Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Helsinki substitute councilman, Olli Sademies, is creating Islamophobic waves again. Right, he’s the substitute councilman who suggested in the end of May that Africans should be sterilized after having three children. Now he wrote on his Facebook wall a “business idea” to create a pig’s blood spray that would be used against Muslims.
What should we think about Sademies’ latest outburst? Since his comment about sterilizing Africans wasn’t serious enough for the PS to sack him on the spot, it’s doubtful that he’ll get the boot for his latest racist comment.
Sademies appears to be a good old Finnish redneck who probably couldn’t find Djibouti never mind Somalia on the African map. But there’s one thing his dead sure of: His racist comments about Muslims.
Is Sademies the new James Hirvisaari of the PS? While there are many Hirvisaaris in the party, Sademies is getting as much publicity as the former MP who was sacked from the PS after he took a picture and posted it on Facebook of a friend making a Nazi salute in parliament.
One of the best comments on Sademies’ Faceook thread is by a Naima M:
Brigitta, Sademies in an expert in these things. He can apparently tell us if garlic helps to repel vampires as well as to scare off Muslims or if only pig’s blood works. At the same time we could ask him if krypton could be of any help.
But where does he get his ideas from? Is it from parties like the Islamophobic Danish People’s Party (DPP) with which the PS is a close but not too public ideological ally?
The Tapanila rape case is a good example of how the Finnish media permitted again its prejudices to get the better of itself. Those who committed the crime had everything against them: They were “Somalis,” or youths with “foreign backgrounds,” who committed “gang rape.” In today’s Finland, where xenophobia is thick in the air, those two words are sure to unlock your darkest prejudices.
Jukka Kemppinen, a professor in information law and forme court of appeals judge, writes a sobering blog entry where he states that the sentences that three of the five suspects got was fair.
He writes: “‘Gang rape’ gives us a picture of sexual intercourse where there many are involved. This didn’t happen in the Tapanila case. Criminal law makes the difference between rape and aggravated rape. These types of cases are explained in the law. I’m of the opinion that what happened wasn’t aggravated rape from what was said about the case and at the district court. Force was used in the act. The victim was fingered under her clothes. That’s all that happened. ”
Another matter that showed how our racism ignited our mass hysteria to fever pitch was the labels that were given by the police and media of the assailants. After the five suspects were in police custody, the police published a statement were they called them youths “with foreign backgrounds.”
Bashy Quraishy made recently a very valid point on his Facebook wall: “Active political participation, voting in large numbers and support for the friendly politicians is Alpha and Omega for the protection of ethnic minority rights in Denmark.”
And adds: “We need to wake up, confront the far right movements in politics and defeat them.”
This cartoon depicts the DPP’s (and even the PS’) answer on how to deal with refugees fleeing civil wars.
The biggest challenges and threat facing Europe and countries like Denmark and Finland is the lack of democratic participation by migrants and minorities.
Veronica Honkasalo is a Helsinki city councilwoman for the Left Alliance who tweeted the following below about the sentence that the five suspects got in the northern Helsinki Tapanila rape case of March: “It’s clear that the sexual offense sentence they got was too mild. There is no such thing as a mild rape. But let’s keep this [case] clear of racism.”
Two of the five suspects were acquitted because they did not take part in the rape.
Writes YLE in English:
The case shocked Finland in March, when the five young men, four of whom were under 18, harassed a woman on a commuter train before following her when she got off and then assaulting her. Their Somali background was widely publicized before they were apprehended, as they were wanted men, prompting an avalanche of racist comment on social media and even anguished debate in more mainstream outlets.
The longest sentence was one year and four months’ suspended jail time, while two of the group were acquitted. The ruling states that the ‘method’ of the crime was not widely known at the time, when immigrant gang rapists were in the headlines. That method was that one of the men held his hand over the woman’s mouth to prevent her calling for help while the other two rapists penetrated her with their hands.
What Honkasalo states in her tweet below is something that I have been thinking about as well. How can we in the present xenophobic and anti-cultural diversity climate find effective solutions to crimes like rape without allowing our animal instincts and racism to get the best of us?
The gang rape that took place in March is a ghastly crime and very uncommon. What those youths did to that young woman effectively destroyed her life.
Thanks to their reckless behavior, those youths also gave fuel to the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party’s hostile campaign against immigrants and minorities before the April 19 elections.
Another factor that helped the PS in the elections was the Charlie Hebdo attack in January.
A recent survey of eight countries by YouGov showed Finland and Sweden to have the most intolerance.
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names of the party 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.
Remember in May when Perussuomalaiset (PS)* substitute councilman called Olli Sademies commented that African men should be sterilized after having three children? While the decision by the police to not press ethnic agitation charges against Sademies was expected, it is the shameful attitude of the PS not to take any action against the substitute councilman that is the most worrying.
In one comment by Sademies and the inaction of his party to his racist outburst, we mock and undermine our own institutions and values.
Writes YLE in English:
When asked why the group didn’t discuss it [the comment by Sademies], [head of the Helsinki PS city council group Seppo] Kanerva told Yle’s Swedish language service: ‘We had so much to talk about that we didn’t have time for such nonsense.’
Kanerva said that if Sademies continues to write similar posts he could be thrown out of the party.”
When was insulting and threatening black people in Finland with forced sterilization “nonsense?”
Certainly sacking Sadimies for such a racist statement would have sent a clear warning to other members of the parties that this type of behavior is unacceptable.
Fortunately we have laws and resources in this country to challenge racism and don’t have to depend on xenophobic parties like the PS.
Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Cynthia Hurd, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Myra Thompson, Ethel Lance, Daniel Simmons, DePayne Middleton-Doctor ja Susie Jackson. NAACP. Suomen rodullistetut ihmiset ja väkivaltaa kokeneet naiset.
Vain viime viikolla. Vain ne, jotka tulivat tietoomme.
Olen sanaton. En kestä olla kotona. Pyöräilen merenrantaan. Kerron lapselle, että ei saa mennä liian lähelle vettä, ettei tipu ja huku. Hän kysyy, sekoittaen kaksi h-kirjaimella alkavaa sanaa:
”Äiti pidätkö sä musta hyvää huolta, etten häviä?”
”Pidän, lupaan sen.”
”Mennään kotiin, en pidä tästä.”
In order to accommodate refugees under a European Commision (EC) plan to spread refugees throughout the community, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) understands that Finland’s refugee quota will drop to 750 in 2016. The current quota was raised last year to 1,000 due to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
The best response to the Finnish government plans to lower the refugee quota next year came from Amnesty International Finland director, Frank Johansson, who blamed the parties in government for such plans.
Read full story here.
Of the seven countries surveyed, Finland was ranked together with Denmark as the most intolerant country to black people, gays, and Jews, according to YouGov, an internet-based market research company. Other countries that were surveyed were France, Germany, Britain, Norway and Sweden.
Writes YouGov: “Finland is almost completely white, perhaps explaining the high level of negativity towards black people (20% have a negative impression). However, Finland also has the highest proportion with negative impressions of gay people (15%).”
Countries that ranked the highest on the YouGov list of intolerant countries all had large populist anti-immigration parties like the Danish People’s Party, Perussuomalaiset* and Front National that commonly scapegoat minorities for the country’s problems.
Hate and words that drown in a sea of silence and inaction have dire consequences for migrants and minorities as Denmark and Finland have clearly proven.