Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Teuvo Hakkarainen’s recent blog entry, which attacked immigrants and Muslims, has been condemned by the vice president of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Eero Vainio, and by Muslims like Abdirahim Husu Hussein of the Center Party.
Reaction to what Hakkarainen wrote is a positive sign that part of Finland’s political establishment considers Islamophobia, racism and intolerance in general unacceptable and out of tune with our values.
Read original blog entry here.
One reason why the Social Democrats have spoken out against Hakkarainen is because he named SDP Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja an “imam” and supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Vainio said that Hakkarainen’s opinions are a good example of how the PS diverts attention from the country’s real problems and shifts them to imaginary ones like immigration.
“The Perussuomalaiset have to get their act together and aim at offering solutions to real problems facing our society in the face of fear-mongering,” he was quoted as saying on Tampere-based daily Aamulehti.
Nasima Razmyar, an SDP Helsinki city councillor and Muslim, said on a blog that what Hakkarainen wrote made her blood boil but would not demand an apology from him.
One of the reasons why Razmyar fell short of asking for an apology is because she apparently believes that racism can be eradicated from the halls of parliament with odd empathy for the racist.
Swedish People’s Party chairman, Carl Haglund, considered what Hakkarainen wrote as “sheer racism.”
“Somebody has to say something,” he was quoted as saying on tabloid Iltalehti. “I’m surprised ho little attention has been given [to what Hakkarainen wrote]…”
Without condemning what Hakkarainen wrote, PS parliamentary leader Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner was quoted as saying on Helsingin Sanomat that the MP’s views did not represent the party’s.
”Critical debate is accepted and welcome [in the PS],” she said, ”but I will not say where we draw the line [on debate].”
Hakkarainen claimed on his blog entry that immigrants who move to this country live off social welfare and are “increasingly guilty of crimes, which were previously rare, among others, like gang rape.”
He claimed that it is every “Muslim’s honor and responsibility to kill and annihilate every religion and Jews, according to the Koran,” and that, “the West is being flooded by millions of Muslims in a wooden Trojan horse…”
Citing a story on Turun Sanomat, the PS MP said that there are Muslim extremists concentrated in the city of Turku ready to declare jihad on Finland.
On an Uusi Suomi blog entry, Hussein offered Hakkarainen an invitation to meet and know more about Finland’s Muslim community. Such meetings have been arranged before for the PS MP, according to the Center Party politician.
”I haven’t heard that such a meeting has ever materilaized, thus I come to the conclusion that either MP Hakkarainen isn’t interested or he really fears Muslims,” he wrote.
Hussein cited on his blog entry a campaign phrase used by the Center Party in the 2012 municipal election to lure back voters that ditched the party and voted for the PS in the April 2011 election.
”We say that it’s time to come back home,” he writes. ”Good man, I want to tell you that it’s time for you to step into the light.”