Migrant Tales blog: Trolls can distort your view of other groups

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

Migrant Tales has seen a lot of traffic as of late. Every day we see as well more trolls knocking at our door and some of them do get through. 

If, however, you did make it past the moderators and act like a troll on our blog you will be treated accordingly. You will be seen as a pack of cigarettes with the famous warning: Trolls are hazardous to your mental health and may seriously distort your view of other groups.

If, however, you want to learn and debate in earnest about immigration, immigrants and Finnish identity in this century, you are most welcome to do so.

What is wrong with some people in this society? Some trolls house so much hatred and ignorance together  with low self-esteem that they write like ticking time bombs ready to implode.

Here is an idiotic thread that failed to make it past the moderators. He calls himself Tired Johnny: “When this country is disgusting for you, please -and you are free- “get-out”. Nothing is holding you here. Bye, bye!!”

Here is another one by none other than True Finn: “The foreigners who comment on this thread are so aggressive and anti-Finn that they give a really bad image of foreigners living in Finland.”

Bad image?! Excuse me. Ever heard of Tommi Rautio?

True Finn goes as far as to call me a “Nazi.” LOL!

Here is another one who must see Muslims in his sleep. He calls himself anonyymi: “Islamilaisesta näkökulmasta katsottuna Suomi kuuluu Dar al-Harb alueeseen eli sodan maahan (From the point of view of Islam Finland belongs to the Dar al-Harb region war zone).”

What is wrong with this person? Can you ever have a civil debate with him? I seriously doubt it.

Here is another one who calls himself truesoldier: “…your racist racist that occurs here frequently is a sign that things are not well with you.”

This is a typical comment by a “racist” troll who switches the tables and accuses us of being racist. It is as ludicrous as accusing the Jewish victims of Nazi Germany of being a member of the SS. We have seen a lot of this before on many occasions.

Here is another very weird one  by crusader: “Only Aryan Jesus can save Finland from the non-white non-Christian subhuman seedline of Satan. All you Finns out there need to fight in the name of Aryan Jesus for your nations purity. Hail Christian Europe, but most of all Hail Aryan Jesus!”

We at Migrant Tales not only owe our eve-growing popularity to what we write and believe, but to our trolls who spread our name on the net.

To them we offer our eternal gratitude!

  1. A Secular Humanist

    During my decades in the academia and high-tech industry I have worked and socialized with a large number of foreigners, some later turned immigrants and citizens, without the issue of racism ever coming up – granted none were Somali, but people with darker complexion, yes. While some of these friends had experienced maybe a few verbal insults, usually by intoxicated persons with overall bad manners, none of my friends had experienced racism in conducting their business with government officials (police, courts, taxation, medical care, …), nor would they consider Finland a racist country in the least.

    In this light the discussions I have read in the Migrant Tales blog stand in stark contrast: many commentators see racism in the actions of the police and other officials, in crime statistics, school, work, welfare support, in every denial of a favor of any kind, in every disagreeing response, in every failure of their own cause. As much as some native-born loonies dig a mental pothole of an imagined threat of masses of immigrants raping our daughters, some writers in this blog dig a mental pothole of imagined racism. This is very pernicuous.

    With respect to dar al-harb: I do not know where this was mentioned in this blog, and while dar al-harb is not a central tenet of Islam (missing from both Qu’ran and the Hadith that I’ve read), I know of some westerners who are justifiably concerned about it and movements like Islam4UK. With respect to Islam in general: having read the Qu’ran, I do consider it a very violent and threatening. Whether the recently immigrated muslims can find a way to reconcile it with the western values of the Finnish society will determine how they will be treated.

    • Migrant Tales

      Hi Secular Humanist and welcome to Migrant Tales.

      Racism is shameful and no person or nation in his right mind wants such a label. However, this should not discourage us from debating this issue like any other in our society. There are EU surveys that have highlighted the problem in Finland especially among Somalis and Russians.

      Debating racism/bigotry/prejudice in our society is not a thumbs down to Finland but a desire to make this country a better place for all.

      This is the aim of Migrant Tales.

  2. D4R

    Lol. this Thread is hilariouse. It made me giggle at the same time got me seriouse. Yes, we have seen them trolls plenty, They never rest, they keep coming back, i call them cyber virus.
    Enrique, i guess we need cyber police in this blog, to keep them at bay. I am ready for nominee.:)

    • Migrant Tales

      –Enrique, i guess we need cyber police in this blog, to keep them at bay. I am ready for nominee.:)

      Thank you D4R but I think their own stupidity keeps them in check…

  3. D4R

    It seems as though, these trolls need a seriouse medication for their delusional mind. it’s so weird that they think of us immigrants such a threat, wehn we really want to live cohabit with them peacefully, abide the law and perhaps be a productive part of this society. I wonder where these guys get from their mass hysteria? whose keep feeding their mind with these delusional lies about immigrants.

  4. Mark

    Secular Humanist

    There are many kinds of denial when it comes to racism, but I find your kind of denial among the most distasteful, because you try to give intellectual credibility to that denial.

    it is sad that with your so-called qualifications in Academia you choose:

    a) not to try to understand the problem or validate the experiences of those that claim racism
    b) rather, you choose to attack as pernicious those that would basically contradict your claim that ‘Finland is not in the least a racist country’.

    The first mistake you make is asking the wrong question – is Finland a racist country? That kind of question cannot really be answered in any kind of sensible way. It tends to polarise the debate, for a start, into those that would answer yes and those who would answer no. The question that should be asked is ‘is there racism in Finland’, and if there is, ‘what kind is it, and what can be done about it?’. These are much more sensible questions to ask.

    During my decades in the academia and high-tech industry I have worked and socialized with a large number of foreigners, some later turned immigrants and citizens, without the issue of racism ever coming up – granted none were Somali, but people with darker complexion, yes.

    First, no Somalis and probably no Iraqis or Afghans. So what qualification do you have to talk about racism towards these groups?

    Second, academia is largely a tolerant community, with researchers having a basic respect towards their international peer group. Is this really the environment where you are going to find overt racism?

    Third, if the issue of racism never came up, how can you be sure they never experienced it?

    While some of these friends had experienced maybe a few verbal insults, usually by intoxicated persons with overall bad manners, none of my friends had experienced racism in conducting their business with government officials (police, courts, taxation, medical care, …), nor would they consider Finland a racist country in the least.

    First, ‘a few verbal insults’. So actually, what you are saying is that they did experience mild racism, which you dismiss because it was done by ‘bad mannered drunks’ and who takes a ‘drunk’ seriously? Give the propensity of Finns to get drunk, I hardly think this makes the racism therefore irrelevant because it was only done by drunks. Racism is not like farting in public, SH, it is not merely a matter of ‘bad manners’.

    Second, arriving in Finland as a visiting academic is very different to arriving here as a refugee.

    Third, again, if the issue of racism never came up, how can you then assume that they would consider Finland not to be a racist country (even though this is clearly the wrong question to ask anyway!)?.

    In this light the discussions I have read in the Migrant Tales blog stand in stark contrast:

    Clearly. But that does not in itself invalidate the experiences of others. Are you really asking your audience to accept that because you have never personally come across it, it doesn’t exist? Have you personally come across pedophilia? Do you also think that this does not exist in Finland?

    many commentators see racism in the actions of the police and other officials, in crime statistics, school, work, welfare support, in every denial of a favor of any kind, in every disagreeing response, in every failure of their own cause.

    I find this comment of yours quite disgusting. It’s implied meanings reveal a rather nasty streak in you, SH.

    First, you attack what commentators ‘see’. Perhaps if you replace ‘see’ with experience, then you might remove the whole tone of invalidation from your comment.

    Second, you follow up legitimate instances of racism—such as with officials, police, school (white flight, racism of teachers etc.), welfare offices—with cases of imagined racism, paranoia, whim, favour, disagreeableness and personal failure, as if all these things belonged in the same box. The ‘failure of their own cause’ was particularly smarmy and snide remark, designed to undermine the character of anyone claiming ‘racism’.

    I’m not surprised you don’t see racism in Finland, SH, not surprised on little bit.

    As much as some native-born loonies dig a mental pothole of an imagined threat of masses of immigrants raping our daughters…

    Of course, you cannot deny that there isn’t this paranoia towards some immigrants in Finland, especially given the favoured tactic of the racists to appear on this blog attacking the Somali rapists etc., but you fail to recognise it as ‘racism’, but rather refer to them simply as ‘loonies’. Well, that explains it, then…..they are no racists in Finland, only loonies mouthing of racism in a kind of random accident of their own stupidity!

