New speaker of parliament Maria Lohela: Islamophobic skeletons in the closet

by , under Enrique Tessieri

One of the surprise appointments that popped up was Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Maria Lohela, who was nominated Friday as the new speaker of parliament. Lohela is no common MP since she has taken a very strong stand against immigration in general and Muslims in particular.

Somebody who knew Lohela told Migrant Tales that she appears to be a sensible person until you slip the term Muslim in the conversation. She then turns into a Ms Hyde.

Lohela has got her anti-immigration and Islamophobic credentials through the Nuiva Manifesto, which relies heavily on one-way adaption, or assimilation. She was opposed to same-sex marriage as well.

He xenophobic writings about Muslims are like skeletons that follow her like murky shadows.

Some of the most outrageous aims of the Nuiva Manifesto include:

  • The state should not finance immigrant groups’ culture, language, identity and religion;
  • They believe that neighborhoods are turning into ghettos;
  • Deport convicted migrants from Finland;
  • Conditional citizenship for ten years;
  • Finland should stop so-called humanitarian immigration and accept as few refugees as possible.

Just like Lohela’s opinions, the Nuiva Manifesto’s aim is to disempower migrants and minorities in Finland. Even if Finland officially supports integration, or two-way adaption, the Nuiva Manifesto favors one-way adaption, or assimilation.

Näyttökuva 2015-5-29 kello 15.11.20
Read full story (in Finnish) here.

Electing Lohela as the new speaker of parliament is a big blow to how migrants and minorities see and believe in our political institutions. Having a politician who bases her popularity on Islamphobic rhetoric sends a clear message to migrants and minorities: Don’t trust our political institutions like parliament and especially its politicians because they are against you.

Politicians like Lohela constantly speak about how migrants don’t want to integrate into Finnish society but conveniently forget that their style and words turn many off. They label negatively, victimize and fuel social exclusion of groups like Muslims.

When approached by Uusi Suomi if she still believes in the same Islamophobic rhetotic that she wrote in the past, Lohela vacillated without giving an affirmative yes or no.

One of her most infamous Islamophobic claims was in a blog entry she wrote in 2008:

In my opinion Muslims can get guidance from the book the see best, pray on a rug even 50 times a day and follow Sharia laws and its most extreme views but they must do that in their own Islamic countries, where their religion and culture is practiced,

The latter claim is a clear indication that the new speaker of parliament doesn’t believe in religious freedom.

In 2008 Lohela wrote that “in my opinion Islam is a scary religion. It scares me.”

As everyone knows, Finland is officially a bilingual country. Lohela, who is no friend of cultural diversity, even considers that Finland should do away with Swedish as an official language. She believes that to keep Swedish as a second official language due to historical reasons is a weak argument.

What are newcomers and minorities in this country supposed to think about a politician like Lohela?

Probably suspicion is the best description since it reinforces that the PS is a hostile party to migrants, minorities and to our ever-growing culturally diverse society.

The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.


  1. MattiR2106

    Allow me to dissect the following ‘offensive’ suggestions according to personal experience (I was/am a Finnish immigrant to another country):
    -The state should not finance immigrant groups’ culture, language, identity and religion;
    **Upon arriving in our new ‘adopted’ country, we were given absolutely no/no financial assistance** (work/jobs were plentiful!!)
    -They believe that neighborhoods are turning into ghettos;
    **The city we lived in had a fair-sized Finnish community and it was largely concentrated in one section of the city**
    -Deport convicted migrants from Finland;
    **I don’t recall any deportations but I can tell you that the law came down hard on anyone who grossly broke it…. especially in cases of bodily harm …. which is as it should be**
    -Conditional citizenship for ten years;
    **After a mandated period of time (years) all immigrants were allowed to apply for citizenship, then were interviewed by a citizenship judge who quizzed applicant as to their admissibility for citizenship. I recall this interview and passed with flying colours because I was enthusiastic about passing an exam and proving my personal worthiness**
    -Finland should stop so-called humanitarian immigration and accept as few refugees as possible
    **Every sovereign nation has a right, a duty to its own citizens and security to scrupulously vet any and all immigrants/refugees with a view to their admissibility and willingness to adapt to receiving country’s culture and laws**

    This blog purports that Finland should throw open its doors (a la Suede – Ruotsin tyyliin)…. regardless of their veracity of intentions once allowed into the country…. We have enough homegrown criminality, I don’t see the need to import more…. especially when those whom we have already assisted seem to be quite unhappy being here…. perhaps we could encourage them to leave (and never return) with a financial inducement….That, perhaps, would be money better spent.

