Reija Härkönen: Poliitikot rasistikansan asialla


Reija Härkönen

Tänään oli sitten sellainen uutispäivä, että tiesi, mitä on odotettavissa, kun kurkistaa tietynlaisten kansanedustajien Facebook-sivuille. Kalevassa julkaistiin uutinen epäillystä raiskauksesta aamulla klo 10. Tämä on tilanne iltapäivällä klo 13. Kansanedustajilla on toiveita siitä, että turvapaikanhakijat ovat syyllistyneet rikokseen.

Raiskaus Eerola
Kansanedustaja Eerolan olisi suotavaa antaa tarkempi erittely tietämistään prosentuaalisista osuuksista.


A cartoon by Ville Ranta that exposes the real face of anti-immigration groups and parties


The cartoon below, “After the attack,” shows a member of an anti-immigration group drinking the blood of a victim of the Paris terrorist attack on Friday the 13th of November

In my opinion, the cartoon below by Ville Ranta shows to a tee how members of anti-immigration groups and parties reacted to the Paris terrorist attacks.

What’s your opinion?

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The first group that was present after the terrorist attacks of Paris were members of anti-immigration groups.

Migrants’ Rights Network: Lessons of Paris – Borders won’t protect us: Solidarity with refugees remains the best hope


Don Flynn*

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The Friday 13th attacks in Paris are being interpreted by many commentators as politicians as a watershed moment in public attitudes towards refugee policies in Europe.

But as recently as August and September this year hundreds and thousands of European citizens took a remarkable stand of declaring a welcome for refugees coming from the war-torn Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa.


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Read full opinion piece here.


Attempts have been made to argue that this support has vanished in the wake of the terrorist attacks on people enjoying Friday night at music concerts and restaurants in the otherwise peaceful city of Paris.  One example of this effort to declare an end to the moods which proclaimed support for the right of refugees to find a safe haven in Europe came in the form of an article in the London Evening Standard on 18 November. Prominent Conservative MP David Davis declared the need for an outright end to the freedom of movement in Europe which has been made possible by the Schengen Agreement.

Davis wrote: “… it is becoming evident that controlling Europe’s external borders, especially the porous borders of southern Europe, is virtually impossible. There are too many physical, legal, political and moral problems inherent in policing that vast frontier effectively.”

He appears to applaud the decisions of the Austrian, French, Dutch and Swedish governments to reintroduce border checks, and even the actions of the Hungarian and Slovak authorities in reinforcing these with kilometres of fencing and razor wire.  Perhaps he believes that these actions will solve the “physical, legal, political and moral problems” that get in the way of managing the flow of people across the southern frontiers of the EU.

The proffered solution is a return to a Europe in which national states are responsible for admitting or refusing people entry into their territories and then dealing with the consequences.  But, strangely enough, for the countries at the EU’s southern and eastern frontiers, that is exactly the system that has always operated.  Greece operates primarily within a framework of Greek immigration policies when it comes to deciding who is permitted to cross its borders; as does Italy; France; Spain; and both Cyprus and Malta.

The claim that we are in today’s predicament because of the overbearing effects of bureaucratically-imposed European policies is clearly fallacious.  We are where we are because Europe, acting in concert with other powers in the Eastern Mediterranean, has failed over the course of many years to overcome the crisis which spreads in a great arc from Turkey and across the North African Maghreb, with a tributary branch feeding in from the Horn of Africa. This failure has been allowed to create a great confluence of refugee movements that brings people to its own doorstep.

Declaring a formal end to the Schengen Agreement and reintroducing controls at all the internal borders of the EU will not deal with the situations which led to 218,000 refugees entering Europe in October alone.  The driving forces behind these movements, as a recent commentary paper by the European Policy Centre points out, are the continuing upheaval in countries which have put 4.3 million Syrians, 2.6 million Afghans, 1 million Somalis and 600,000 Sudanese onto the road as refugees during the past few years.

