The Eronen-Hirvisaari scandal reveals their contempt for press freedom, immigrants and minorities

by , under Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

Helena Eronen  , the Perussuomalaiset (PS) parliamentary aide who  suggested in a satirically intended blog entry that foreigners and minorities should start wearing armbands,  appeared on two talk shows Friday.  One of the most disturbing matters that is reinforced in both interviews is Eronen’s Hirvisaari-spirited view of immigrants and contempt for press freedom.

Calls to limit press freedom have been the strongest from the PS. Every time a scandal breaks out, and there have been many in the past year from the PS, too many times the standard response is that of the victim blaming the “elitist” media of bullying.

The PS, Eronen and especially Hirvisaari,  who was fined for hate speech in December, conveniently forget that it is the job of our media to hold accountable what politicians say and be society’s watchdog. What would we think of our media if they didn’t report all those unpleasant things about elected officials such as PS MP Teuvo Hakkarainen or former PS councilman Tommi Rautio, who suggested to decorate a Finn for killing in cold blood a Muslim?

Hirvisaari’s contempt for press freedom is a cause for grave concern. He has described journalists as “bloodthirsty hyenas” as well as “arrogant and lying scum.”

This concern appears to be held by the PS parliamentary group as well, which suspended the PS MP for five months for not sacking Eronen.

Apart from the EU, immigrants and especially Islam, some PS members have a serious issue with the media. We have nothing to worry about, however,  as long as the powers of the media are not curtailed.  Spotting double-talk and holding politicians and their aides accountable are the best insurance against tyranny and far-right ideology.

It is easy to spot the rigmarole of the far right in Finland. Eronen, who used to advertise on her Uusi Suomi blog that she belonged to the anti-immigration Muutos2011, said she thought ethnic profiling by the police was wrong but acceptable in some cases.

The way Eronen tried to defend ethnic profiling “in some cases” reveals the concern expressed by the office of the Ombudsman for Minorities.  Rainer Hiltunen, the Minority Ombudsman’s head of office, said this month that he receives calls from foreigners who say they have been repeatedly questioned in the street by police. Some of those stopped are naturalized Finns and visible minorities.

Eronen apologized on A-studio but with her fingers crossed behind her back. She says that she is sorry if what she wrote offended some people but thanked her boss Hirvisaari for standing up for her and his convictions.

Apparently one of those questionable convictions is that it is acceptable to write about armbands that bring back stark memories of the Holocaust and that ethnic profiling is fine by the police.

  1. D4R

    I came to Finland in the beginning of the 90’s, as i recall Finland has always been racist and xenophobic, but seeng the way things are going right now, I believe Finland is stepping in to a new level being a racist and xenophobic. It’s the everyday normal Finn whose being a racist these days, it wasn’t like this before, these radical guys like Jussi , James, Teuvo are elected by everyday oridinary Finn who you meet everyday, so it’s unfortunate the way Finland has deepen in to xenophobia. It’s depressing to live in Finand right now, just meeting with Finns is depressing, times like these gets you paranoid, you just don’t kno who is who, when they’re so many.

    • Migrant Tales

      D4R, things have always been bad but what is especially worrying is that this racism and xenophobia has become a political force in the country. We must do everything possible to challenge this threat to our society.

  2. Akaaro

    I can’t call politicians these idiot rats but i ask many questions to myself, when experiencing Finnish culture. Why Finland government permits us to stay here or why giving protection while still government itself harming our rights, threatening and promoting killing? I would like to ask Finns on this blog what are the grudges you are holding against Somalis and Islam?

    • Migrant Tales

      –I would like to ask Finns on this blog what are the grudges you are holding against Somalis and Islam?

      Hi Akaaro, you make a very good question. I would call it plain ignorance and racism. When we accept certain prejudices as facts we PS MPs like Hakkarainen that fruit like mushrooms when economic times are tough. We must, however, join hands and disprove these prejudices = prejudging. How do we do that? I write this blog, give talks and try to be as active as I can. There are many people like me in Finland.

      If the general public stays quiet is one thing but immigrants, Finns with international backgrounds, minorities cannot afford to be silent. We must raise our voices.

  3. Akaaro

    I have asked that question and others to many Finns before and they had told me that they hate Russians and Somalis, probably they cast too many harsh words to Russians then Somalis. I said, why?. Within tearful eyes they said, Russia was colonised our country and we had paid them back also heavy reparation in order to save the lives of our remaining people.So it is impossible for us to help their sons( their future soldiers) while we are still feeling the pain of our ancestors. Actually, i said sorry to ask you that question. What about Somalis? I have asked. They said, We hear from the news and our politicians that Somalis are bad and muslims but nothing more……. But my question of why Finns hate Islam people and their countries remains unanswered so far

  4. D4R

    Akaaro: I can’t call politicians these idiot rats but i ask many questions to myself, when experiencing Finnish culture. Why Finland government permits us to stay here or why giving protection while still government itself harming our rights, threatening and promoting killing? I would like to ask Finns on this blog what are the grudges you are holding against Somalis and Islam?

    Exactly, this is what i have been asking myself many many times, Finland permitted us entry and since day one we have been getting attacked physically and mentally, right now we’re a shooting point politiclly, there been elected to the parliaments MP’s who just want to put native Finns against us, doesn’t matter to them even if our lifes is at stakes, really a sad life we have been put in Finland, first we had to escape from our country now in Finland we’re facing another nightmare for no reason. But why permiit us in if youre going to lynch us? this lynching has been going on since i came in the 90’s, for how long is going to take, honestly i am literally fed up, seriously

  5. D4R

    Akaaro: ? I would like to ask Finns on this blog what are the grudges you are holding against Somalis and Islam?

    They can’t stand us being first BLACK AFRICANS secondly they hate our culture wich is ISLAM. They have been hating us ever since we came in, it’s deeply rooted in them, i notice that hateret in them, it will never go away, maybe it needs many many generation for that resisting gene to weedout.