    • Marshall Niles

      Wow, MattiR2106, good job! You thoroughly dissected every offensive suggestion, according to your personal experience immigrating to Canada! Wow! While you sit, squirming on your computer chair in the capital of Canada, let me critically remind you just how different policies, laws and referendums related to immigrants are Canada and Finland. Im Canadian by the way. Living in Finland, having moved away from the rat race of Toronto and its high end corporate lifestyle, to enjoy a traditional family life in Finland, amongst nature.

      1. Your “Newly adopted country”, does not immediately give you Financial assistance (unless you are a refugee), because one of the requirements to immigrate is to have sufficient money to survive for a year or so. Canada is so positive that an immigrant will find employment, that they don’t NEED social assistance in the beginning. Compare that to Finland, where there is actually no economy to support business progress or employment. Immigrants coming to Finland do so for a variety of reasons. Employment, entrepreneurship or family reasons. Yet, when their businesses crash and burn, or their companies go under, the nationalistic politicians rather aim at blaming immigration, instead of their own fallacies in mismanaging funds and assets. I wonder who the pea brained moron was who decided to look the other way when Finnish politicians spend thousands on blankets for themselves to warm their tootsies in the parliament, or when the Finnish politician authorized a grant worth millions for a ridiculous study undertaken by one of his close friends.

      2. “Your” city has a fair sized Finnish community that is largely concentrated in one section of the city because of the fact that there is no worries of turning into a ghetto because there is no chance of prejudice or discrimination due to the fact that Canadian Humanitarian laws, Human rights watch groups and more would come chewing on your ass if there was an incident of inward or outward racism. PS on the other hand assumes that when Immigrants bunch up together, it apparently turns into a ghetto, not realizing that the immigrants are bunching up together because they are affected and scared of the various events in their daily, political and social life, from racism, to discrimination, to blatant race crimes. What they conveniently forget to mention is that most immigrants also live in the same areas because landflords may be unwilling to rent to them due to the creative air of xenophobia which is currently circling the country, or the fact that an immigrant might feel a little more safer when they are surrounded by people who understand them and wont judge them, instead of the opposite. But no! Black or white! “Ghettos” is apparently what happens when immigrants bunch together.

      3. Deportation is a good thing when it comes to criminal justice. I agree with deportation of any immigrant who breaks a criminal law. No arguments on that. However, here is something that worries me, Finnish media outlets are doing a very good job at creating chaos, and mis-reporting events. Whats to stop them from creating crimes that an immigrant has committed? In the present political atmosphere, I am very sure that if someone decides to create a false police report against an immigrant that they don’t like, the whole country will side with the so called “victim” more than the “different” foreigner. Just a worry.

      4. After a mandated period of 4 years, not counting the years you were outside Canada, you got your Canadian citizenship! Good job! Tell me, can you compile a list of non nationalistic political parties that have put in a suggestion to put a conditional citizenship?

      5. Canada is a sovereign Nation, all right! And the decisions, changes, and movements that have come out of it, are a collective between all sorts of people, whether they be Chinese, African, Indian, white, black, yellow, pink…it doesn’t matter. Its a unified country that bases its unity on the fact that it was built by immigrants and has succeeded in becoming a economically powerful nation because of that. Don’t compare Finland to Canada. Finland has a lot of potential, and it has people with an amazing perspective to living a full, healthy lifestyle, but at the same time, the degenerating disease of 1950’s Xenophobia and old school mindsets has diluted, deluded and corrupted many weak minded people into assuming that anyone who is not Finnish is a threat.

      What you don’t seem to see with your rose colored glasses on, is that there is genuinely people who are becoming victims of hate crimes here, and it is unfair, because as human beings, no one deserves that. The main reason this blog goes against PS and Racism in general, is because of the fact that most of Finnish media is staying tight lipped, and turning a blind eye to the several cases of human rights violations that are slowly building up in Finland. You have to start using your new found Canadian spirit, and stop behaving like a blind sided xenophobic individual, blindly supporting a Racist party just because your Nationalistic instincts kick in.

      BTW: Are you seriously hitting below the belt, talking about the individuals “Argentinian” background and throwing facts around? His blood is Argentinian, but he’s American born. And also, SUPO? are you brain dead? SUPO is responsible for protecting national safety against terrorist threats, not against a man standing up against xenophobia and racism. Use your common sense and stop behaving like a degenerate.

