Kati van der Hoeven-Lepistö: Change the world

”Change the world” funny, isn’t it? All this talk about changing the world for the better. This world is not in need of changing; this planet is amazing with the birds and the bees, apple trees, blooming roses, sunrise, sunset and the moon that lights up the night. This planet is one heck of a planet with an incredible nature it can support life in every single corner.

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Read full opinion piece here.

It even has intelligence and of course, it has us, human beings, each of us beautiful in our way. We are humans with a soul that allows us to love and create, with a spirit to live and be brave, with intelligence to make this world a better place for all. That is what we should be doing, improving the world. We are not here to create a paradise for our children; we are here to lay our brick so they can lay theirs and so on.

There is no doubt about it, life is a wonderful thing, and so are the living.

One of the main things we humans certainly have to improve on is our fear of all what is different. If we can manage doing that, we will take a huge step in improving this planet of ours. Can you imagine that? No discrimination in no way what so ever, no need for stupid fights or wars. No more barriers or borders. Everybody accepting and respecting others for what they are, what they like and what they believe in.


Facebook: Islamofobia Kuopiossa

Adam kirjoittaa: “En koskaan uskonut, että elämässä kohtaamani uusnatsien tappoyritykset sekä tiettyjen valittujen naapurien huutelut ja kostotoimet terrorismista jatkuisivat tällaiseen erittäin julkiseen vihantekoon omassa kotikaupungissani, tai kotimaassani Suomessa ylipäätänsä. Olen sanaton.”

Kiitoksia Adam, että otit yhteyttä meihin.

Enrique Tessieri

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This Facebook posting was reprinted by Migrant Tales with permission.

Systemic racism in Finland

A video clip below by Jay Smooth published by Race Forward gives us simple good examples of how systemic or institutional racism occurs in the United States. Is systemic racism a problem in Finland? If so, how and where does it occur?

If we’re really interested in tackling all forms of racism and discrimination in this country, it’s important that we identify the problem and challenge it. We have a lot of good resources in Finland to challenge intolerance.

Just saying you are against racism won’t do. We need to be much more resourceful and determined in dealing with this social ill.


The new Finnish government’s immigration policy is a farce that will scare away new immigrants

One of the first reactions that some had concerning the immigration policy of the new government was that it wasn’t as bad as some expected. Others even went as far as to say that Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman Timo Soini caved in and showed again his true political turncoat colors.

The question we should be asking in my opinion is if there is anything in the next government’s stand on immigration that will help clear away the adverse anti-immigration and anti-cultural diversity climate presently gripping Finland?

Even if Sipilä states that the new government will not tolerate racism what concrete steps is he going to take to challenge social ills like systemic racism?

This is a good video clip that explains what systemic racism is.


Facebook: Islamophobia and Danish Justice Minister Mette Frederiksen

Islamophobia is big in Denmark, very big and ugly. The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* have a special relationship with the Islamophobic Danish People’s Party (DPP). Don’t be surprised if Finland we’ll have one day ministers like Mette Frederiksen who spread Islamophobia as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

Frederiksen isn’t a member of the DPP but of the Social Democratic Party.


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The best medicine against xenophobia is to open the doors to immigration

A total about-turn in immigration policy would be a massive blow to xenophobia and the climate of suspicion that presently exists in Finland. Contrarily the more restrictions you erect against migrants and cultural diversity the more myths and prejudices you’ll need to keep up those walls.

Those walls aren’t friendly at all but hostile with a huge sign: Do not enter but if you do we’re going to make your lives difficult. We will make up urban tales about you to keep you imprisoned in our prejudices indefinitely.

Everyone of us are, were or came from a migrant background. Migration is a powerful force. Migration is beautiful and the factor that makes humans excel. Thank you Glenn Robinson for the heads-up!


ENAR: Racist crime continues to be a significant problem in all European countries

There were in the European Union in 2013 a total of 47,210 racist crimes, according to a first-ever report that doesn’t use official sources but those provided by NGOs, according to the European Network Against Racism (ENAR). The anti-racism Brussels-based NGO states that the amount of officially recorded racist crimes is only the tip of the iceberg.

Enar states that many EU member states do not properly record and report racially motivated crimes.

There are also significant disparities between the number of official recorded racist crimes and those recorded by NGOs.

According to the Enar report, there was a rise in anti-Semitic racist crimes in countries like Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden with Islamophobic crimes seeing rises in France, England and Wales.

One of the most disturbing findings of the report is that Muslim women are more likely to be targeted in Islamophobic crimes than men. Below is an example cited by the ENAR report:

A Muslim woman, who was four months pregnant, was attacked for wearing a jilbab in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil. She suffered a miscarriage and lost her baby, according to her lawyer. Two men attacked the 21-yearold woman, trying to remove her headscarf and later cut off her hair, and reportedly shouted anti-Islamic taunts at her. The woman had also been kicked in the stomach

Migrant Tales has reported hate and racist crimes on an annual basis published by the Police College of Finland. The problem with these types of reports is that there is only one source in Finland. It’s clear that such hate and racist crimes are also the tip of the iceberg in Finland as well.

Reporting racist crimes to the police in Finland can be challenging as the case below highlights:

An African was on the bus in Jyväskylä and a young man shoved and then hit him on the back. Nobody on the bus reacted. The African walked away shaken from the incident.

After numerous calls to the police, a policeman finally told the African what he should do if he were attacked in public the next time by a stranger.”I have been on the force for 35 years and my advice is to walk away,” the policeman said. ”It’s not worth (reporting the crime)  because we’ll never catch the person. My advice? Just walk away.”

Enar cites a number of reasons why only a fraction of racist crimes are reported to the police. One of these is that some may feel ashamed and that their testimony will not change anything; law enforcement authorities do not always record such crimes as such; there are inadequate sanctions for perpetrators and that justice system is not sufficiently equipped to deal with these types of crimes.

Suspected hate and racist crime reported cases between 2008 and 2012.

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An apology from a former Islamophobe

Kathrin Oetrel of Pegida, which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, formally apologized for her role as spokeswoman in the far-right Islamophobic movement. When will Islamophobic and xenophobic politicians in countries like Finland apologize in the same manner as Pegida’s former spokeswoman? 

Don’t hold your breaths, however. There will be no apologies coming from such politicians in this country as long as Islamophobia sells to voters and the media.

Contrary to politicians like Perussuomalaiset* MEP Jussi Halla-aho and a long list of others, it still pays in too many cases handsomely to be Islamophobic and xenophobic.

One of the most important messages that some of these Finnish politicians should pay special attention to is when Oertel states that immigrants and asylum seekers in Germany and Europe are not the root cause of the region’s socioeconomic problems.

“Those still belonging to the Pegida movement need to understand that they are advocating for the wrong cause,” she said and continues: “I want to apologize to all migrants and to all Muslims among them who live peacefully and are assimilated with German society, who respect our culture and laws. They are in the vast majority and most Germans overlook this fact.” |1]