  6. Väinämöinen

    This comment fell short of our community standards and was deleted by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.

    RL 11:10, RL 17:10

    • Migrant Tales

      Väinämöinen, that list that you show us sounds like Europeans, or certain types of Europeans who are anti-immigration. All those things you mention are prejudices based on your racism.

      And you are such a chicken that you cannot even speak with your name. You have to hide behind anonymity to make your point. If your employer, friends and even some peers ever found out what you really think, they would tell you a thing or two.

      One thing I never understood is if you have such strong prejudices, why can’t you say them with your name? Is it because you are ashamed of your racism or because you are so far right that the police would put you on their radar screen?

  7. eyeopener

    Hi MT.

    V. seems to be an expert in interchanging different concepts. Islam equals Muslim?? BOEH!!!! He has to learn something. Education is the pre-condition to better judgement.

    Some critical remarks!!

    Women status?? why are there then so many “glass-walls and glass-ceilings2 for women in Europe?? Talking about equality!!

    Muslim inability to adapt?? What about the European colonies that fail to adapt everwhere in the world. MariMekko is a good example.

    Violent culture?? Better look at violence in Europe and ask yourself again who is violent!!

    Intolerant ideology?? Look who’s talking. The purest form of intolerance come from guys publishing at Hommaforum, Suomen Sisu and other right wing group platform like Ylirauto.

    Muslims don’t give value to our societies. Where did you get this plural!! Breivik’s friend?? What do you mean by value??

    Retarded medieval culture?? Historian as well?? Sounds like a tautology!! Therefore: could you define this concept?? As such it doenot mean anything.

    Well, what you say about Islam goes for all religions, isn’t it?? “………but they are doing all these anyway”. Can you bring some facts to the table?? They?? you mean all Muslims??

    Lack of appreciation of our laws and our opportunities. Mixing up two different things?? Again: you say a lot but no evidence!!

    Opportunities?? What do you mean?? A good bit of explanation to do.

    I don’t expect too much. We have already notice the low level!!

  8. Väinämöinen

    Migrant Tales

    sure, anonymity is a problem online. Regardless of this issue some bloggers have reached popularity. It is the message that counts, not who says it. And to put the name here is not the criteria, right?

    Sure this right-wing is an issue. The problem is to convince the others that their way is right. I tried to do so by my own name but it was unsuccessful. But as we know most of the people will come more right eventually. But this takes time…luckily we can just copy our European states as islam has to be demolished. it does not belong here and it will not do so under my lifetime. Muslims don’t integrate into west, they form their own societies-and are not shy to show this.

    Muslim brotherhood play a key-role in this show. They invented islamophobia and the contemporary version of hate-speech to silence down all criticism on islam. UN wants to silence the criticism as well. So you have one element in society who you can’t criticize because it is prohibited even though what you say is true. Everybody knows that if you can’t condemn medieval manners as stonings, amputations, man-compulsory violence by the holy book towards women, genital-cuttings, as many other retarded manners there is not many options left. Why should a muslim woman be treated as second class citizen? It is as absurd as it can be.

    And if you don’t condemn islam then you have to condemn muslims. They have shown (not all but the majority) that the west is not a place for them. When the war(s) is over they will be sent back and build up their own country as they will be more needed here. They who have shown that they belong here could stay in my view, the rest will go.

    The crime and unemployment (form muslims) were published here on one occasion so you can take it from there.

    The chat these Somalies gave out here a few days ago was not anything that belongs here in this country. I hope all Finland saw what these immigrants think.

    When muslims are gone or redused we can start having an honest, constructive and real discussion about racism again.

  9. D4R

    Migrant Tales: If the general public stays quiet is one thing but immigrants, Finns with international backgrounds, minorities cannot afford to be silent. We must raise our voices.

    I agree with you, if the majority of Finns are ignoring these politician’s attacks against their little minority, it’s we who have to stand up and speak against it, what saddens me is, when these racist politicians started attacking us, i had trust on sensible civilized native Finns to stand up against them but they failed us and gave blind eye, now it seems though as we’re on our own, nobody got our back.

  10. D4R

    Väinämöinen, you seem to have alot of hate for us, i don’t hate you, i don’t have reason to hate you, but what amazes me is that you seem to have alot of hate based on your prejudices, and that’s sad because you could never know if i am a good person or not.

  11. D4R

    Väinämöinen: D4R

    DON’T EVEN TRY TO SAY SOMETHING I NEVER DID

    Wow v, slow down man, i not under your authority so you can cut all that shouting and and command ok, this is a debate between you a native Finn who has grudge and hate on me and me an immigrant i your country who wants to understand why you have a grudge and hate on me, what’s the reason, that’s what this M.T thread is all about, not attacking or demeaning.

  12. eyeopener

    No Väinämöinen

    It seems that you want so despeartely play the victim. And for that any “dirty trick”, “distorting what is being said”,”slar and slashing without any shadow of evidence” is allowed. I know this trick already a long time from you.

    Especially when you have to look in your mirror and see the foul play you want to play.
    Here is a small example!!

    “They invented islamophobia and the contemporary version of hate-speech to silence down all criticism on islam”. They = Muslim brotherhood. You are really from another planet.

    “UN wants to silence the criticism as well”. Can you evidence this claim?? Because in the continuation you say that you are right!! In that case you surely will have a lot of evidence!!

    Everybody knows that if you can’t condemn medieval manners as stonings, amputations, man-compulsory violence by the holy book towards women, genital-cuttings, as many other retarded manners there is not many options left.

    What about stonings going on in the Western world?? Especially against people who are gay?? Happens also here. Western retarded methods of excluding people who are different are as harsh as the physical ones. For instance: same sex marriage, trans-sexuals etc. The western holy book the BIBLE is fool of harsh punishments against anybody who differs from the main stream.