      Get your facts right, get your heart into the right place, and stand up for those who don’t have a leg to stand up on.It’s good to stand up for your own birth country too, however, I have some news for you. Every immigrant currently in Finland also supports Finnish culture, its rights and its people. Just because they ache from Racist statements in the news, and shed tears form senseless words and crimes against them, doesn’t make them any less of a person.

    • MattiR2106

      As an addendum….. I recently had lunch with my 92 year old mum. She spoke about the old days … as is the norm for people of that age. It brought back memories for me too…. I remember being in a ‘reki’… whatever that is in English (horse-drawn rig on skids(??)…. covered in blankets and skins…. the horse’s name was Sukka…. Going to Tampere in those days was a big deal for the people of the land….. and despite the wars (Enrique Tessieri doesn’t like Finns talking about their war history….it’s too much like complaining as he has already indicated to me….. I’ll bet he gets his ‘package’ in an uproar when the discussion leads to the Argentinian military attack on an outpost of the UK in the Falkland Islands…. that ended well)….that was a sweet time.. Menimme reellä Tampereelle… iso juttu!!…. after WWII we Finns built a rather nice little corner piece here in the north…… So there you are…. the migrants …. landing on our shores …. and as soon as you’ve dusted yourselves off with Finnish taxpayer help….You find you’re not happy here…. If you’re not happy here……???? Your way should be clear…. Unless there are some good reason for you to stay….. tell me about these good reasons ….won’t you?????

      For Enrique Tessieri….. sorry about mentioning the Finn wars again…. I guess I just can’t help complaining…. being proud of the ‘white’ privilege of our soldiers who defended this land….. Of course, all this historic babble does not measure up to the gallantry of the Argentinian army on the Falkland Islands….. We must never forget that…..

  2. PS voter

    Why do you say that those quotes from Nuiva manifesti are outrageous? For example, does USA finance immigrant groups’ culture, language, identity and religion? If not, why should Finland, which is struggling financially and doing all kind of austerity measures, finance that kind of things? And what makes you think that Finland is not following Sweden and many other western countries where mass immigration is creating ghettos? And isn’t deporting foreign criminals something which other western countries practice as well?

  3. MattiR2106

    Marshall Niles is a very angry person…. who cannot/not look into his own private mirror and realize that … You cannot/not change other people, you can only change yourself….. that is, of course, if you’re interested in change at all…. What’s the matter bunky (Marshall Niles) …. not being caressed enough for gracing us with your presence??….
    When we landed on our adopted country’s shores…. both parents went to work (I and my brother went to school… then to work). Is this an outmoded idea amongst the migrant/refugee/asylum-seeking class??…. Certainly seems so…
    As for your reference to Argentina…. if a person comes from a country (applies to all) with a violent history of governance…. do they not/not bring their history with them??…. Indeed, it is my experience from reading this virulent blog (migranttales)… that this is so. People from violent parts of the world go looking for safe refuges to ostensibly, seek peace and liberty…. however, shortly after establishing in recipient country…. it’s time to begin agitating against the host country and in all too many cases committing acts of violence claiming it to be political activity….. using all manner of ‘motherhood’ issues…. skin colour is the favourite…. race is right up there…. and then the kicker…. religious freedom… except soon thereafter the guest religion decides that …. hey… screw these locals…. our religion is the boss and if you oppose us…. we will cut your heads off…. Say it ain’t so!!!!
    Here’s a question for you….. Exactly what conditions would you like to see enacted by any Finnish government that would make you happy???….. You seem very vociferous in your objections to any and all things…. but let’s get down to brass tacks….. what, if anything, would make all this better for you and your fellow travellers??…. it’s a serious question….

    • Marshall Niles

      Alright Moderator/ Daddy is back on this blog, after a harrowing few days of dealing with the apple of my eye and a virus called Roseola.

      Matti….oh Matti. Personal attacks?

      “Marshall Niles is a very angry person…. who cannot/not look into his own private mirror and realize that … You cannot/not change other people, you can only change yourself….. that is, of course, if you’re interested in change at all…. What’s the matter bunky (Marshall Niles) …. not being caressed enough for gracing us with your presence??”

      What the hell are you aiming at? Watching too many Indian movies? Boy oh boy. I came up with a conclusive, thorough factual answer to your various points about comparing Canada and Finland, and all you could garner was that I’m an angry person who cannot change himself and is not being caressed enough for gracing himself with your presence. WTF is this supposed to refer to! Im laughing inside (quietly because the kid is sleeping), wondering what your expressions were like when you typed all that stuff!