    …some writers in this blog dig a mental pothole of imagined racism. This is very pernicuous.

    Oh, so that is the real evil in your view. Not racism in Finland, no, but the writers on this blog who happen to speak out against that ‘imagined’ racism of public insults, stereotyping an entire community as ‘rapists’ and criminals, and the murders of immigrants in what appear to be hate crimes. Yep, that’s the real evil.

    With respect to Islam in general: having read the Qu’ran, I do consider it a very violent and threatening.

    Have you read the bible recently? Have you read the European history of fascism recently?

    Whether the recently immigrated muslims can find a way to reconcile it with the western values of the Finnish society will determine how they will be treated.

    You arrogant, condescending prick! That doesn’t really deserve any more of a response.

  5. eyeopener

    Hi guys.

    Here is an idiotic thread that failed to make it past the moderators. He calls himself Tired Johnny: “When this country is disgusting for you, please -and you are free- “get-out”. Nothing is holding you here. Bye, bye!!”

    Can’t they come up with their own thinking !! Iused this sentence to tell Nope to leave the discussion and the country when and if he doesnot feel up to the challenge.

    Plagiarism of the lowest of ranks!! Boeh.

    He tired Johnny. Not only tired but also lazy. Actually I am not so surprised knowing thugs like you!!

  6. A Secular Humanist

    Mark,

    I’m not going to spend too much of my time on this forum, especially because I doubt there’s much hope of finding a common ground. In particular I choose not to respond to a number of straw-man arguments you raised, but there are a few points in your comments that I chose to respond to.

    [quote]’Finland is not in the least a racist country’.[/quote]

    For clarity I wish to reformulate that as ‘Finns, on average, are not particularly racist’. That has to be taken in comparison with many other countries and minorities. If I’m incorrect, you can surely point a few geographic regions of 5 million inhabitants or more where there is less racism? I can think of only one, parts of the west coast of U.S.

    Note that I’m not denying there is some racism in Finland, nor that people like Seppo Lehto or Tommi Rautio have spat out ugly racial slurs or that some of the recent killings might have been racially motivated – all those issues have to be taken seriously. But I do claim that Finland is not a country where racism or racial violence would be more common than in most of the rest of the world.

    [quote]First, no Somalis and probably no Iraqis or Afghans.[/quote]

    Iraqi, Irani, Israeli, and Lebanese, yes. One may be of Pakistani and one of Egyptian origin, but I have to check that. People with roots further east in abundance. Somalis and Afghans are unfortunately rare in the high-tech industry.

    [quote]Third, if the issue of racism never came up, how can you be sure they never experienced it?[/quote]

    They never brought it up, and at some later point in my acquaintance with them I would sometimes ask directly.

    [quote]First, ‘a few verbal insults’. So actually, what you are saying is that they did experience mild racism, which you dismiss because it was done by ‘bad mannered drunks’ and who takes a ‘drunk’ seriously?[/quote]

    I don’t dismiss it, but a bad mannered possibly intoxicated person could just as likely choose any other difference to raise tension: maybe in the next bus he picked on someone because he was fat, gay, dressed somehow differently, or whatever. Is that person then predominantly racist, or just a yob trying to provoke a fight with any excuse he can find? Even if the answer would be the former, such cases have been rare, and none of the foreign friends I’ve talked with have expressed, for example, any concern for their physical safety.

    As a side note, a few of my native Finnish friends have met their fate in possibly racist violence elsewhere: one in Columbia, one in post-apartheid violence in South Africa, one was shot by a black gang when he stepped out of a taxi that had accidentally taken him to the wrong address in the U.S.

    [quote]Second, arriving in Finland as a visiting academic is very different to arriving here as a refugee.[/quote]

    To a large extent, this is true. The visiting academic, sales rep, engineer etc. I host or work with has also been accustomed to western habits well before coming to Finland.

    However, meeting someone on the street, how could a racist tell them apart? (Except perhaps from what kind of groups they form – those with high-tech or academic background mingle in groups with mixed races, including native Finns.)

    [quote]The ‘failure of their own cause’ was particularly smarmy and snide remark
    [/quote]

    One publicly known example of this is Emmanuel Eneh, who flunked an exam 17 (SIC!) times, eventually failed his whole studies, and subsequently accused the University of Tampere of racism.

    [quote][quote] .. the Qu’ran, I do consider it a very violent and threatening.[/quote]
    Have you read the bible recently? Have you read the European history of fascism recently?[/quote]

    Of course I’ve read the Bible, even Mein Kampf. I’ve chosen not to make any of them a guideline for my sense of morality.

  7. BlandaUpp

    A Secular Humanist

    “With respect to Islam in general: having read the Qu’ran, I do consider it a very violent and threatening. Whether the recently immigrated muslims can find a way to reconcile it with the western values of the Finnish society will determine how they will be treated.”

    This phrase alone betrays you as a bigot of the highest order. Your prejudice, intolerance, and animosity toward people who believe in a different Buddah spaghetti monster Darwin to your own really shows. It’s the exact same argument that was used by the Nazis and their fascist allies against Jews and Gypsies across Europe.

    What do you consider the FINAL SOLUTION for Muslim Finns and refugees?

  8. eyeopener

    Secular Humanist means the same as National Socialist. The same BLABLABLA!!

    The worms alresy come out. Termites I would say!!

    Food you wouldn’t like to think over 🙂

  9. A Secular Humanist

    BlandaUpp,

    There are numerous, probably hundreds of incitements to violence against disbelievers in the Qu’ran. The Verse of the Sword (9:5, “… slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush”) being only one, and the hadith contain many more.

    I don’t know what the solution will be. I don’t hope for violence, ethnic cleansing, or submission. Should the muslim communities be able to secularize, like the tatar minority in Finland, that might be the best solution.

  10. eyeopener

    And Secular Humanist. I have an advice for you to check your looking in the racist mirror.

    Read these two books to let yourself get involved with the consequences of compromising:

    Emperor of Lies Sem-Sandberg (extra-ordinary for humanists like you)
    The Kindly Ones Jonathan Littell (if you want to find some excuses)

    And…….. take of your cloack. You are already “dismantled”

    Please go back to your sandbox and play with your toys. Very peaceful!! For everybody.

    Thumbs up!!

  11. justicedemon

    Secular Humanist

    I’ve chosen not to make any of them a guideline for my sense of morality.

    This remark already betrays serious confusion along the lines of “I know that this is good, but the Bible/Qur’an/Mein Kampf says that it’s bad, so now I know that this is bad” or conversely “I know that this is bad, but the Bible/Qur’an/Mein Kampf says that it’s good, so now I know that this is good”

    Your choice indicates that you think virtue can be founded on authority (“a guideline”). I would say that subordinating your conscience to authority of any kind is the very essence of the SS mentality and that this is bad by definition.

    What do reputable Qur’anic scholars say about violence in the Qur’an?

  12. A Secular Humanist

    Eyeopener,

    [quote]Emperor of Lies Sem-Sandberg; The Kindly Ones Jonathan Littell[/quote]

    I wonder what two books of fiction can bring into this discussion, and how they relate to points I’ve tried to make? Besides, my sister-in-law comes from a jewish family – something I’ve had to keep hidden when dealing with muslims at work – so the facts of the holocaust are quite familiar to me. (Unless this too is a veiled accusation of Nazi mentality this forum so abundantly employs.)

    Justicedeamon,

    [quote]Your choice indicates that you think virtue can be founded on authority (“a guideline”). I would say that subordinating your conscience to authority of any kind is the very essence of the SS mentality and that this is bad by definition.[/quote]

    A guideline doesn’t refer to authority, merely something that someone else has thought out earlier in a general setting and I can adapt and apply to my context. And I happily give that priviledge to others as well – for example I’m quite liberal to how my neighbors entertain themselves at night as long as it doesn’t involve me or my family. Strictly following a religious code of some sort would be the very essence of SS mentality you so snidely try to accuse me of.

    [quote]What do reputable Qur’anic scholars say about violence in the Qur’an?[/quote]

    I’m quite aware of these quibbles, one can spend a whole lifetime trying to argue either for or against the violent nature of Qu’ran. For example 9:5 I mentioned earlier, whereas one typical interpretation of ‘idolaters’ is any group of people not believing in the god in Abrahamic religions, some apologetics argue that ‘idolaters’ refers to a very small group of people in Medina that Mohammed euthanized long ago and hence the whole verse is no longer applicable. Another elaborate explanation can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DmE9QLE37w

    Of course one may ask whether Allah could have revealed that verse more clearly so as to be unambiguously interpreted and thereby avoiding a lot of bloodshed. If the answer is positive, then logically the apologetic interpretations are incorrect.