    Genitals cuttings?? You probably mean circumcision for males and genital mutilation for females ?? Haven’t heard of people getting their balls cut of?? Both issues are to be dealt with with caution. Stating that the Western world has a better record in this field should research the medical history. Eyeopening!! Easy BLABLABLA without any evidence: as usual!!

    Unfortunately your representation of the crime-factor is again a BLABLABLABLA argument. You don’t deliver any real facts that the ones from the police. We known your reasoning. We also know that the legal evidence is absolutely choking you “to death” but you just deny. That’s your right but hardly convincing the people. That’s why they reject your vision of the “fine world”. Got it??

    I hope that Finland draws it lessons from the Kauhajoki case, Oulu and Helsinki!! Kick the but out of PS and its right wing section!! These are Finns ruining Finland reputation abroad. Hell of a job you are doing for Finland!!

    No necessity to discuss with you. Certainly not where honesty comes arounbd the corner. Who on earth would like to trust you!!

    Constructive discussion means the discussion is already over. YOU ARE RIGHT!!

    Real!! You know what that means?? YOUR REALITY!!

    All your simple, down low sentiments have mede clear that 80% of Finns are extremely more wiser than you. And next election will that even more clearly!! Bet you will get a serious beating.

    As simple as that !!

  13. I am

    Väinämöinen ….. Lack of appreciation for our laws and our opportunities
    Am a foreigner okay,
    If UR law is against me, if Ur law has no respect for my humanity if Ur i made pain for me i cant say oh thanks i appreciate.
    Dear Väinämöinen no opportunity, sigh that was not true in my case, being active and useful for society could not help me at all, oh no
    With respect and hi to all, MT

  14. Väinämöinen

    This comment fell short of our community standards and was deleted by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.

    RL 11:10

    Red Card

  15. Elven archer

    “I would like to ask Finns on this blog what are the grudges you are holding against Somalis and Islam?”

    I’m not interested at the moment to get into the Somali part of your question. I’m in a hurry so I just quickly summarize my views of Islam. I basically dislike the values it promotes. I’m for the equality of sexes, the rights of sexual minorities, the freedom of speech (including drawing anything you like), individuality and so on. So I don’t like Islam and I never will if it doesn’t change radically.

  16. Elven archer

    A religion is just an idea. You have to get used to that ideas can and should always be questioned. The freedom of religion means also that you don’t have to believe and you can say aloud yours views of the subject.

  17. eyeopener

    Hi V.

    You -who pretend to be so well informed- should stand still for a moment and start using the Internet a bit more professional. You don’t follow the Bible, do you?? You follow the law. Excellent!! But which one!! Finnish?? Then let the law do what it has to do. And not you!!

    People all over Europe mentally stone gays -males and females- everyday. Not the hard way but the constant way. But, how can you know?? Yes you can if you just want to feel it. A bridge too far?? I thought so. These are delicate issues not so good for “shovel drivers”.

    You asking me for stats?? 🙂 And never coming up with them when being asked.!!

    Turning the tables again, V.?? Now this time, you have the floor and present. Alright??

    I am right!! Yes I know you think so. Ever wondered why 80% of Finns want you in the sink??

    Your “clique” is actually very small. Mental vultures (people taken advantages of any opportunity) are your biggest problem. Let me tell you this: I respect your position, world of ideas and “die-hard” mentality.

    Your problem however is that the people you think they support you will run away as soon as economy gets better. Mental vultures!!

    Your ideology is easy to counter if I would like to. But I know I better talk to the wall because it gives back critical signals.

    You have no signals, just “shit”

    Simple!!

  18. Väinämöinen

    Rikokset kansalaisuuksittain

    Rikos/FIN/YUG/EST/SOM

    KAIKKI 548852 / 919 / 3207 / 1137
    Raiskaus 281 / 4 / 2 / 8
    Ryöstö 1304 / 31 / 14 / 124
    Törk. ryöstö 327 / – / 18 / 8
    Pahoinpit 23738 / 82 / 105 / 159
    Varkausrikokset 66237 / 161 / 675 / 235

  19. eyeopener

    Continue.

    Wikipedia?? A source of information that makes a break!! V.?? I already classified your education at the elementary level. This is below that level.

    This is how far people can sink::-) 🙂

  20. eyeopener

    WHAAAAAOOOOOOOH!! This is PS, Hommaforum, Suomen Sisu level. My gosh what else can we expect from these “idiots”

    Simply nothing worse………….I hope???

  21. I am

    Väinämöinen,
    well, if people can’t follow our laws then we have to get them to a place where they can
    violate human rights. Not in Finland******
    It is not about following law, it is about ur law when has sun glassess on eyes in the middle of a sunny day,
    What about Ur favourite law when violating human rights????
    To which law then we can complain?
    Do u think law in Finland is completely okay?
    What about ur law when breaks law of human rights????
    No no respect i have for this law
    Dont be fanatical V, law is what some humans come and write it for peace and a safe life for all of us, now if those writers of law have not enough information about my human rights, they dont care about my rights, how can i respect the law that they wrote it down on papers and published it as a law book?
    Present of ur law for me was pain, pain, pain

  22. Elven archer

    “Wikipedia?? A source of information that makes a break!!”

    There are references, you could just follow them to the sources. I guess that is too hard for somebody on a mission of denial.

    “You really can make a horse lauggh!! Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”
    “WHAAAAAOOOOOOOH!! This is PS, Hommaforum, Suomen Sisu level. My gosh what else can we expect from these “idiots”
    Simply nothing worse………….I hope???”

    If being stupid is something to be afraid of and when we have seen your act, what should we deduct from these premisses?

  23. eyeopener

    Hi Elf.

    You are even more stupid then I thought.

    If you can’t come up with anything else than this your level is rightly adjusted.

    Suck your thumb and feel happy in the simplicity.

    Live in your elf world. Like a fairytale you can’t get.