      Ok, on a more diplomatic, serious note. You met me on middle ground when you asked me this, ” Exactly what conditions would you like to see enacted by any Finnish government that would make you happy???….. You seem very vociferous in your objections to any and all things…. but let’s get down to brass tacks….. what, if anything, would make all this better for you and your fellow travellers??…. it’s a serious question….”.

      I respect you for that, and appreciate that we can now talk head to head, considering we are all equals.

      Allow me to be informal. See man, there’s a pretty big generalization and stereotype that’s poisoning the air these days. It bothers me because my little girl, who is half Finnish, Half Canadian, might have to suffer through the future in a volatile environment if things don’t get snipped in the bud right now. Here’s what thee has to speaketh.

      It is true that there are many who take advantage of benefits (social/welfare/health), and don’t give anything back in return. Yes, there is crimes committed, from petty theft to sexual harassment to assault. Yes, there are people who turn into extremists, blindly following a vague religion and succumbing to it. Yes, there are individuals who are here with no skills, no qualifications, in fact, no papers. Yes, they are a additional burden on a crumbling economy. Yes, there are individuals who come here to study, get free education, and then leave to put their degrees to use elsewhere. No one has ever argued about that. Not Enrique, not me, not anyone on this blog. NOBODY argues about that. It’s a fact.

      But here’s where the rat crawls out of the devils assh#le. See, the god damn problem (remember, I’m being informal here) is that this air of generalization, impacted onto an unsuspecting audience, has the tendency to create more chaos than anything. Why Marshall, Matti asks me. Well Matti, lemme buy you a beer, some chicken wings with maple syrup on them and let me tell ya!

      1. There is a lot of Immigrants who come to Finland, to make a new life for themselves, and their family. These people have been born and bred with a culture that has taught them to build a stable foundation and to have a successful if not satisfactory future. These individuals (Migrants/Immigrants/Refugees) are respectful, cultured, mature individuals who only know hard work and success. These people come to take advantage of a higher education, or to learn a new language to either create businesses, or find employment in the career of their choice. I’m one of those people. I arrived in Finland, applied for a business permit. Waited for 1.6 years. While waiting, I had no social security number, no money coming in, no Id, No healthcare, nothing. But I stayed, living off my savings and buying private health insurance because I was determined to start a new life in Finland. You will be surprised but No immigrant or migrant gets benefits immediately upon coming to Finland. No way. Refugees is a different case. But immigrants and migrants have to find their own ways to survive. So before you assume that ll foreigners use the welfare system to their advantage, that’s REALLY NOT the case. The current politicians conveniently forget to mention that to the public. So, uninformed Finns think that all foreigners are sucking their welfare dick. (again, I’m being informal here).

      2. Crimes. Yes, Crimes. Crimes, from theft, petty theft, rape, robbery, harassment and such are committed. Largely by immigrants only? Not really. Immigrants account for 4 % of the Finnish population. If you pull out statistics compiled throughout the whole of Finland, you will realize that a far bigger percentage of crimes are domestic related. But the reason why the foreigners stand out is simply because of just that. They are foreigners.
      However, ah !!! before you decide to argue. It is true that crimes committed by foreigners is a SIN! How dare they come to your country, take advantage of your welfare, healthcare and beautiful culture and then commit crimes. Listen, my dear chicken wing with maple syrup on top eating homie. These swines who commit crimes are a shame not just to themselves, but to all of humanity. It’s not a certain breed of immigrants that commit crimes. Its not a certain culture or certain country that commits crimes. Most crimes are a ingrained desperate act of vengeance to protest a standard of living or lack of identity. It could also be a cultural thing, but in relation to an actual culture, its a very very microscopic cultural thing. Lemme explain. In India, with all the rapes in the news, you gotta ask yourself. Are all Indians rapists? The answer is no. Are all Indian men patriarchal? No. Is Indian culture patriarchal? YESYESYES. This culture that spans centuries, arose from the land of Kings. Kings. Men. Powerful men. They created a kingdom, a culture and a history, that has slowly trickled down to what it is now. However, An EDUCATED Indian man, will tell you that equality and respect exists. They will tell you that respect, hardwork, empathy, mutual understanding and maturity all go hand in hand. Those educated ones are not known to be rapists. Of course, there is the random case of a politicians son, or some asshole under the influence of psychosis or alcohol or a vast variety of drugs. So, my point being, there will always be assholes in the world. Sad thing is, the foreigners who commit crimes are assholes. Not because they are foreigners, but because they are assholes. But the politicians today don’t think so. The media today thinks that all foreigners will commit crimes, and all foreigners behave like assholes back in their own countries. So, you see my dilemma?