    Anyway, I have a life so this two-evening visit to this Hommaforum of immigrants is coming to an end. I have found it quite depressing even though my exposure to numerous foreigners at work and in the academia has so far been mostly positive. Judging from previous responses, a number of hateful slurs and Nazi remarks will follow, but it is quite unlikely I shall read let alone answer any of them.

  13. BlandaUpp

    A Secular Humanist

    The Torah and Holy Bible are just as violent as the Quran, don’t fool yourself! Moses was in fact more violent than Muhammad and if you condemn one, you should condemn the other too. The Bible and Torah are filled with violence and ethnic cleansing.

    Numbers 21:34 The LORD said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of Og, for I have handed him over to you, with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites who reigned in Heshbon.”
    21:35 So they killed him and his sons and all his people, until there was none left to him alive, and they possessed his land.

    Similarly, Jesus is considered the ‘Prince of Peace’ by most Christians but when asked how Jesus would bring peace to the world, they have no answers. It is only after slaughtering his opponents and subduing “the nations” under the foot of the Christian empire that the world will have “peace”.

    Psalm 137:8 O Babylon, you will be destroyed. Happy is the one who pays you back for what you have done to us.
    137:9 Blessed is the one who grabs your babies and smashes them against a rock.

    I can go on and on but I hope you get the point.

  14. A Secular Humanist

    BlandaUpp,

    While I try to leave the forum, I feel too tempted to comment to you: did you not notice from my previous comments I do not regard the morality of the Bible in high value? The world would be best off by discarding both the Torah, the Bible and the Qu’ran from the repertoire of moral bases.

    Having said that, just a few remarks: a) note that Jesus did not tell to convert with a threat of violence whereas Qu’ran 9:5 does (granted it has nevertheless happened, but without biblical justification), b) note that 21:34 you refer to only refers to a certain people in a certain point in history whereas Qu’ran 9:5 is easily understood as an open-ended command for violence against all of a non-Abrahamic religion, c) the Western world has experienced a successful era of Enlightenment, whereas the Islamic world has not (granted there have been attempts and some groups are very peaceful in their interpretation of the Qu’ran).

    So yes, I’ve gotten the point well over 20 years ago.

  15. Akaaro

    A Secular Humanist

    With the respect of everyones religion we usually dont discuss here a religion what ever it is. Asecular inhumanist, want to turn our messages in religious purposes, i hope this is unworkable plan for you.(quote, one in post-apartheid violence in South Africa, one was shot by a black gang when he stepped out of a taxi) so if that is true eventhough you are unreliable person. Do Finn gangs want to retaliate from Somalis or other Africans because one Finn died in South Africa after he drunk too much and stammered out, i am not racist,…..you are black…

  16. justicedemon

    Secular Humanist

    A guideline is by definition an authority, or you could not be guided by it. However, your gloss suggests that you intended only to say that you were aware of the ethical systems associated with various religious traditions and political movements, but you insist on your own moral autonomy. That’s fair enough, but it doesn’t qualify as a coherent response to Mark’s point.

    If you were well aware that these extracts from the Qur’an were open to interpretation and viewed by many reputable scholars as benign, then why did you begin by describing the Qur’an as violent and threatening? I am reminded of the experience of attending a meeting of immigrants from various parts of the former Yugoslavia some years ago. I could not follow what they were talking about, but it seemed to me that they were continually on the verge of a fist fight. However, I was assured by several participants afterwards that this was quite normal behaviour for a debate of this kind and not in any way violent or intimidating. I experienced something similar from the inside when travelling with fellow sports fans to the away leg of a European competition. The police and stewards at the match were clearly expecting violence to break out, but the travelling fans were in good spirits and quite peaceful, regardless of the colourful language used in many of their songs.

  17. A Secular Humanist

    Akaaro,

    I’m writing this with a toothbrush in my mouth, so I will be brief: I thought religion was an allowed subject because dar al-harb was brought up in the introduction, but sorry if that violated the rules. While Finnish gangs certainly retaliate for cases they consider local offenses to towards them, I’m not aware of Finnish gangs retaliating for cases like the ones I mentioned – most likely they have never heard of them. The case in South Africa did not happen as you imagined – my old childhood friend had married a South African farmer and hence largely emigrated from Finland, and I doubt there was any alcohol involved. I had met her a year or so before her death in a school reunion and she seemed confident they had good relationships with their workers and were therefore safe, but…

    I can’t follow what you try to accomplish by calling me unreliable or black? Well, who cares. Good night and good bye.

  18. justicedemon

    Secular Humanist

    Matthew 10:34-39 and Luke 12:49-53 are similarly open to interpretation. I would normally look for some consensus of reputable scholars in this regard, especially before sounding off with an outsider’s opinion.

    IIRC, it was Wilfred Cantwell Smith who observed that religious propositions must be understood from within the devotional tradition. This is almost a truism in theology (e.g. without the devotional tradition the Resurrection is a zombie story of no religious interest whatsoever), but it also applies in anthropology (in the sense that only participants in a culture can fully appreciate why the culture is how it is) and even in linguistics (as part of the definition of native speaker competence).

  19. D4R

    Secular Humanist: BlandaUpp,

    There are numerous, probably hundreds of incitements to violence against disbelievers in the Qu’ran. The Verse of the Sword (9:5, “… slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush”) being only one, and the hadith contain many more.

    I don’t know what the solution will be. I don’t hope for violence, ethnic cleansing, or submission. Should the muslim communities be able to secularize, like the tatar minority in Finland, that might be the best solution.

    That verse you’re talking about doesnt apply to this day, it was meant for the fight that happened between moslims and non moslims when that verse was sent. I think you should study the quran and islam, before you start accusing them. You’re creating a mass hysteria for no reason. I worry that, you will poison some young finnish males minds.

  20. Akaaro

    Secular Humanist

    Actually, you misunderstood my comments. you are black, I was not refering you but what you always accuse others.

  21. Mark

    Secular Humanist

    In particular I choose not to respond to a number of straw-man arguments you raised, but there are a few points in your comments that I chose to respond to.

    You also chose not to acknowledge the most important points about how to and how not to approach the discussion of racism, especially from the point of view of extrapolating only from one’s own experience.

    You saw fit mainly to rephrase your statement about racism in Finland so that it deflected the main criticism, without showing any more understanding of the issue. On the contrary. Unfortunate.

    For clarity I wish to reformulate that as ‘Finns, on average, are not particularly racist’.

    While this is an improvement on your previous formulation, it’s still constructed entirely from a position of privilege, a position you are neither willing nor perhaps capable of deconstructing, even though you show rudimentary skills of critical thinking. Perhaps you should read some Foucault.

    If I’m incorrect, you can surely point a few geographic regions of 5 million inhabitants or more where there is less racism? I can think of only one, parts of the west coast of U.S.

    This just further illustrates my point. What you attempt to do putting Finland into some kind of league table is almost completely meaningless. First, you do not have the data, and in fact, almost no researchers have that data. Even EU comparisons have to rely to a large extent on ‘perceived discrimination’, because it’s genuinely difficult to corroborate meaningfully and to compare. However, while many cross-country comparisons in the EU or elsewhere are impossible, that does not stop researchers from building at least a national picture. These studies consistently show about 30% of immigrants experience racism. Now you can call them liars, say ‘it’s no more than average’, but in the end, you are doing absolutely nothing to address it, and nothing to understand it. Your eyes are as wide shut as a corpse.

    Note that I’m not denying there is some racism in Finland, nor that people like Seppo Lehto or Tommi Rautio have spat out ugly racial slurs or that some of the recent killings might have been racially motivated – all those issues have to be taken seriously.

    I welcome this statement from you. However, it would have been much more conducive to a constructive discussion if you had put it in your first post and if it had replaced that ridiculous reversal of evil that you tried to pull, having absolutely no condemnation for racism in Finland, and yet a pretty vehement assertion of the ‘very pernicious’ nature of commentators on Migrant Tales who you suggested perceive racism everywhere. Talk about a straw man! No wonder you are familiar with them.

    But I do claim that Finland is not a country where racism or racial violence would be more common than in most of the rest of the world.

