

    3) I think you are connecting multiculturism to this third aspect, simply to represent an existing cultural diversity. That diversity begins within the culture, through different strands of historical colonisation, regional diversity, and previous influx of immigrants. It then extends through a spectrum to ethnic differences that are more obvious, and which locate individuals as having origins far from the native culture. Tied up in this idea of multiculturalism is identity politics, which pits the interests of different groups against each other. Naturally, this leads to tensions too, as local groups vie for funding, social acceptance and grass roots support. This too easily gives rise to accusations of minority influence, where the majority are seen to make too many concessions to the minority that their own culture is seen to take second place. More often than not, these are petty local arguments and the minority influence is greatly exaggerated.

    Drawing lines? I already drew several lines on where political opposition to multiculturalism oversteps the bounds to becoming extremist. I think the final summary of identifying if opposition somehow normalises prejudice or creates a two-tier citizenship is a good catch-all. But as to local and national power struggles over the word, theory and practice of multiculturalism, it’s open season and I doubt that will change any time soon. The word has almost ‘mythic’ status in being so open and also open to manipulation. That’s part of the problem really, that many social problems are reinvented as ‘problems of multiculturalism’ or as ‘problems of immigration’.

    I guess for me, the challenge for you is to somehow show the ‘hate’ in ‘hate speech’ in a way that is convincing. Because much like the way a racist almost always denies racism, so those that perpetuate ‘hate speech’ consistently deny hating anybody.

    • Enrique

      Mark,

      As you know, the term “multiculturalism” is pretty much on the defensive these days. It is, as you state, a very misunderstood term. It could be something like the term “liberal.” In Latin American “liberal” means neoconservative whereas in the United States it has a center-left connotation.

      We have defined multiculturalism and looked at the differences between integration and assimilation.

      A good synonym for multiculturalism is cultural diversity. Each group has the right to embrace their culture and be a part of a wider national identity. Finland is not a multicultural country even though politicians and people use that term – less today than before – and it has different meanings to different groups. Probably far-right groups in the PS see it as a door for Muslims to emigrate to Europe and take it over, according to their pocket calculators.

      There are only three multicultural countries in the world officially: Canada, Australia and Britain.

      I am of the opinion that the best tool that enables the fast inclusion of people into society (acceptance) is the one we should back. Is it can be multiculturalism (Canadian social policy), interculturalism or should we look at our society as a mosaic like in the United States? Whatever it may be at the end of the day it must promote our values as a society, of which equality, is one of the most important.

      We all look at Finland from different perpectives. I look at it as a Multicultural Finn who should be accepted despite my multicultural background but who isn’t because of Finland’s historic and social circumstances. For me, any party or person who promotes exclusion of other groups is something we should challenge. The PS is such a threat in my opinion but maybe tomorrow they may change and not be a threat.

      Since humans are involved in cultural diversity it can never a perfect system nor be the perfect solution of a society. Fortunately humans adapt rapidly and are social animals. Since society will never be perfect, it means that they will always be challenged by new ideas and models of a better society.

      Let’s hear about those better models. The ones I hear from the PS via the Nuiva manifesto is more of a biased idea on how these people would want to see immigrants integrate, or assimilate. Our constitution, as you know, does not require anyone to assimilate but integrate.

      One important matter to keep in mind when speaking of a culturally diverse society is that all groups must play by the same rules. Values such as mutual acceptance, mutual respect and equal opportunities take on a very important meaning becvause they are the tools that help us to have a well-functioning society. Also, since we are a Western liberal democratic society, we have the right to make choices about our lifestyles. This differs us from societies that are intolerant or despotic. You cannot claim that your group, in this case the host society, has the right to pursue a number of lifestyles while the newcomers cannot. It’s like saying you have the right to freedom of speech but deny it of other groups.

      But let’s not get to drawn into the term multiculturalism but see behind that the ideals and values of our society, which promote tolerance, compassion and trust.

      For me these matters are crystal clear and I am quite intransigent about them. As I mentioned, even though the far right in Finland wants to make racism more acceptable by excluding and ridiculing in public other groups (maintaining the old networks of discrimination), there is no discussion about this because it is wrong and against our values. If we give into them (far-right ideology) we will end up sacrificing our present democratic model.

      Hate speech is another tool that those who are passionately against cultural diversity but offer no solutions on how to make it work. It exists and grows in our society because we allow it to. We are not, as a people, outraged enough by it. When this happens, hate speech and racism will be on the defensive and not grow as today.

    • Enrique

      Here is an YLE Areena clip on Sunday’s march by My Finland is International. Even though the organizers of the march (Tino Singh and others) said it was against intolerance and what happened in Norway, the journalist who reported the story said it was directed at the PS. This is not true.

      Here is the link: http://areena.yle.fi/video/1312398408643

  4. Method

    Yes, that’s what the Finnish journalists do. They want contradiction and big headlines. If there is none, they make it so. It’s intentional, and they’re getting away with it.

  5. Mark

    Enrique

    – “Each group has the right to embrace their culture and be a part of a wider national identity.”

    Yes, this kind of social pluralism is generally considered left wing, though why I really don’t know. It seems a very obvious value that should have bipartisan support!

    – “Probably far-right groups in the PS see it as a door for Muslims to emigrate to Europe and take it over, according to their pocket calculators.”