‘Fortress Europe’ was never going to hold back the volume of people pressing against its gates indefinitely.  The radical measures taken to impoverish the Greek state through austerity might have been the tipping point from struggling efforts to manage to outright crisis but the genie is now out the bottle and won’t easily be persuaded to go back in.

The anti-free movement lobby hopes that if one border can’t do the trick then maybe six, ten or twenty will succeed in holding back the refugee masses in someplace far away.  Mr Davis rejoices in the fact that the UK is an island and the convenience of having a surrounding sea ought to buy the country a bit more scope for keeping the refugees out.

It is difficult to be happy with this as a solution to the business of managing refugee movements in the 21st century.  The hope that all our neighbours will do the heavy lifting whilst we sit back to reap the benefits will not endear us European countries that want to see more solidarity as they face up to the challenges of processing the claims of those who seek a safe haven.

The attacks in Paris were agonisingly brutal for those who caught up in them.  If it is possible for such an appalling situation to be made worse by any subsequent action it has come from the renewed clamour to roll back on refugee and migrant rights.  Advocating this response looks too much like the very outcome that fanatics of Daesh have sought to engineer.

The security of ordinary people across Europe will not be enhanced by any measure that reduces the commitment of this region to human rights and the rights of refugees.  The re-imposition of border checks on the myriad frontiers of the European states will check, for a time, the flow of desperate people. It will cause more hardship and suffering on top of what they have already had to endure.  And it will be a step away from the countries of this region addressing the real root causes of the refugee crisis and will postpone the day when tens of thousands no longer feel that they have to embark on dangerous journeys to get to these shores.

Read original posting here.

This piece was reprinted by Migrant Tales with permission.

*Don Flynn, the MRN Director, leads the organisation’s strategic development and coordinates MRN’s policy and project work. He is a regular and sought-after speaker at conferences, seminars and lectures on behalf of MRN.

UPDATE: An asylum reception center map we should all be ashamed of in Finland


As long as we have politicians and other community leaders who support hate speech overtly or with their silence, and as long as parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* base their support on racism against people who are different from them, Finland will not be a safe country for everyone. 

The map below is shameful considering that we’re one of the most affluent and apparently safest countries in the world.

Politicians, the media and the public are ignorant of the sheer hardships and destruction that the war, which we’ve been accomplices in, have brought on the people of the Middle East and Africa. We’re only outsiders looking in and what our eyes reveal is enough for some of us to turn our backs.

But what about if I told you about the horrors of war and gave you a ringside view of the raw violence and utter despair of people who are commonly blown to shreds by bombs and hate? Would you want to know? Would what you’d see change your life forever?

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Municipalities where asylum reception centers have been attacked and where there have been problems. Source: Yle.

There are probably more attacks against asylum reception centers in Finland than the YLE map above suggests. Migrant Tales wrote in early November a suspected arson attack against the Pitäjänmäki reception center that was not reported by the media.


Susheela Daniel: On being a multicultural Finn


I got to know Susheela Daniel through many of her insightful Facebook postings. She was one of the brave women who protested in front of parliament against the election of Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party MP Maria Lohela as speaker of parliament. One of her latest Facebook posts was on “integrated migrants” raised some good questions about Uncle Toms in the migrant and minority community.

An Uncle Tom, or Tuomo-setä or setä Tuomo in Finnish, is a term used in the United States for people who betray their race in order to get privileges. Urban Dictionary defines it in the following way: “A black man who will do anything to stay in good standing with ‘the white man’ including betray his own people.”

Susheela Daniel. Photo by Fateme Azizi.

In a multiethnic country like the United States, the Uncle Tom label plays an important role. One of the roles it plays is a bit similar to a deserter in times of war.

Taking a look at the violence and hostility that some minorities are facing in the United States, it’s clear that the Uncle Tom label aims to protect a community that is already embattled by racism, social exclusion and scarce opportunities.

How would one define an Uncle Tom in Finland?

Daniel admits that she’s never heard of the term Tuomo-setä in Finnish never mind in English but agrees that the phenomenon exists in Finland.