    Which means absolutely fuck all SH. This is not taking the subject seriously. It’s a bit like me trying to convey a knowledge of cosmology by claiming, ‘well, I’m sure we are as advanced as other alien nations out there!’ I.e. pointless and vague comparisons, with no effort whatsoever to actually discover what the subject has to reveal.

    They never brought it up, and at some later point in my acquaintance with them I would sometimes ask directly.

    Emphasis, I’m sure on the sometimes.

    I don’t dismiss it, but a bad mannered possibly intoxicated person could just as likely choose any other difference to raise tension: maybe in the next bus he picked on someone because he was fat, gay, dressed somehow differently, or whatever. Is that person then predominantly racist, or just a yob trying to provoke a fight with any excuse he can find?

    These are huge assumptions to make and on the whole, they go against common sense. Why? Because almost all the many racists who visit this blog have not simply a desire to insult people, or look for a fight, but more a developed view of the world in which all data for them tells them that their discrimination against certain groups is based on ‘facts’, and as such, they cannot be racist. They are simply saying what those soft liberals haven’t been brave enough to say, thereby indulging a little macho crap at the same time.

    So, no, I don’t think that ‘race’ happens to fall randomly out of a pot of prejudices that is kept alive in a juice of Lapin Kulta. It’s kept alive in the juices of SuomenSisu and Hommaforuum homebrew!

    If you are really suggesting anything less, then you are sadly very naive.

    Even if the answer would be the former, such cases have been rare, and none of the foreign friends I’ve talked with have expressed, for example, any concern for their physical safety.

    Again, unless you come off your perch, you ain’t gonna see anything, mate.

    As a side note, a few of my native Finnish friends have met their fate in possibly racist violence elsewhere: one in Columbia, one in post-apartheid violence in South Africa, one was shot by a black gang when he stepped out of a taxi that had accidentally taken him to the wrong address in the U.S.

    I’m sorry to hear about that. Sounds very shocking.

    However, meeting someone on the street, how could a racist tell them apart?

    Well, this is perhaps where your perception of what racism is seems rather one-dimensional. Racism is expressed much more among Finns than it is as an outburst on the streets. Finns talk about the issues, and many reinforce each other’s prejudices. The biggest factor is work. Finnish employers believe that visible minorities will simply ‘not fit in’ in the workplace, partly because they know the opinions towards immigrants, and partly because they themselves want an ‘easy life’. But lack of employment is the single biggest factor in fueling problems for immigrants. It should be obvious why.

    One publicly known example of this is Emmanuel Eneh, who flunked an exam 17 (SIC!) times, eventually failed his whole studies, and subsequently accused the University of Tampere of racism.

    And since when did you take the characteristics of one individual and apply them to an entire nation? That’s moronic. I thought you fancied yourself as something of a clever Joe?!

    Of course I’ve read the Bible, even Mein Kampf. I’ve chosen not to make any of them a guideline for my sense of morality.

    Well, you would be a complete fool if you think that you own nothing of your sense of morality to these religions, especially the Christian religion if you are born and raised in Finland. But, hey, no need to be objective when it comes to religion and it’s legacy, you are a humanist after all.

    As you are evidently handicapped when it comes to assessing the relative merits of morality deriving from these traditions, I really wonder why you went to the trouble to read the holy books. I suppose you just wanted to have it as a feather in your cap, or maybe, simply as ‘ammunition for the secular cause. I guess it’s safe to say that I can take your ‘reading’ of these books to have been fairly superficial.

    Well, all in all, you have added nothing to this debate on racism. A few mentions to religion, a general sense of Islamaphobia, even though when your surface is scratched, your disdain probably runs to all religions. But, hey, you’ll keep your most vocal criticisms for the Muslims because you’ll certainly make more friends in Finland that way, eh!

    For an academic, you seem to have absolutely no fucking idea about the necessary research skills to study social phenomena. I guess that’s what being an arrogant ‘tech guy’ does!

    So, did you enjoy your little saunter through ‘our’ neck of the woods, pissing on the odd tree and generally waving a supercilious finger at the natives and whispering snide condescension all round 😀

    You are welcome back any time!

    • Migrant Tales

      Hi Luckyluce and welcome to Migrant Tales. Why are you interested in Mein Kampf?

    • Migrant Tales

      –it was the koran and meinkampf

      That’s an odd couple like the Bible and Mein Kampf. And…

  22. Andy

    Migrant Tales

    You refeer probably to nazism. Nazism died out as it should have done. The people who are openly praising nazis are the muslims in the middle east and you can see this phenomenon largely in muslim demonstrations around Europe.

    • Migrant Tales

      Andy, your analysis has a serious flaw: you over-generalize and label whole groups. Nazism hasn’t died out it still lives on in many groups in Europe. It still is the benchmark and mentor of many anti-immigration groups that dress it up differently. We have “real” Nazis who hate Jews and Nazis, or Counter-Jihadists, who now love Israel because some in that country hate Muslims.

      The ignorance and greed that permitted black slavery in the United States in the past and similar forms of it today, through the exploitation of foreign workers who are undocumented, cannot last forever. The fallacy of that hatred that you are fueling is like a rapid ogre on a leash that bites back at its supposed master. Anders Breivik is a good example. In other words you cannot spread hatred without suffering the consequences, which may be very tragic and involve innocent victims.

      In a Finnish context, we see that happening in the PS. Those groups that represent Suomen Sisu, a Nazi-spirited association, are bringing down Timo Soini. Soini said himself on many occasions that those who spread hatred will suffer the consequences. The PS leader has flirted with such groups and he is now seeing that famous line in the Bible being played out: “Live by the (political) sword die by the (political) sword.”

  23. Mark

    Andy

    Nazism died out as it should have done. The people who are openly praising nazis are the muslims in the middle east and you can see this phenomenon largely in muslim demonstrations around Europe.

    Enrique has your number, Andy. You provide a good example of how the Far Right in Europe attempt to line themselves up as Israel’s ‘friend’, by condemning their ‘common enemy’ of Islam. Undoubtedly there is praise of Nazism and holocaust denial in the Middle East, propagated mainly by the Iranian state and Hamas authority and part of a political strategy designed to irritate Israel.

    However, you misrepresent the situation in suggesting that the holocaust denials and Nazi praise do not also spark condemnation in the Muslim world or in Europe. The Islamic Archiv-Deutschland Central Institute condemned Ahmadinejad’s many outrageous denials as ‘a disgrace to all Muslims’. Another response involved a visit of the Iranian League of Human Rights to Auschwitz in a move they described as ‘denying the deniers’. Likewise, the Aladdin Project (UNESCO) was specifically set up to counter holocaust denial in the Middle East, with strong backing from Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, and Tunisia.

    However, the Far Right is not totally on the same page when it comes to giving up their own anti-Semitic past, with the late Austrian opposition leader Jörg Haider being a good example of how anti-Semiticism was not an obstacle to political popularity and success in a country where the Far Right re-established a major foothold in politics, rising from 6% to 27% in national elections, a similar pattern to that of PS.

  24. Native Finnish Woman

    Now I’m not sure if religion is a topic that should be avoided on this blog, so forgive me if I’m continuing on that topic further down in my comment. I’ll not do so anymore if it’s meant to be avoided here.

    I understand Mark’s point about how people can be blind to certain things, like racism. Mark suggests that the correct question is “Is there racism in Finland?”. I think just as important is to ask: “Do people have experiences of racism in Finland?”. Because that already is a problem, if not THE problem. If people honestly feel that they are targets of racism, then that needs to be paid attention. A bit like at workplaces, the question isn’t just “Is there bullying in this company?”, but also “Does someone feel bullied in this company?”. Only by listening to the people who have the negative experiences can we learn what’s actually going on, and what can be done about it. One result we may come to is that an individual is imagining the racism in a particular case. It can also be real racism, however, or miscommunication, both of which can be dealt with to minimize future bad experiences. People’s welfare is what we (and humanists) strive for, after all, right?

    As a second generation atheist, I also understand Secular Humanist’s feeling that religions are intimidating. I think he/she was judged too harshly for that point of view. Religions are, for one without one, rather intimidating concepts, because they traditionally demand following authorities without questions. In fact many of them require that literally, in the texts. Disbelief or doubt or questioning is not allowed. Nowadays it is possible in many parts of the world to not follow religious tenets blindly or literally, and that is great. There is flexiblity and moderation, shades of grey. However, the religious texts don’t change, that’s their nature, and the commandments are always there, waiting to be literally interpreted. I know this is an unpopular opinion, because it can also easily be used to hatemonger and spread unfounded panic, but from an outsider’s point of view that is one of the qualities of religions. If Secular Humanist says he finds fundamental Islam and other religions threatening, I don’t think he does so because the vorshippers are from a different race, it’s because he’s a secularist and he’s talking about fundamental religiousness, which two are incompatible world-views for the most part, because fundamental abrahamic religiousness doesn’t allow secularism without contradicting itself.