    What a simple dream.

    Need some dope??

  24. Elven archer

    “You are even more stupid then I thought.”

    The key word being you (thought). That is not a cause for concern.

    “If you can’t come up with anything else than this your level is rightly adjusted.”

    I don’t need to when you show that you are not capable of following simple HTML links. The Wikipedia article gives you references to the information they present there. But you are like: duh, it’s Wikipedia, so it can’t be true even though it’s really about the sources which Wikipedia uses.

    “Suck your thumb and feel happy in the simplicity.”

    That’s why I’m here surrounding myself with it.

    “Live in your elf world. Like a fairytale you can’t get.”

    Yes, I already know what is in the end of this cultural relativist madness. It certainly is not a fairy tale, at least a nice one.

  25. eyeopener

    Hi Elf.

    That you are not concerned about your stupidity tells enough about you nihilistic being.

    Your level of research isn’t even linked to HTML. Copy and pasting a link is as good as nothing for a person who self-respects himself and the opponent. You have none of them. Your answer tells me enough about you intellectual level. Groundfloor or even basement.

    Finally you got the message. Your surroundings is Hommaforrum. Fine to suck your thumb and maybe something else as well!!

    Cultural realtivism?? Thanks for this compliment. Especially when it comes from a person that lives in a world of cultural nihilism!!

    Get yourself an education.

  26. Elven archer

    “Your level of research isn’t even linked to HTML.”

    My what? Väinämöinen presented you a link. If you could open it, you would soon (well, it’s you, so maybe later in this case) find out the references used in there.

    “Copy and pasting a link is as good as nothing for a person who self-respects himself and the opponent.”

    Respect is earned. You are incapable of following a simple link and instead begin your gibbering: ““You really can make a horse lauggh!! Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii””, ““Wikipedia?? A source of information that makes a break!!””. But I should not be wondering when we constantly see that for you it’s all about who said what and not what was actually being said. There’s nothing wrong with Wikipedia if the information is there and it’s source is relevant and referenced.

    “Your answer tells me enough about you intellectual level.”

    It’s tells me enough too. Oh, I have also done an IQ test, the Mensa one. According to them I’m one of those 2 % which are qualified to apply membership. I personally think they are wrong because why would I be spending my time here if I were so intelligent.

    “Finally you got the message. Your surroundings is Hommaforrum. Fine to suck your thumb and maybe something else as well!!”

    That makes no sense.

    “Cultural realtivism?? Thanks for this compliment. Especially when it comes from a person that lives in a world of cultural nihilism!! ”

    A compliment? Hardly. From the view point of cultural relativism you can’t judge Nazis or cannibalism because in their culture it’s fine. In the context of cultural relativism you can’t judge Talibans or anybody. The most funniest thing in your cherry picking is it that you have no trouble judging the Finns.

    Why are you here? Just move away if anyone wants you. It’s obvious everything is wrong here, the evil Nazis from the moon are everywhere and so on. Why be miserable? Just move away, find your happiness.

  27. eyeopener

    Hi Elf.

    Continue to live in your dream-world of black-and-white thinking. Your reactions were so predictable. Low level!!

    Finland just does very fine for me. I only object people like you. But you will get over that!!

    Well. your intelligence level??

    Simple but low.

  28. Akaaro

    Elven archer & Väinämöinen
    “I would like to ask Finns on this blog what are the grudges you are holding against Somalis and Islam?”

    Though you are non-muslims and we are muslims, we will never ever agree on a religious matters. but why did’nt you want to answer the above question. Väinämöinen, you said that Somalis violating human rights and that is not true becuase we’re minority victims of this country. You have done to us every bad thing you could do. It never happen elsewhere inhumane actions Finns commited. DID YOU FORGET THE TRAGEDY WHEN FINN ATTACKED THE PIZZERIA IN OULU AND KILLED INNOCENT PEOPLE AND FINN POLITICIAN SAID, MEDAL MUST BE GIVEN THE MURDER IF HE IS A FINN. And nobody talked about that whether its the government or Finnish media.

    • Migrant Tales

      –“I would like to ask Finns on this blog what are the grudges you are holding against Somalis and Islam?”

      Because they are challenged on many fronts. Some feel inferior so they must bash other groups to feel superior.

  29. Elven archer

    “Though you are non-muslims and we are muslims, we will never ever agree on a religious matters.”

    It’s not about religious matters, it’s about values. Religions shape your values. Values drive your behavior. Your and every other individual’s behavior makes a society. And oh, I absolutely know that I am not going to agree on Islamic values ever. Just look at the Islamic countries, what kinds of societies are formed based on people who have Islamic values. If they are so happy places, why don’t you just move there? Exactly…

    “but why did’nt you want to answer the above question”

    I did answer half of it. I’m not interested debating any nationalities. I think everything relevant about Somalis is already said in the public conversation.

    “You have done to us every bad thing you could do.”

    Oh, the gratefulness. So why we are not overrepresented in the crime statistics like some? Even in the hate crimes the statistics show that on average the Finns are not very “active”.

    “It never happen elsewhere inhumane actions Finns commited.”

    What happens in Somalia?

    “DID YOU FORGET THE TRAGEDY WHEN FINN ATTACKED THE PIZZERIA IN OULU AND KILLED INNOCENT PEOPLE AND FINN POLITICIAN SAID, MEDAL MUST BE GIVEN THE MURDER IF HE IS A FINN.”

    And before that he killed a Finn with an axe. That’s what killers do, sad but true. So there was a stupid politician who’s career is now ended because the Finns didn’t like what he said. What more do you need?

    If we are asking questions… did you forget the girl two Somali boys raped? And the Facebook group where many foreigners blamed the victim even though the boys got caught because of bragging their own deed? Some of the comments suggested that if the girl had some value she would not have stayed in the situation. That’s the kind of sick thinking you usually here from certain countries with a certain religion where rape victims are flogged or stoned to death based on certain religious guidelines. It’s all about values.