      3. Religion and extremism is another topic that itches my nether regions. You see, a woman wearing a Hijab, or a man wearing a turban is the same as Finnish men going nude into the sauna and bumping dicks. Or eating hernekeitto on thursdays. Its just a culture! No harm in that! Jews and muslims wear skull caps, sikhs wear turbans, hindus worship Krishna, Christians drink the blood and eat the body of their savior, Buddhists try not to commit violence, Jains try not to kill even an insect, and so on. But, when the uneducated(figuratively speaking), uncultured, narrow minded politicians spread a shart of islamophobia..Thats when things get personal. Because, you see, if a woman wants to wear a hijab, and have 5 kids, thats her thing. her body, her mind, her blood, her life. No one can f€#king tell her to not do what she wants. Would you like it if your mother had been forced to not have you, especially if she wanted to? No. So, in the same way, when people criticize a woman, especially an immigrant woman, and more so if she is wearing a hijab, as if shes any fuckin different from any other woman, it makes me ashamed to think of myself as part of the human race.
      Now… there is extremists. Those pieces of sh€t, swines of the earth, would be crushed under my foot if I had the genes of Andre the giant. But alas, I don’t. These extremists crawl through the cracks of any facade. In-fact, even if a country closed its borders, there is still a great chance that extremism will be born amongst the lonely teenagers, or individuals going through a hole in their life. Extremist doesn’t come through people only. It comes through radio, books, internet, word of mouth and much more. So, when Islamophobic politicians talk about closing borders (not taking in any refugees or immigrants), stating extremism, they don’t know what the fuck they are talking about. All they manage to do is sh%t out Islamophobia.

      4. Free education: Oh for F’s sake. Once again, generalization kicks everyone in the a€€hole. Mis informed, spineless individuals will slurp up whatever creampie the politician vomits.
      Foreigners or international students who come to Finland to study for free, don’t just take something and go. They contribute in Rent, food, electricity, internet, phone and transportation. The only thing they don’t pay for is education. They still have to pay for a study permit, and still have to pay for a visa. Heres who benefits from Internationals. Finnair. Sähkö Oy. Dna, Saunalahti and whoever the heck else. Matkahuolto, and private bus companies. Train companies,, Maisterrati and the landlords.

      NOW. Imagine a Finland, without international students. A bloody white ass, no diversity, culture or variety filled university. What the heck would they be learning? Would they learn about the coolest Japanese fads? New trends in Egypt? Cool Chinese food? Indian politics?, a new language? new clothes? movies? Trends? New gadgets?

      man, they’d be brain dead morons. Ask the north Koreans. Diversity and culture builds a human being from within and allows them to explore the world outside of their immediate surroundings. Once again, the politicians forgot to mention this aspect. They forgot to mention to Finns that international students bring with them money, and keep the Finnish services running. Tsk tsk.

      Of course, if a student graduates and decides to go somewhere else, who the fuck cares? The economy crumbles day by day. Politics is taking a xenophobic front seat, generalization and nationalism is being thrown into peoples faces, and the general air of unrest has been going on for decades. Most immigrants turn a blind eye, and just swallow it. Others leave. Yet others voice their opinion. Apparently those who voice their opinion are angry persons who cannot look into their own private mirror and realize that. They apparently cannot change other people, only change themselves, that is, of course, they they are interested in change at all. Usually they are called bunky, and are usually not being caressed enough for gracing others with their presence…

      oh what a world. But, here’s a cheers to you man. This is our fifth beer and third plate of chicken wings, yet as we breath, another immigrant sheds a tear inwards at blatant rhetoric’s on the news from politics galore. Here’s a snippet of whats been said so far.

      Google Finnish politic xenophobia, and read what Reuters, BBC, CBC, CNN, Times of India, Hindustan times, Helsinki times, Times of Australia, Daily Herald, Chinese English daily and a few others are reporting about Finnish politicians. see man.. this is not a isolated misunderstanding. This is real issues happening in real time, right now. Please help!

      *Pay’s the bar tap, pats you on the back, and walks away unsteadily*

    • Marshall Niles

      My lil one year old has been sick the past 3 days. Ive been off the computer for that time. Your post’s are’nt awaiting moderation, but mainly, moderator daddy has been taking care of fmaily issues:) You wrote in some pretty good points and Im going to answer to you in a bit! Thank you;)

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