  25. Mark

    Native Finnish Woman

    I appreciated your very clear comments about the importance of taking ‘experiences’ into account. It’s a good point that this is the most useful starting point, regardless of what the final conclusion will be. Experiences should be validated, which does necessarily mean making our minds up beforehand. That tends to be the accusation towards this blog’s writers, that it is ALWAYS racism. I think your explanation sets out the most sensible approach very clearly.

    If Secular Humanist says he finds fundamental Islam and other religions threatening, I don’t think he does so because the vorshippers are from a different race, it’s because he’s a secularist and he’s talking about fundamental religiousness, which two are incompatible world-views for the most part, because fundamental abrahamic religiousness doesn’t allow secularism without contradicting itself.

    My own feeling about secular humanist was that although later said he found all religions threatening, he began by focusing on Islam. That makes me very suspicious, especially when coupled to the very typical denial-of-racism front that he put up. Personally, I think that cultural criticism is an important and even crucial freedom, but that many kinds of ‘prejudice’ masquerade under it in the name of ‘free speech’. The line between ‘free speech’ and ‘hate speech’ is very fine sometimes, as is the line between cultural criticism and prejudice.

    As far as I know, religion is not ‘off limits’ on this blog, though obvious Islamaphobia will be challenged fairly swiftly.

    fundamental abrahamic religiousness doesn’t allow secularism without contradicting itself.

    It depends what you mean by ‘fundamental’. All religion comes under the banner of ‘fundamental’ in proposing that there a spiritual reality is part of the fundamental reality, and is therefore considered as necessary to any explanation of reality. I think the issue is militantism. That the is the downfall of fascism too, that it linked to clearly with violence as a means of ‘renewal’ and ‘authority’ as a means of ‘protection’ (i.e. control). Authority is in its base, the position and power to prescribe ‘authorship’, in the case of religion, to the ‘story of creation and of humanity’. Once that authorship is claimed by human individuals, protecting it’s power and status means that they cannot be seen to be wrong about a single element, as this casts doubt upon the whole structure. That need to avoid being wrong is perhaps the single biggest weakness in religion as I see it.

    But freedom of religion must be freedom to believe whatever you want, as long as the state protects the rights of others to make their own choices without discrimination of fear of violence etc. The rise of militant Islam should be seen for what it is, the rise people seeking political representation in the world. While some Islamic countries have enjoyed a wealth of resources, this has not spread to the entire community. On the world stage, given the number of Muslims in the world, they are under-represented in terms of the world’s political and economic leaders. This distribution of economic and political power has added to the conditions that allows militant Islam to grow. I don’t think it is that surprising or that it is necessarily a reflection of Islam, but perhaps more the political landscape. If we also accept that the world’s superpowers have largely achieved their political status previously through militantism and even colonialism, you can see how the West’s sudden reluctance to sanction militantism as a legitimate means of acquiring power is seen with a large amount of cynicism among the Islamic world.

    Within Islam and even within Islamism, there are new threads arriving with the Arab Spring, pioneered by Tunisia and felt also in Egypt, and Libya. The belief is that the secular and the religious can co-exist and that a secular state can deliver justice, equality, human rights and law and order in a way that fulfills Muslim aspirations for the same. The idea that Islam must be at war with secularism is not a given. I think it’s important to understand that when we fight for women’s rights within Islam, it’s important to note that it is not the religion itself that holds back their rights, even if it is used as an excuse, but rather the male hegemony using whatever levers it can to maintain its own privilege. However, the necessity to compete economically, which is necessary to development, puts the most amount of pressure on Islamic states. As dependency on oil diminishes, then pressure will mount even for the Gulf States to allow more women into the workforce, and thereby give more opportunities to achieve a proper representation in the public sphere.

    Nowadays it is possible in many parts of the world to not follow religious tenets blindly or literally, and that is great. There is flexiblity and moderation, shades of grey.

    Indeed. And even in those countries where there is less tolerance, support for militants or extremists is often very polarised.

  26. justicedemon

    NFW and Mark

    Giles Fraser commented on the notion of secularism in a recent Guardian podcast. When using this term I find that it helps to consider whether its opposite in each case would be holy, sacred, regular, nonreligious, areligious, irreligious, lay, temporal, worldly, earthly or profane. Secular is used in all of these subtly differing senses. There are secular strands within all religious traditions and even within religious tendencies (e.g. high church and low church).

  27. Mark

    JD

    Interesting. Thanks for the link, JD

    “secular is not and never has been the political arm of atheism”

    while this has been true, things might be changing. Political atheism is certainly gaining some traction on the internet.

  28. eyeopener

    Remember ASH.

    Also Hitler and other high ranked Nazis had Jewish blood. So that’s not an argument: “Besides, my sister-in-law comes from a jewish family – something I’ve had to keep hidden when dealing with muslims at work – so the facts of the holocaust are quite familiar to me”. But you don’t deny them!!

  29. eyeopener

    I had met her a year or so before her death in a school reunion and she seemed confident they had good relationships with their workers and were therefore safe, but…

    She seemed confident that……… You pretend to be critical?? Did the toothbrush get stuck in your brains??

  30. eyeopener

    And….ASH

    “Unless this too is a veiled accusation of Nazi mentality this forum so abundantly employs” . You are such a shallow type of person. This is not a veiled one. This is an open window!!

    Your threads are so soaked with Nazism. And the bloating with some family member being of Jewish blood is a JOKE only you can laugh about!!

    Go p….. in the corner. Dry your s…….. and eat a hot potato!! Chilling exercise. Better that tootbrushes.

  31. A Secular Humanist

    I planned not to revisit this forum, but excess time while recovering from a skiing accident allowed curiousity to take over. But I won’t make this a habit and again I ignore all insults or discard arguments based on obviously false logic, except for this one which is relevant for the point:

    [quote]… since when did you take the characteristics of one individual [Emmanuel Eneh] and apply them to an entire nation?[/quote]

    I never did that, I never claimed that all cries of racism by all immigrants have been ways to explain away all of their own failures. I merely gave an example of one such case. Have you heard the story about the boy who cried wolf? I just gave Eneh’s case as an example of a such a baseless cry of racism which erodes the tendency to take claims of racism seriously. Continue, and nobody cares to investigate when there really is a wolf.

    [quote][quote]But I do claim that Finland is not a country where racism or racial violence would be more common than in most of the rest of the world.[/quote]
    Which means absolutely fuck all SH.[/quote]

    So, if Finns get a school grade of 8 in the range from 4 to 10 while some other country with far more racism and racial violence gets 5, it doesn’t mean anything? You mean that equally well than have various policies against racism and school curricula promoting multi-culturalism, we could build concentration camps?

    This forum may do a great disservice to immigrants by increasing racial tensions because so many in this forum admonish Finns in deliberately insulting ways for not reaching the perfect score instead of appraising for nevertheless being a place where racism or racial violence is far rarer than in most of the rest of the world. For trying our best we get called racist Nazis instead of politely being pointed to the most evident and easily correctable errors we did make on the way.

    Hmm… Politeness reminds me of a wonderful Punjabi colleague who has traveled the world way more than I. He explained his best ways of staying out of trouble roughly as follows: 1) move in groups of mixed races, 2) dress neutrally with at most a hint of your origin (say, a tie), 3) be polite (giving a seat or holding a door open for an elderly person), 4) avoid touching, staring and give ample of personal space, 5) don’t get annoyed even if provoked, preferably respond with excessive kindness or simply leave, 6) stay out of streets late at night, and 7) these rules apply to women as well (in both immigrant and native roles).

    For example, decades ago I was in Philadelphia waiting for a cab. Two black women, under evident influence, appeared and quite aggressively required my ride. I politely explained my position (I was from far away, tired, and wanted to get to my hotel), I suggested considering a shared ride, but I didn’t press it further and relinquished my turn – I even opened them the cab door and asked the driver if he could help me get another ride. Although all this failed, one of the women said “I’m so sorry, sweetheart!”, and while the cab drove away I realized that I had won big: I may have avoided being pepper sprayed, I had created some goodwill to the world, and being a Finn in weather-resistant clothing I could easily wait for a few minutes.