    “And nobody talked about that whether its the government or Finnish media.”

    It was all over media and the discussion boards.

    http://yle.fi/alueet/satakunta/2012/02/perussuomalaiset_ei_paina_villaisella_koylion_valtuutetun_rasistisia_kommentteja_3271751.html

    There is your nobody. God (The Flying Spaghetti Monster) it’s no wonder the study reported that the Somalis *feel* they are the most badly treated minority in Europe.

    • Migrant Tales

      –It’s not about religious matters, it’s about values. Religions shape your values. Values drive your behavior. Your and every other individual’s behavior makes a society.

      Religion teaches values. Values are what keep out society “glued together.” So, values have a very important role.

      –Just look at the Islamic countries, what kinds of societies are formed based on people who have Islamic values.

      Farang, what do you think is wrong with this statement? Right. You are simplifying, over-generalizing and victimizing. You forget a few minor details like how the West shapes and influences the political scene in many Arabic countries. It’s like Latin America in the 1970s. First Washington supports military regimes and human rights violations and then blames Latin Americans for not understanding or appreciating democracy.

  30. Elven archer

    “Because they are challenged on many fronts. Some feel inferior so they must bash other groups to feel superior.”

    Well, at least we don’t bash the heads of the rape victims with stones.

    “A young woman recently stoned to death in Somalia first pleaded for her life, a witness has told the BBC.”

    “Human rights group Amnesty International says the victim was a 13-year-old girl who had been raped.”

    “Numerous eye-witnesses say she was forced into a hole, buried up to her neck then pelted with stones until she died in front of more than 1,000 people last week.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7708169.stm

    Over a thousand people just watching. They didn’t stop it.

    • Mark

      Elven

      “A young woman recently stoned to death in Somalia first pleaded for her life, a witness has told the BBC.”

      Except it wasn’t very recent, was it Elven. Four years ago.

      Stoning is extremely rare in the Islamic world. Less than a few dozen cases have been officially documented in the last ten years, though it is believed that it happens more often than this in more remote tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, sometimes in Iran, Saudia Arabia, Yemen and also in some areas of Somalia under Al Qaeda.

      But this does not characterise 1.5 billion people and the justice systems that they operate under. Even a hundred or more suspected cases worldwide in the last 30 years cannot characterise 1.5 billion people. It is a ridiculous notion.

      Here is some kind of analogy. In ten years (1998-2008), nearly 500 people died from lightning strikes in the US alone. Now, should we use this much larger number of deaths to characterise the ‘essence’ of weather on earth from a human perspective? Based on your way of looking at the world where you prioritise very rare events to characterise ‘the essence’ of people, then we would. And to avoid the risks of this weather, you would of course say ‘baton down the hatches, no-one is allowed outdoors ever again!’

      Now let’s take another more relevant parallel. Consider the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Christian militant movement operating in Africa that has displaced over 2 million people across 4 countries, and murdered an estimated 100,000 people, while maiming many more. More than 20,000 children have been abducted over the years and forced to fight in this army. Now that is horrific.

      Now tell me that this characterises all Christian people?

      And across the Middle East, stoning has gradually disappeared, though some tribal areas are not easy to police. Iran removed it entirely from the statute in about 2002, mostly from the pressure from within, but also from international pressure too, though some judges continue to pass down stoning sentences that are not carried out, often for political reasons.

      In terms of capital punishments, it is not just the Islamic world that uses them. In the US, capital punishment has wide support as a deterrent, with the US executing up to 50 people a year for capital offences. Yes, it’s more humane, but the outcome is the same, while years spent on death row is another kind of torture. There are so many dimensions to this issue and yet you consider none of them.

      BBC is full of bullshit.

      No, you are the one full of bullshit. You could scour the internet all day and only come up with perhaps a couple of dozen cases of stoning happening mostly in some of the world’s most war-torn, underdeveloped and remote regions. In terms of human rights issues, in terms of the casualties of conflict, in terms of executions as corporal punishment or as a political weapon, it is by any definition one of the least important issues, accepting of course that all human rights abuses are in the end equal.

      So, with 57 countries in the Organisation for Islamic co-operation, each with their own judicial systems, you want to characterise their entire justice systems and the values they embody by something that happens signficantly less often than death by lightning strike? You are a joke, Elven. You’re world view is jaundiced!

      You say that Finland doesn’t have to solve all of the world’s problems. Well, here’s another one for you, neither does Islam!

  31. Elven archer

    And yet the political correctness is trying to make it all look better like the BBC shows: “Convicting a girl of 13 for adultery would be illegal under Islamic law.”

    And yet the people are doing those things saying exactly the opposite, saying they base their actions on the same law. BBC is full of bullshit. There is no such prohibition.

    Sura 24:2 says to flog the adulteress and adulterer 100 times and without compassion. The stoning comes from… actually these texts are a mess like religious texts usually are. There’s very little point to discuss them in detail. It matters the most was really happens in the world and what is the motivation behind that. Many people can’t even read so it’s quite pointless to even discuss what is written and where. The part of every religion that matters is how people are doing it.

  32. Elven archer

    “Religion teaches values. Values are what keep out society “glued together.” So, values have a very important role. ”

    Right. So what happens in multiculturalism when people have very different core values? The society is teared apart, there’s no glue. Every such group which values are very different is pulling their end of the rope in a different direction, not working together to the same direction. And like Putnam described, it only creates trust issues and so on.

    “You are simplifying, over-generalizing and victimizing.”

    Aha! You did that. I just said: “look”. And what did you see? What do you talk about? Your own image of things. I didn’t describe the scene. And yet you deny your own eyes.

    • Migrant Tales

      –So what happens in multiculturalism when people have very different core values?