Reija Härkönen: Älkää sanoko, että tapahtuuhan sellaista muissakin maissa


Reija Härkönen

Tässä maassa on ihmisiä, jotka hyökkäävät sanoin ja väkivaltaisin teoin pakolaisia vastaan. Sotaa ja vainoa paenneita ihmisiä, äitejä ja isiä lapsineen pelotellaan ja uhkaillaan. Yksin tulleiden lastenkin majapaikkaan tehtiin jo polttopulloisku. Punaista Ristiäkin, hyväntekijää, vihataan, vaikka törkeimmätkin sotajoukot yleensä sallivat järjestön toiminnan siviilien ja haavoittuneiden parissa.

Meillä vihataan lapsia, koska he ovat tulleet vieraasta maasta ja vieraasta kulttuurista. Vihaajat on opetettu vihaamaan. Jo yli vuosikymmenen jatkunut järjestelmällinen vihanlietsonta on tehnyt tehtävänsä. Tuosta vastenmielisestä kampanjasta suurimmmassa vastuussa on Perussuomalaiset r.p., mutta muutkaan puolueet ja tahot eivät ole täysin viattomia.

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Pelko ei sillä vähene, että vastaanottokeskusten tiedotustilaisuuksissa  kuunnellaan hurmoshenkisiä rasisteja ja hysteerisiä tytärtensä puolesta pelkääjiä ja sanotaan, että poliisi kyllä valvoo. Ihmisille on kerrottava, että pelko on lietsottua ja täysin turhaa, eikä irakilainen nuori mies ole sen pelottavampi, kuin suomalainen. On selvää, että sota-alueilta lähteneet ihmiset, jotka joutuvat kuukausikaupalla toimettomina odottelemaan kohtalonsa selviämistä, saattavat olla levottomia, nahistelevia ja hankaliakin, mutta kukapa ei tuollaisessa tilanteessa olisi. Syrjäytyneitä meillä on myös omasta takaa.

Rasismi lisääntyy nyt koko ajan. Sen, että meille on tullut paljon pakolaisia, ei mitenkään pitäisi olla rasismia lisäävä asia – päinvastoin! Kun meille saapuu ihmisiä, jotka ovat kaiken menettäneitä ja pitkästä matkastaan väsyneitä, luulisi jokaisen vähänkin ajattelevan ja välittävän ihmisen ottavan heidät ystävällisesti vastaan ja myös pikku hiljaa tottuvan vähän vieraan näköisten ihmisten kohtaamiseen.


UPDATE (November 20): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism


Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link.

November 20

Aukeavatko suvakin silmät? – (Tamperelainen)

What’s wrong with this community paper editorial? Community papers like Helsingin Uutiset and Vantaa Sanomat are just as bad as other media in spreading bigotry and urban tales about immigrants. They do this for two reasons: they don’t know better and because it’s a good way of boosting their advertising revenues. The editorial by the latest Tamperelainen spewed some pretty harsh rhetoric about asylum seekers. It claimed, among other things, that some asylum seekers are swindlers and that Europe should take a tougher stance against such people. The editorial by the paper’s editor, Karri Kannala, headlined “When will Kumbaya multiculturalists open their eyes,” claims the following: “Speaking of migration is racism, promoting Finnish identity is fascism. You can only talk about multiculturalism if you are a kumbaya multiculturalist, other opinions aren’t welcome.” Bigotry, racism and prejudice still attract big crowds in Finland. They are used by community papers as well and are an example of the worse type of journalism that you can find.

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Read full story in Finnish here.

Facebook: Lukekaa tämä, pyydän


Adam Al-Sawad on rohkea mies koska hän puolustaa meidän arvoja.

“Hän sanoi, ettemme kuulu Suomeen. Minä sanoin, että hän ei kuuluu Suomeen; Suomeen kuuluu asiallinen käyttäytyminen.”

Al-Sawad pyytää meitä lukemaan mitä hän kirjoitti. Lukekaa.


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