    Hmm… Politeness reminds me of a wonderful Punjabi colleague who has traveled the world way more than I. He explained his best ways of staying out of trouble roughly as follows: 1) move in groups of mixed races, 2) dress neutrally with at most a hint of your origin (say, a tie), 3) be polite (giving a seat or holding a door open for an elderly person), 4) avoid touching, staring and give ample of personal space, 5) don’t get annoyed even if provoked, preferably respond with excessive kindness or simply leave, 6) stay out of streets late at night, and 7) these rules apply to women as well (in both immigrant and native roles).

    For example, decades ago I was in Philadelphia waiting for a cab. Two black women, under evident influence, appeared and quite aggressively required my ride. I politely explained my position (I was from far away, tired, and wanted to get to my hotel), I suggested considering a shared ride, but I didn’t press it further and relinquished my turn – I even opened them the cab door and asked the driver if he could help me get another ride. Although all this failed, one of the women said “I’m so sorry, sweetheart!”, and while the cab drove away I realized that I had won big: I may have avoided being pepper sprayed, I had created some goodwill to the world, and being a Finn in weather-resistant clothing I could easily wait for a few minutes.

    Overcoming negative prejudices will require numerous similar efforts by all in a group of immigrants, and such efforts can easily be nullified for a long time by a single rotten apple like Abdigadir Osman Hussein that was mentioned somewhere in this blog. Here I for once agree with Mark on his comment that (racial) prejudices are something enforced in discussions inside each more homogenous group. But you can’t forbid people from talking with each other, repeating to their personal experiences, news or statistics, and of course the same enforcement of prejudices applies to every homogenous group, including immigrants – or do you claim Breivik has never been discussed among you? However, sharing prejudices works also positively: way more often I have heard stories of the industriousness of ethnic group A, helpfulness of another team mostly from B, hospitality of C, fiscal carefulness and diligence of D, tasty food in E restaurant, etc. Do you mind that form of positive prejudice?

    I do not claim to be devoid of racial prejudices: a few friends of mine have been relieved of their wallets in ways that make me check mine if a Romani bumps into me on the street (not here so much as in central or southern Europe), yet if I currently were in a position to hire people (I’m semi-retired) and a Romani with positive reliable references applied for the job, I would consider him. But have I ever acted in a seriously racist way? I’ve never been in a streetfight and the most daring racist joke I can think of was when I once noted that my friend from Kenya scored better in chess when playing black pieces, to which he replied he had to give us an equalizer, and we laughed heartily. People who know me have accused me of racism only during layoffs: once by an employee who was caught of embezzlement, and once by a member of a group that was laid off entirely. Two cases come to mind where the cultural background of an employee has affected my decisions: once we refrained from hiring a Jew into a position where he would have had to participate in sales efforts in predominantly Muslim countries, and once I refrained from hiring a Muslim because his superior would be female, and experience was not supportive that that would work. But was this racism from my part, or was I taking every factor into consideration in doing my best to construct a functional staffing for the company?

    [quote]I really wonder why you went to the trouble to read the holy books[/quote]

    I read a lot, only little of which is fiction (including scriptures). Reading the Bible made me an atheist long ago, Mein Kampf left me essentially only disgusted, and Qu’ran and the Hadith left me in an elevated state of anxiety and hopelessness.

    Thanks for Native Finnish Woman for expressing with exceptional clarity a rather common secular view of Abrahamic religions. D4R stated that 9:5 doesn’t apply to this day: I admit that with significant logical jousting, lofty assumptions of context and ample goodwill one can apologize 9:5 to something less violent, but if even modern day Islamic scholars disagree on how exactly it is done (watch the video I referred), then how can we be sure it will never be reinterpreted as something that means what it at first sight seems to mean? And what about the so numerous other commands in Qu’ran and Hadith incompatible with a modern western society? Yet, having expressed all this about the core beliefs of Islam, I still have befriended several Muslims (albeit one Ahmadi and one secret apostate).

    Eyeopener, I missed what I was supposed to deny? My charming sister-in-law and their children, the holocaust, or what? On the workplace people generally don’t ask about relatives, and unless one brings them up, they can remain private.

  32. A Secular Humanist

    Eyeopener,

    “Secular Humanist means the same as National Socialist… The worms alresy come out. Termites … go back to your sandbox and play with your toys … Did the toothbrush get stuck in your brains… soaked with Nazism… Go p… in the corner. Dry your s… and eat a hot potato!!”

    Ahh, eyeopener, I truly admire your committedness in proving my point(s). You actually do it so well I can just as well leave.

  33. eyeopener

    Dear ASH

    I hope that you recovered from your ski accident well.

    May I remind you that you brought your sil to the scene as an excuse for your blatant insults.

    Your religious background should -by all means- give you the opportunity to reflect positively on the philosophies of others. You prefer to take the “blind horse” approach. I have no problem with that. But then you shouyld reconcile that other people will not accept your shortsighted view.

    If you put Mein Kampf, the Qu’ran, Hadith etc. on the same level your ignorance makes clear why you don’t want to shelve the Bible on the same place. You really are arrogant!!

    Btw. did you check the definition or the discussion about it?? Opinion differ from prejudice, but it doesn’t ring a bell, does’it?? Man, you are really something 🙂

    The fact that you admit your racial prejudices makes your position in this dialogue the more disgustable. But you already have noticed that. Secondly, your opinion on the exchange of prejudice is positive nominates you for the price of “the idiot of the year”. Really you can make a horse laugh. But be my guest. Finnish PS horses will be happy.

    You should read the books I have advices you to read!! Especially my suggestions between brackets. Maybe you look across them. You call them fiction. Well my dear ASH. What about the Nurmberg Trials Records. Want to deny them too.

    How old are you?? Really want to know what is your connection with the past.

  34. justicedemon

    SH

    Two cases come to mind where the cultural background of an employee has affected my decisions: once we refrained from hiring a Jew into a position where he would have had to participate in sales efforts in predominantly Muslim countries, and once I refrained from hiring a Muslim because his superior would be female, and experience was not supportive that that would work. But was this racism from my part, or was I taking every factor into consideration in doing my best to construct a functional staffing for the company?

    Did you explain these grounds to the candidates concerned at the time? How did they respond?

    Would it be equally reasonable for an employer to turn you down for a position in which you might have to work under a Roma supervisor, work with Roma colleagues, or serve Roma clients? Would it be acceptable to explain this refusal to hire you on the grounds that experience was not supportive that that would work, not because of who you are as an individual, but simply because you are a Finn?

  35. eyeopener

    Hi ASH.

    The worst form of racism is not the “street gang behavior” although despicable. The rationalised form of:

    “I currently were in a position to hire people (I’m semi-retired) and a Romani with positive reliable references applied for the job, I would consider him”

    are far more worse than you can imagine.

    “a Romani with positve reliable references” What are your criteria for: positive, reliable and references. It looks sensible, but it really hides your “backhand thinking” You are in HRM??

    In addition: people will overlook the word “would”. Why is this word important?? Because it does say anything about your motives NOT to hire.

    Therefore: Your point is absolutely worthless, non-convincing and in reality a “cloack for racist attitudes”

    Want some more or are you really leaving now!!

    • Migrant Tales

      Hi Magda, welcome to Migrant Tales. Lively discussion? Certainly! Why not join us?

  36. Andy

    Mark

    Yeah, I wondered if what I said was a good statement.

    I think I stick to that statement.

    In 1945 Nazism was defeated and in 1989 communism was defeated. This statement does not include Internet research. What I was kyllä, ei, ei, kyllä about was the holocaust. Sure the holocaust/Nazis had to be exterminated, at least in its very radical form. Though, some people claim that jews didn’t die in the camps but somehow in another way. And then these people declaired that still the real holocaust is to come, so if death of 6 million people was how did Enrique say…far worse than Ku Klux Klan then what might come is a genocide.

    http://www.google.fi/imgres?q=real+holocaust&um=1&hl=fi&client=firefox-a&sa=N&rls=org.mozilla:fi:official&biw=2560&bih=1219&tbm=isch&tbnid=JLQ2PVBvx2qEjM:&imgrefurl=http://www.truthbeknown.com/fitnareview.html&docid=CdfU9SHLjFZxvM&imgurl=http://www.truthbeknown.com/images/europeanholocaust.jpg&w=297&h=459&ei=bUFNT4m0D8v04QS27IHyAg&zoom=1

    Though, I history tends to kill the extremimism…

    • Migrant Tales

      Andy, are you serious? And I think a lot of Jews would be pissed off at you if you equated the holocaust with something fabricated by you and people who have an agenda with Islam. The whole idea of a “race/ethnic/culture war” has its roots in far-right ideology. The Nazis used it to justify their mass murder of groups like the Jews.