      What is multiculturalism? This isn’t clear in your comment. If you mean that our society is culturally diverse it means the same thing: common values like acceptance, respect and equal opportunities glue our society together.

      I don’t really buy your idea that we are “so different.” The difference you may be seeing is in between your ears.

  33. Mark

    Elven

    Right. So what happens in multiculturalism when people have very different core values?

    STOP! Right there. Of course,IF you assume that people have very different core values, then you can dream up scenarios where never the twain shall meet and all that. But it’s a huge leap, or drop, to arrive at that conclusion.

    What is it that you think Muslims value? Do you think they value family? Do you think they value peace, friendship and loving relationships? Do you think they value justice? Do you think they value wisdom? Do you think they value freedom and fairness?

    The society is teared apart, there’s no glue.

    Let me see now – what exactly are you doing to build that glue? Elven, at every opportunity, you are saying that Muslims are totally different, inferior and incompatible. YOU are not providing any glue. Even if a Muslim wanted to ‘meet you’ in the middle, there is I imagine nothing they could do to convince you that they were shared something of your values.

    And let’s face it – you gloss over something completely obvious about our society – people disagree about everything. People’s values are really quite different at the end of the day.

    Actually, I agree that you do not simplify or generalise; that would imply that you have seent the big picture, when I would say you are not even anywhere close to having a view of the Islamic world and Islamic peoples. You speak entirely from an ivory tower.

    Do you speak Arabic, Elven? I’m asking for the fourth time now. 😀

  34. Elven archer

    “What is multiculturalism? This isn’t clear in your comment.”

    It’s putting groups of people with not enough common core values in a same society. So there are no acceptance or respect then. Does an Islamist respect a woman wearing a bikini when such a person very often demands that women should wear hijab and so cover themselves? Does an Islamist respect a Western woman like a teacher or some other kind of authority?

    “I don’t really buy your idea that we are “so different.”

    What we? Do you buy the idea that even today some people flog the victims of rape crimes? That in some countries women can’t even drive a car? So yes, some are very different indeed.

    • Mark

      Elven

      It’s putting groups of people with not enough common core values in a same society. So there are no acceptance or respect then. Does an Islamist respect a woman wearing a bikini when such a person very often demands that women should wear hijab and so cover themselves? Does an Islamist respect a Western woman like a teacher or some other kind of authority?

      I know plenty of conservative Christians in Finland that do not like women fluanting their bikinis, so why go after the Muslims, Elven? I know plenty of atheists in Finland that do not like Christianity being taught in schools here or being used in school activities. I guess they do not fit into your idea of Finland either, you know, because they don’t like things the way they are!

      Some of the Irish were bombing innocent civilians until only very recently, are you going to start saying we cannot have Irish people in Finland?

      What we? Do you buy the idea that even today some people flog the victims of rape crimes? That in some countries women can’t even drive a car? So yes, some are very different indeed.

      Same old rubbish. Only ONE Islamic country bans women from Driving. How about the other 56 countries of the OIC where women can drive? No, you take the exception and present it as the rule.

      You are as ignorant as a brick, Elven. Worse than ignorant, because a man of your education should really know better.

  35. eyeopener

    Hi Elf.

    What about the English couple that got arrested in Dubai having sex on the beach. Really respecting the country’s laws!! And many more of those.

    Go and get a look at Dutch beaches where conservative people refuse to accept people sunbathing in bikinis. Are you from a different planet?? It looks more like wishful finding arguments that are not there or not relevant.

    Don’t start this really baby-like arguments!! You said you were soooooooo intelligent!! Can’t see it!

    Ever been in front of a class, Elf?? Respect?? You better get real evidence than your generakizations that come from nowhere. Reactions with links please!! Not Wikipedia, not Hommaforum, Ylirauto etc. Real evidence!!

    Hi Elf. I don’t know if you maybe remember. Female rights in Europe are just 50 years old, including the right to their own name, dressing the way they want, drive a car etc. Don’t make it look like we have the most democratic society in the world. Could you give an explanation of the “glass walls and -ceilings” that women in Europe -also in Finland- meet when pursuing equality of profession.

    And……….give me some real intelligent answer. No such a BLABLABLA what I am used to get from you. Check feministic website on these issues. Good to read for men who think they know the world!!

    Have fun and an intelligent ride 🙂

  36. eyeopener

    Hi Elf.

    Read Putnam a little better would you!! He reasons about something totally different. But in your intelligence you might think people don’t know. Wrong again!! Not very intelligent. Trust and so on. HAHAHA!!!

    So simple stupid. Not really intelligent.

  37. Mark

    Eyeopener

    Hi Elf. I don’t know if you maybe remember. Female rights in Europe are just 50 years old, including the right to their own name, dressing the way they want, drive a car etc. Don’t make it look like we have the most democratic society in the world. Could you give an explanation of the “glass walls and -ceilings” that women in Europe -also in Finland- meet when pursuing equality of profession.

    There is something utterly ridiculous about a heterosexual white conservative male trying to take all the cultural credit for the rights that women enjoy in the West. If it wasn’t for the actions of WOMEN, then there is every reason to think that Western men would still be oppressing them to the same extent as before.

    These are also the same conservatives that are still trying to deny gays their full rights and also trying to water down the rights of ethnic minorities and immigrants. I looked at the gender ratio of PS canditates in the last election, it wasn’t too bad. But looking at the voting patterns, and the male MPs outnumbered the female ones by 3 to 1, wasn’t it, just 10 out of the 39 MPs. Yep, PS is really trailblazing on female representation in politics!

  38. eyeopener

    Hi Mark.

    I didn’t even want to discuss that issue with this “intelligent guy”. Maybe he starts with reading my suggestions to open up some different views.

    Well, when you have watched Iron Sky you have noticed the role of women?? Goldhagen’s deep research on the common Germans in Hitler Germany demonstrates more than enough how male dominant logic pictures the female role.

