Green Party Chairman Ville Niinistö correctly criticized Interior Minister Paula Risikko Saturday for stating that Iraqis concerned about being deported to their country as “extremists” that are in the same league as racist bigot groups like Suomi Ensi.
The conservative National Coalition Party interior minister’s rhetoric derives from President Sauli Niinistö’s claim in May of last year that only extremists debate while the silent majority is silent.
Such a simplistic analysis by the president is how disgraced former US President Richard Nixon wanted to capitalize on a song called Okie from Muskogee that was supposed to depict, among other things, that most USAmericans weren’t against the Vietnam War and didn’t take drugs.
President Niinistö’s comments and views about Finland’s ever-growing culturally diverse society have revealed his suspicion. Certainly eyeing reelection in 2018, the Finnish head of state has made statements in the same way as anti-immigration politicians do. He first makes them and then retracts.
Here’s a good example:
“At some point, someone has to recognize that, here and now, we cannot fulfill all of our obligations under international agreements,” according to the Helsinki Times.
And then retracted in Helsingin Sanomat:
“I never said anything like that [ditching international agreements]. What I said was that it’s difficult here and now to meet all the obligations [of such refugee treaties].
Tweets Green Party head Niinistö about Risikko putting asylum seekers in the same group like bigots:
He states: “Unacceptable that Risikko equates an asylum seeker family that is worried about its life as extremists like Suomi Ensin.”
“I am concerned that only extremists debate. It’s a bit serious when the extremes debate and everyone else is quiet, Interior Minister Paula Risikko told Helsingin Snaomat.
The question we should ask is why do President Niinistö and Minister Risikko insist that defending the values enshrined in our constitution, human rights and respecting international agreements make you an “extremist?”
If we used such a definition, Migrant Tales would be an “extremist” blog.
Niinistö’s and Risikko’s insistence about the so-called Finnish silent majority reveals power and privilege. The only people that are allowed to debate immigration policy is them. They are a good example of Cold War Finland when issues like Finnish-Soviet relations were sacrosanct and could only be debated by a handful of people.
The fact that Iraqi asylum seekers are demonstrating the unfair treatment by the government and the Finnish Immigration Service is the best example of their respect for our democratic institutions.
Branding them as “extremists” with racist bigots like Suomi Ensi shows how lost the government’s immigration policy is.