      Remember that quote by Rudolf Hoess, the Auschwitz concentration camp commandant (1941-43), which I picked in a recent blog entry? He said basically what you are saying now to justify the mass killings that he supervised: “Not justified (to kill 2.5 million people) – but Himmler told me that if the Jews were not exterminated at that time, then the German people would be exterminated for all time by the Jews.”

      So, when you show a picture of an enemy or a Muslim in your case, what you are saying is that if we don’t get rid of them they will get rid of us. Imagine what that can escalate to.

  37. A Secular Humanist

    Justicedemon,

    “Did you explain these grounds to the candidates concerned at the time? How did they respond?”

    In the private sector one is not obliged to inform the reasons for hiring, but for the Jew in question, we did, and by pulling a number of strings we found him another position. He both understood our hesitation for not hiring him to that position and was overjoyed when the second opportunity was found.

    The second case was more difficult because the applicant didn’t come from within the company and though we did make a serious effort, we couldn’t find any indication he had worked with female colleagues or managers earlier, let alone indications that it had been a functional arrangement. The female boss, already chosen to succeed me in that position, told that she had had extremely troublesome experiences earlier and would have been uncomfortable with that decision. Formally I was still in charge and made the decision to extend the application period for a few weeks, during which several other candidates, manifestly better also technically, applied.

    “Would it be equally reasonable for an employer to turn you down for a position in which you might have to work under a Roma supervisor, work with Roma colleagues, or serve Roma clients?”

    If the employer anticipated that such an arrangement would not work, then certainly. As a youngster in the early seventies I spent some time in Sweden, and although I belong to a Swedish-speaking minority in Finland, my dialect is evident. One of the companies I applied to had had problems with other Finns because of their tendency to alcoholism. Although I never had a significant taste for liquor my application was declined, which I would never have found out unless I years later would have met the same recruiting manager in a very different setting. No, I didn’t mind – I found another job where I worked as well as I only could, used that as a reference and a testimony I was always sober and punctial, got another job, and so forth. If I was a victim of something, I was more a victim of negative experiences from other Finns rather than unjustified prejudices by the hiring manager.

    Someone asked about my age: almost sixty. I made a solid career for thirty years until I had a bout with cancer some four years ago. I recovered, but was more than happy to take a severance package and semi-retire on my savings although I still do odd consulting projects and hold a few board positions. That partly explains why I read a lot, but until my hand gets out of the plaster, typing is easier than browsing a softcover book. And for the record, I am not a member of the True Finn party nor have I ever voted for them. Having expressed my concern about Islam and having been threatened so much here, more than that I’m not willing to reveal of my identity.

    “Would it be acceptable to explain this refusal to hire you on the grounds that experience was not supportive that that would work, not because of who you are as an individual, but simply because you are a Finn?”

    There is no obligation to explain, although it could be done as a personal favor. In fact a survey of prejudices by private sector employers against each immigration group would be useful to read – a member of a given background could then focus on getting references which dispell that particular prejudice.

  38. justicedemon

    SH

    As you said twice:

    There is no obligation to explain

    If there had been an obligation to explain (as I believe there ought to be – in the same way as with sex discrimination), then in both cases you would have had to concede that you gauged the ability of a specific individual to do a certain job, not on the basis of that individual’s competence for that particular job, but on your own perception of that individual as a representative of a group. This is the very essence of prejudice resulting in unfair discrimination.

    The explanation that you provided in the case of the Moslem applicant also amounts to sex discrimination, unless it is also your view that a female Moslem would also not be able to work under a female supervisor.

    No court of law applying modern standards of anti-discrimination legislation would accept your justifications, and so your lawyer would instruct you either to stonewall or to try to dream up some other plausible excuse.

    It is all too obvious why you did not choose to extend the courtesy of an explanation to the Moslem candidate. Your own embarrassment would have been unbearable, to say nothing of your legal exposure. If you are as experienced as you claim, then you will also understand that it was thoroughly improper to extend the application period beyond the period that was originally announced, when you had in fact found someone with the required formal qualifications. Applicants are entitled to understand that respecting the stipulated application deadline is one of the conditions of securing the position.

    Perhaps most obviously, you introduced the candidate’s religion as an additional tacit success condition. You know full well that you could not have stated such a condition openly.

    It is irrelevant that you accepted the self-evident discrimination practised at your expense in Sweden (though it is all too common for the abused to become the abuser). It’s a fair guess that you failed to secure the position because of anti-Finnish prejudices that were greatly amplified by the Swedish tabloid press in the 1960s and 1970s. Something similar is going on now in Finland with respect to Somalis and other population groups.

  39. A Secular Humanist

    Justicedemon,

    The recruiter is expected to construct as functional groups of people as possible, and if the recruiter has reason to believe an applicant is not able to function properly, he must decline. In our case we needed employees who we expected to function also under a female manager.

    “If there had been an obligation to explain … not on the basis of that individual’s competence for that particular job …”

    I would have explained that the applicant had not provided us with evidence that he would function also under female leadership. We had requested for that during the interview and we had made reasonable efforts to contact the most relevant of his past employers for independent confirmation.

    I see nothing wrong with that, especially because we made the same checks for all other members of the team, including the one who was chosen instead of the Muslim. So on paper we did everything legally. What one can argue is that if all members to be in the team were for example Finns or Swedes we would never had raised concern of accepting a female leadership.

    “The explanation that you provided in the case of the Moslem applicant also amounts to sex discrimination, unless it is also your view that a female Moslem would also not be able to work under a female supervisor.”

    I doubt we had had such experiences of female Muslims so as to raise concern, and note that even for the male applicant the factor that did raise concern not so much his religion, but the very patriarchal culture he came from – I guess you also fight for the rights of women to work on equal grounds with men in, say, Saudi-Arabia?

  40. justicedemon

    SH

    As I already pointed out, you are merely attempting to hide discrimination behind a synthetic plausible excuse.

    You initially expressed the parameters of the Moslem example as follows:

    I refrained from hiring a Muslim because his superior would be female, and experience was not supportive that that would work.

    When pressed on this point, you admitted that you had not explained this reason to the Moslem applicant. Instead, you chose to investigate the gender relations aspect of his work record, and you specifically failed to find any relevant evidence to support your prejudice:

    we couldn’t find any indication he had worked with female colleagues or managers earlier

    Undeterred by this failure, you consulted the prospective supervisor, who told you

    that she had had extremely troublesome experiences earlier and would have been uncomfortable with that decision (to hire a Moslem man)

    The entire question of whether this applicant will have any problem of gender relations has been analysed on the basis of assumptions about the applicant’s religion. Your investigation has revealed nothing of substance in this regard concerning this particular applicant All that you have found is that the prospective supervisor shares those assumptions. In other words, the sum total of the fault that you have found in the candidate so far is that he is a Moslem. Based on this fault, you then

    made the decision to extend the application period for a few weeks

    thereby reneging on the original application deadline, even though you had found a formally qualified candidate.

    Your latest addition to this explanation continues by asserting that

    if the recruiter has reason to believe an applicant is not able to function properly, he must decline.

    But what is your “reason to believe” here? So far it is solely a certain view of the applicant as a representative of a group. The fault in the applicant is that he is a Moslem (and obviously also that he is male). This is a fault only because you have chosen to assume that the applicant must harbour some associated mysogeny, but you have entirely failed to substantiate that assumption in the case of this specific applicant.

    This means that your final gloss is entirely vacuous. You say

    the applicant had not provided us with evidence that he would function also under female leadership

    but your assumption that such evidence was necessary rests solely on the applicant’s religion. You even admit this when you say

    if all members to be in the team were for example Finns or Swedes we would never had raised concern of accepting a female leadership.

    and you reinforce the conclusion that this was unfair discrimination by explaining that your problem was

    not so much his religion, but the very patriarchal culture he came from

    . It is only because of the applicant’s religion that this is an issue. Look back at how you initially expressed the parameters of this case.