    Elf lives in a dream-world where his intelligence dominates women. Frustrating and frustrated guy. Wonder how his partner feels about him?? Does he have one???

  39. Elven archer

    “Elf lives in a dream-world where his intelligence dominates women.”

    I oppose to people and cultures who like to dominate women. You defend them. So what are you?

    Same goes for Mark who thinks there’s nothing wrong with the women’s rights in Islamic countries. He’s defending them (the countries, the cultures, not the women obviously) with such a passion it’s clear what is the place for women in Mark’s mind.

  40. eyeopener

    Hi Elf.

    Can’t you get more intelligence out of yourself. Not possible?? I thought so. Again you took just that what you wanted to use for an attack. Shows your intelligence, Elf!!

    Your opinion is loud and clear. Western countries do not oppress women. All other cultures do.

    Cultural, historical, social intelligences donot belong to you package, do they Elf??

  41. Mark

    Elven

    Same goes for Mark who thinks there’s nothing wrong with the women’s rights in Islamic countries. He’s defending them (the countries, the cultures, not the women obviously) with such a passion it’s clear what is the place for women in Mark’s mind.

    Mark has never said there were not problems of women’s rights in Muslim countries. Elven uses this pathetically obvious lie as a way to discredit Mark’s perfectly valid points, which Elven cannot address in any other way except to misrepresent them.

    So, when Mark points out to Elven that his example of how Muslims differ from Finnish people in their core values applies only to one country out of 57 Islamic countries, Elven cries that Mark is defending people who abuse women’s rights. Not only that, but Elven even goes on to utter a complete lie about what Mark thinks the position of women should be.

    What a thoroughly dishonest person Elven is.

    But then, he has no other defence for his pathetically misinformed judgements about Islamic values than to spread lies about what his critics really think.

    What a thoroughly dishonourable person Elven is.

    Come on then Elven, 5th time, do you speak Arabic? 😀

  42. Elven archer

    “I know plenty of conservative Christians in Finland that do not like women fluanting their bikinis, so why go after the Muslims, Elven?”

    a) If they are Finnish citizens, there’s little you can do about that anymore. If they are foreigners, that’s a different story. You don’t have to let people with that kind of values in.

    b) There are many degrees of not liking something. Conservative Christians rarely (in Finland never) stick their noses into somebody else’s life for example in this way:

    “Radicals in Russia have been bombing bikini-clad women to enforce Islamic dress codes.”

    “The social change here has been fast and radical”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/30/terror-attacks-escalate-against-women-in-bikinis-in-russia-s-dagestan.html

    But if there’s only one country where women can’t drive a car, so I guess that makes everything alright then? 😉 Puff. It just vanishes in thin air? There’s not a single effect from Islam to be seen? Not a single different value. Yeah, right. There is no Islamic country which is on the same level in women’s rights than the Nordic countries. None. Not even close. The values, like I said.

    c) Two wrongs don’t make one right.

    d) I speak against the values of conservative Christians too.

    Also I would remind some here that I was asked here twice about the matter why the Finns have, it was suggested, problems accepting Islam.

    • Mark

      Elven

      a) If they are Finnish citizens, there’s little you can do about that anymore. If they are foreigners, that’s a different story. You don’t have to let people with that kind of values in.

      OH, is that the sweet sound of moving goalposts? The question was whether it was fair to say that conservative Muslims (and there are other kinds remember) completely differ in their core values from those in the West. Clearly, the counter example showed that there are people in the West who share similar values.

      So basically, it is not about keeping out people who have values that are different to Westerners, but keeping out values that are different to YOURS. And who is the moral bigot here that wants to shape society in their own image rather than let people have the freedom to choose their own opinions, be the liberal or conservative?

      b) There are many degrees of not liking something. Conservative Christians rarely (in Finland never) stick their noses into somebody else’s life for example in this way:

      So, show me something from Finland Elven. Are the Muslims here complaining about Finnish women wearing bikinis. Because if they aren’t, then you really don’t have an argument, do you!?

      But if there’s only one country where women can’t drive a car, so I guess that makes everything alright then? 😉 Puff.

      I love the way you dismiss this point. You presented this as an example of how Muslims’ core values are so different to the Finlands’ and then it turns out that your example applied to 0.8% of the Muslim population. The only small thing at stake here is honesty, reality, and credibility. But hey, you can just say ‘puff’ to those things. They are not important, are they!

      There is no Islamic country which is on the same level in women’s rights than the Nordic countries. None. Not even close.

      Okay, and I’ll tell you this, if you think with that statement you can discredit all the incredible work being done by Muslim women and Muslim men across the Islamic world to further the rights of women, then you are greatly mistaken. Such an arrogant dismissal of the value of those efforts in favour of a ‘superior’ Finland completely undermines your credibility Elven. Do you think that Finnish women will sympathise with you when you so obviously disrespect the rights work of other women in Islamic countries, such as Nobel prize winner Shirin Ebadi? You are not worthy to tie her shoeless, you arrogant, ignorant puppy!

      Yep, and you want to make sure that no Muslim women ever get to Finland lest they enjoy those extra rights, and no Muslim men can get to Finland to see how well it all works here.

      😀 😀 Stupid idiot!

  43. Elven archer

    “Western countries do not oppress women.”

    In general they don’t.

    “All other cultures do.”

    You could argue easily backed up by the studies that there is no major cultures in the world in which the women in general have as good a position like in the Western culture. For example in Finland women are more educated than men, their “euro is 102 cents” when you take into account also the working hours (which the feminist organizations always leave out to better advance their agenda), they have the same rights: they can wear what they like, they can go to bars, have casual sex and so on. They are as free as men.

    Can you say the same about Islamic countries? Yeah, that’s what I thought. 😀

  44. Elven archer

    “Mark has never said there were not problems of women’s rights in Muslim countries.”

