The Pakistani, who was attacked brutally in Vantaa on February 23 by three white Finnish youths carrying a knife, ax, and a pointed object, sees what happened to him was a hate crime.*
If the incident had occurred in the UK, it would be recorded as a hate crime by the police because the victim perceived it to happen against him because of his ethnic background or faith.
For some unknown reason, the Finnish police investigating the case are still not clear on the motive of the crime. The fact that the victim considers what happened to him a hate crime is a strong sign that the police will have to see it in that way.
The police’s reaction to what happened to the Pakistani in Vantaa shows the daily experiences of ethnic minorities who are confronted by racist violence in Europe and Finland. This, we believe, is a classic example of institutional racism.
In an email to Migrant Tales, the Itä-Uusimaa police state that motive is the primary factor in determining a hate crime. It pointed out in another email: a hate crime is registered as such if “the injured party [victim or other injured party], other parties or police see it as a hate crime.” 
This case, which must be one of the worst ever reported against a migrant in Finland irrespective of its classification, should help us to see some of the weaknesses that hate-crime victims face in this country.
One of these that became clear immediately is the police’s reaction. Not only did it take the police until February 27 to come out with a statement, the officer in charge of the case, Detective Chief Inspector Mikko Minkkinen, was quoted as saying in Helsingin Sanomat and YLE News here is nothing that suggests it was a racist crime.
What is surprising is that the police makes such a claim without asking what the victim thinks. It may believe that since the attackers were intoxicated or that the attack was not planned absolves the attackers of a hate crime. Wrong.
A hate crime can occur when intoxicated and doesn’t have to be planned. Both factors are totally irrelevant.
The OSCE ODIHR Hate Crime Reporting manual establishes motive through a background check of the crime.
Some of these bias indicators that point to an Islamophobic or anti-migrant hate crime are:
- Difference of ethnicity/background between the perpetrator and victim;
- Proximity to a mosque as well or another venue associated with Muslims/migrants;
- What does the victim’s community say?
- What does the perpetrator say why he did it?
- The vehemence of the attack – this is a very strong indicator.
Any two of the above would warrant the police investigation Bias/hate as a motive.
So far, and as far as we can gather, there are three points: (1) difference of ethnic background; (2) what does the victim’s community say; (3) and the vehemence of the attack.
The violence of the attack speaks volumes. Without going into gruesome detail, it took four hours to remove the victim’s stitches. A recent operation that the victim underwent took eight hours.
Read the full guide here.
According to another comprehensive guide for hate crime victims and NGOs published by the UK Race and Europe Network (EKREN) and the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), a hate crime sends a terrible message. The police should recognize that by attacking an individual, as in the case of the Pakistani, a warning to a broader group of people who share the same characteristics.