    That’s about the size of it. They see it as a political strategy and a cynical one at that. Funny how people are given to conspiracy theories, but one of them is that the Left encourage immigration because it changes the voting demographic in favour of the left, because immigrants are assumed to vote for the left. You would think that’s too childish an accusation to have to answer, but generally, immigrants find themselves in poorer city and semi-urban areas that usually are already voting left (in the UK at least), and secondly, it’s been shown several times that immigrants show a varied voting pattern, with many having very strong conservative values.

    I think the reality is more that there are probably millions of potential migrants to Europe who would travel here for no other reason than better economic prospects and a much better standard of living – classic ‘economic migrants’. However, many of them also happen to be Muslim, which is not surprise seeing as they constitute nearly a quarter of the world’s population.

    – “Whatever it [integration approach] may be at the end of the day it must promote our values as a society, of which equality, is one of the most important.”

    I think this point of yours is key. While the immigration debate gets sucked into talking economics or even social compatibility, not enough is done or said to demonstrate how changing our approach to immigration signicantly has a huge effect on the overriding values of society such as equality. We have discussed this in previous threads that looked at many different sections of Finnish law that promote equality or protect the rights of immigrants on the basis of equal status and the right to ethnic identity. Do we really want to change all that legislation and replace it with what amounts to ‘hate legislation’? Of course not. But people don’t always join the dots over immigration debates. There is a feeling that perhaps it’s okay to treat some people (citizens) differently and that we already do that in some cases. As one old Finn told me some months ago – “Finns are for solving problems, not creating them” and also “that just not Finnish” when talking about turning our backs to people in need of asylum. Talk of Finnish identity often overlooks that strong sense of compassion for people that runs through the Finnish culture.

    – “Also, since we are a Western liberal democratic society, we have the right to make choices about our lifestyles.”

    Exactly. And talk about making immigrants behave a certain way to please natives is ridiculous and almost turns us into one of those despotic countries that are accused of not having values as good as Finnish ones. Irony, irony, irony! There should be a clear distinction between ‘cultural freedom’ and certain very specific and isolated cultural differences that would transgress Finnish laws (e.g. female circumcision, polygymy, child marriage). Clearly, the laws apply equally to all citizens and residents of Finland.

    – “For me these matters are crystal clear and I am quite intransigent about them. As I mentioned, even though the far right in Finland wants to make racism more acceptable by excluding and ridiculing in public other groups (maintaining the old networks of discrimination), there is no discussion about this because it is wrong and against our values. If we give into them (far-right ideology) we will end up sacrificing our present democratic model. ”

    I couldn’t agree more. We must be very careful how the Far Right, those doyens of prejudice, get to re-evaluate or redraw our values. Their prejudices were extremely deep rooted and gave rise to one of the greatest political and social evils the world has known in Nazism. While many feel that is just ‘old hat’, one has to ask why it is that somehow the Far Right can be considered to have changed their tune significantly on discrimination issues or whether they’ve just got better at exploiting people’s disaffections and grievances and directing those against ‘foreigners’. Many people are simply too young nowadays to understand how that kind of manipulation was the norm of the Far Right in Europe previously. Now, it’s sexy and hip to be bad-tempered, selfish and demanding! The attitude grows from a very simple two fingers up to the world attitude ‘fuck em! why should they have it easy!’. Some people are genuinely ignorance of the values of society or how it would be to live in a different society without them. It’s almost ‘throw away culture’ the way that people discuss immigration and the needs of immigrants arriving to Europe’s shores. People don’t care or see ‘caring’ as wimpish. But what they don’t realise is that this kind of attitude erodes our own society and it’s values.

    – “We are not, as a people, outraged enough by it.”

    I’ve seen this with a lot of activism. People look at you and your ‘outrage’ and passion and wonder why on earth you take it all so seriously. But it’s true, there needs to be outrage, there needs to be a feeling that ‘hey, is this really the kind of world I want to live in, the kind of thing I want to give passive support to’. It seems in many ways that it is, given PS success.

    Maybe it was a protest – but kicking down the walls of the house because you don’t like the way it’s being decorated seems a lot like overkill!

  6. Method

    Well, “Islamisation” is not completely and absolutely a conspiracy theory. It’s the difference of whether you believe in these guys or not:

    • Enrique

      Method, one matter that bothers me about those who warn us of threats they usually, like with “Islamization,” speak in the future. The other problem is that you are labelling/demonizing a whole group. A case in point is Norway: if a Muslim did those horrific act it would be ALL Muslims but if it was a white Norwegian, it was a long psycopath. We rarely see the “threat” and “fear” in our midsts because if something happens it is a lone psycopath. “Islamization” has deeper meaning for some Finns because of the decades of fear-mongering taught to Finns: We will be taken by the Russians or foreigners. THis means demographcially. However, if you look at the former “Iron Curtain” country, that was not the case at least demographically.

      As I have mentioned many times, in the US some extremist groups speak of “a race war” between whites and blacks, immigrants etc. It is nonsense.

  7. Hannu

    Jihadist and Antifa Enrique tries to change whats happening as fearmongering withouth proving it, well hes just some failed “journalist” so dont listem him 🙂
    Enrique do you see what i did there, your way to arque aimed to you.

  8. Allan

    “As I have mentioned many times, in the US some extremist groups speak of “a race war” between whites and blacks, immigrants etc. It is nonsense”

    Is Tottenham and Walthamstow nonsense? Wish you was here to see celebrations of multiculturalism!

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