    All of this is directly parallel to a decision not to hire a Finn because of an assumed risk of alcoholism, even though you can find no actual sign of alcoholism in the specific Finn who has applied for the job. Essentially you will only accept that there is no alcoholism if the Finn has worked in a bar.

    I am also quite sure that you did not advertise the position as open solely to candidates with experience of working under female supervisors. An advertisement of this kind would attract the attention of anti-discrimination authorities just as surely as saying “must be a dog lover” or “must be fond of ham sandwiches”. Similarly we could advertise for an position with criteria such as “must dislike beer, sauna and ice hockey”, but this is also on a parallel with “värivikainen” ei sovellu”.

    Even setting aside the sentiments that you previously expressed in relation to Islam, there is already more than enough evidence in your description of this case to convict you of unfair discrimination.

  41. Andy

    Enrique

    ”Nazism died out as it should have done” I still stick to this although you try to say differently. I guess Jews like this, though you state differently.

    If somebody states that he or she will be more cruel than killing 6 million people then probably most of the people would be scared, unlike you.

    My interpretation on a similar demonstrations could not take place in Finland, if they took place then prison would be awaiting. Four men were sentenced to prison in London because of this. 2 will serve 6 years and 2 will count bricks for 4 years. Is that also fabrication?

    Finlex ”Yleinen kokous ja yleisötilaisuus on järjestettävä rauhanomaisesti sekä osanottajien tai sivullisten turvallisuutta vaarantamatta ja heidän oikeuksiaan loukkaamatta.”

    Ask those newspaper around the world, videos on thousands of sites, google, yahoo etc to defabricate those evidence since you believe that I have fabricated them.

  42. Mark

    SH

    I never did that, I never claimed that all cries of racism by all immigrants have been ways to explain away all of their own failures. I merely gave an example of one such case.

    ….the effect of which is to throw serious doubt on the phenomenon of racism. And for that, I have no patience. If you have made even a small effort to balance your comments with something along the lines of ‘racism often happens even when neither person realises that it is even racism’, which would be the other extreme, then I might have indulged you more politely.

    I just gave Eneh’s case as an example of a such a baseless cry of racism which erodes the tendency to take claims of racism seriously. Continue, and nobody cares to investigate when there really is a wolf.

    But this the problem for me. You are giving people no reason to think that racism is more than likely going to be a false claim. Secondly, if you really do appreciate NFW’s approach, then you would also begin by asking why Eneh felt it was racism and not simply assume he’s making excuses because he has a track record of ‘failure’. Her point was that we do not have to jump to prior conclusions, but rather should investigate. I’m not sure you really understood just how valid a point this was.

    So, if Finns get a school grade of 8 in the range from 4 to 10 while some other country with far more racism and racial violence gets 5, it doesn’t mean anything?

    This is nonsense, SH. First, you assume a one-on-one relationship between racism and racial violence in society. Any evidence for that? Nope. You see, my point to you was valid. WE DO NOT have the data to make that kind of complex transnational analysis, let alone within country analysis.

    He explained his best ways of staying out of trouble roughly…

    Your Punjabi friend’s comments could apply to all of us living in big cities. However, it does not even begin to address the issue of racism.

    14-year old Rebecka Holm keeps herself to herself travelling on the Helsinki Metro to school, and yet weekly Finns take it upon themselves to approach her and make racist comments. No one stands up to defend her or support her. (a recent media highlighted case).

    Public outbursts are only the tip of the iceberg – it does not touch on the aspects of employment, justice, and religious and cultural freedom. Your starting point for considering what racism is is clearly blinkered.

    Overcoming negative prejudices will require numerous similar efforts by all in a group of immigrants,

    Again, you put the onus entirely on the immigrants to adapt to the discrimination, who must take it with good grace and wait for the world to change. The bully only stops being a bully when you stand up to them, SH: Fact.

    But you can’t forbid people from talking with each other, repeating to their personal experiences, news or statistics, and of course the same enforcement of prejudices applies to every homogenous group, including immigrants

    No, and why would we want to? Straw man, maybe? What I would ask is that people question the statistics, ask themselves if this kind of racial stereotyping is a sublte form of racism, and what negative consequences could it have. These are fair questions.

    However, sharing prejudices works also positively: way more often I have heard stories of the industriousness of ethnic group A, helpfulness of another team mostly from B, hospitality of C, fiscal carefulness and diligence of D, tasty food in E restaurant, etc. Do you mind that form of positive prejudice?

    I’m not a fan of national stereotypes. Our obsession with being different while also doing everything to be the same as others strikes me as mostly a neurosis. But by and by, the world is not about to change, and stereotypes are useful and mostly harmless.

    However, it really is time to have a grown up conversation about this. I don’t think people are that stupid that they cannot begin to accept that for every person we put into box A from a nationality/ethnicity, there will be another person that doesnt’ fit.

    I admit that with significant logical jousting, lofty assumptions of context and ample goodwill one can apologize 9:5 to something less violent, but if even modern day Islamic scholars disagree on how exactly it is done (watch the video I referred), then how can we be sure it will never be reinterpreted as something that means what it at first sight seems to mean?

    How about Mark 7:10, where Jesus reaffirms the Mosaic law that a child who curses his parents must be put to death! Are you afraid this will be reinterpreted? Clearly Christianity has gone through a process of moderation, and clearly, Islam should and must do the same.

    You do realise that people become radicalised mostly because they really do hope for a better world. In the context of many Muslim countries, there is rampang corruption, exploitation, inequalities, and political instability. People want something better. Many think that people’s ‘morals’ are shot to pieces, and this is where religious fundamentalism begins to take a hold. It’s important to recognise and work with that sentiment if we are to help young men avoid being radicalised. However, this vilifying of Islam or militantism while good for selling newspapers or uniting us in a sense of western superiority, really isn’t helping.

    This forum may do a great disservice to immigrants by increasing racial tensions because so many in this forum admonish Finns in deliberately insulting ways for not reaching the perfect score instead of appraising for nevertheless being a place where racism or racial violence is far rarer than in most of the rest of the world. For trying our best we get called racist Nazis instead of politely being pointed to the most evident and easily correctable errors we did make on the way.

    I don’t see you trying at all, SH. I see you propogating and defending prejudice. I see you blaming victims of racism, diminishing racism and also calling into question the integrity of people claiming racism. What did I miss? If you define racism the way you do, I am not one bit suprised that you dismiss it and that you perceive this blog to be ‘increasing racial tension’.

    Let me tell you something, an anti-immigration party with openly racism members getting a 20% share of the vote races racial tensions. Immigrants getting beaten up or murdered in ‘random attacks’ races racial tensions. Reprisal stabbings by immigrants raise racial tensions.

    When a majority of the populace define racism in such a way that they can deny it, much like yourself, then that is a recipe for racial tension. When you call immigrants liars for saying they face racism, then you will have racial tension. When you are denied a job simply because you ‘won’t fit in’, that raises racial tensions. When you are stopped on the street by police because you are dark-skinned, that raises racial tensions. When you are insulted on the street by Finns (drunk or otherwise), that raises racial tensions. When few people in the political establishment stand up for minorities, that raises racial tensions.

    But hey, you want to focus on us here because we challenge naive conceptions of racism and go to the trouble of trying to explain to you knuckleheads what racism actually is!? Not that we actually get much joy in the process. And you wonder why we are not always polite!

    By the way, I hope your hand heals quickly.

    Mark

  43. Mark

    Andy

    Yeah, I wondered if what I said [Nazism is dead] was a good statement.

    I think I stick to that statement.

    Andy, I’ve one word for you, to bring you into the 21st Century. Neo-nazi.

  44. Mark

    SH

    Having expressed my concern about Islam and having been threatened so much here, more than that I’m not willing to reveal of my identity.

    Threatened? I see no threats in these comments? I see you being challenged for naive assumptions and blind prejudice. No threats.

    • Migrant Tales

      Hi Romeo, and welcome to Migrant Tales. Tony the Tolby? Tony Garcia, a former blogger that visited us.

      What did you paste?

  45. justicedemon

    Romeo

    Tony the TobyJug was a regular and highly verbose contributor here until about a year ago. His contributions made Hannu and Allan look smart.

    A very typical privileged Brazilian rich kid. Big fan of the American Taliban, as I recall.

    I predicted that a recession in the IT sector in Finland and Ireland would pop his unreality bubble, and it seems that I was right.

  46. Andy

    Justicedemon

    ”I predicted that a recession in the IT sector in Finland and Ireland would pop his unreality bubble, and it seems that I was right.”

    Do you want a medal for this prognosis?

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