    Good. So there are differences in values. You admit that and still deny it. People have different values for example regarding women’s rights. In Islamic countries they usually base their values and opinions of women in Islam. But you deny it has nothing to do with Islam. Oh my Flying Spaghetti Monster!

  45. Elven archer

    “when Mark points out to Elven that his example of how Muslims differ from Finnish people in their core values applies only to one country out of 57 Islamic countries”

    vs.

    “Mark has never said there were not problems of women’s rights in Muslim countries.”

    A contradiction.

    And driving a car is not a core value. It just reflects the values that are. So we can talk about Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi-Arabia, Somalia and so on and so on.

    • Mark

      Elven

      Your car driving example was a pile of pooh. Don’t blame me because it carries no weight.

  46. eyeopener

    Hi Elf.

    Distorting again??

    “If they are Finnish citizens, there’s little you can do about that anymore. If they are foreigners, that’s a different story. You don’t have to let people with that kind of values in.”

    Finns are need of a thorough education don’t you think Elf!! But too difficult for you. Privacy?? Foreigners don’t have privacy, isn’t it Elf. Morals in the wrong place??

    “There are many degrees of not liking something. Conservative Christians rarely (in Finland never) stick their noses into somebody else’s life for example in this way: “Radicals in Russia have been bombing bikini-clad women to enforce Islamic dress codes.” ““The social change here has been fast and radical”

    What have these examples to do with Conservative Christians?? Oh, Christians don’t do these kind of things. But we were not discussing that. We were discussing their behavior against the female position in Finland

    “In general they don’t” In general they do. But you don’t want to accept that. How could you. Male dominant logic?? No idea of the female reality. Go listen to waht females have to say about your “in general not”. Means in particular yes!!

    Why is there is discrepanancy in male and female earning for the same position?. And don’t come up with the argument that it’s a different job. It’s my profession to read job-descriptions!!

    Why are then so many reports about sexual harrassment in the family and by close relatives or friends?? Ostrich policy. Just denial of facts. Females are not so free as men. In words yes but reality is a different piece of cake.

    Elf. Keep on dreaming your male directed world.

    But don’t blame others to defend another reality.

    Too intelligent? Can’t help!!

  47. Elven archer

    “What about the English couple that got arrested in Dubai having sex on the beach. Really respecting the country’s laws!!”

    Having sex? They were kissing!

    “The pair landed in court after an Emirati woman complained about the public kiss, which the couple insisted was just a peck on the cheek.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/04/dubai-kissing-couple-jail_n_524736.html

    But this nicely proves my point about values. They obviously are not always compatible.

    It’s funny you think kissing is sex and should be therefore forbidden in public. Islam is fixated on sex. It’s ridiculous and the same time scary as hell to forbid people showing affection in so innocent and harmless way.

    But you are right. Let them have it their way if they want it and clearly they do! But don’t come here doing the same. We here like to live without religious tight-asses forcing their restrictions on other people. You can move to Dubai, please just go already. That country would make you and me so much happier. There you can live by your values. Let me live in my own country with mine.

  48. Elven archer

    “Your car driving example was a pile of pooh. Don’t blame me because it carries no weight.”

    So you are saying that the women *can* drive a car legally in Saudi-Arabia? No. So you are saying that doesn’t reflect the women’s rights in that country? No. So you are not saying anything at all, just talking nonsense for the sake of it.

    And what about those burkhas? A bad example about Saudi-Arabia, the Mecca (quite literally) of Islam? 😀

    • Mark

      Elven

      You cannot move the goal posts. You suggested driving bans for women as reflecting a core value of Islam, when in fact it affects less than 1% of the world’s Muslims. You can try and twist it any way you like to make it look like you were making a different point, but thems the facts.

      While I’m sure that women will eventually be able to drive in Saudi Arabia, I’m also quite sure this current ban reflects only a tiny fraction of the attitude to women drivers in the Islamic world.

    • Mark

      Elven

      have you any idea what percentage of Muslim women wear Burkas? Let’s see ifyou can do your homework for a change.

  49. Elven archer

    “So basically, it is not about keeping out people who have values that are different to Westerners, but keeping out values that are different to YOURS.”

    My values are quite Western. The conservative religions don’t define Western culture much these days. The liberal values do, the liberal values are in the core of Western culture. They suggest that do what you want to yourself but don’t hurt others. That’s why we have such great things as casual sex, porn and H&M commercials.

  50. eyeopener

    Hi Elf.

    Hahahah. Nice you wrong posting!! Cool but it shoes your intelligence. I was presenting this one:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/dubai/2275123/British-couple-arrested-in-Dubai-over-sex-on-the-beach.html

    That takes away the sense of your entry dear Elf and make it absolute obsolete. Google.is a nice tool but reading it iseems to be difficult for you.

    Why do you want me to move to Dubai?? Can’t you stand criticism. I am -unfortunately for you- not going to do you that favor. I stay in my Finland -international, multicultural and divers- if you like it or not!!

    You do me too great an honor. 99,9999% of Finns don’t know me. I will stay here and maybe 99% in the end will know me. Having said that I conclude:

    You sad, I happy. You less intelligent, I happy.

    Simple as that. You are no match!!

  51. Elven archer

    Imagine, Mark, what would happen if three million of Saudi-Arabian people came here? Wouldn’t that change the society in a very radical way? Wouldn’t that make wearing bikinis quite difficult? What if less than that moved here? The same but the effect would be smaller. It’s about numbers. It’s possible we can absorb a small number but the price for even that is too high for my opinion. There is no reason we should do that. There is nothing for us in that but just risks and costs.

    • Mark

      Elven

      Last time i checked, we were living in a democracy. If three million Saudis (big IF) moved here, then we would carry on being a democracy. Where did you get that stupid number? 🙂

  52. eyeopener

    Hi Elf.

    Stupid suggestion!! As are your questions. Absolutely irrelevant.!!

    Are you loosing control??

    Let me advise you.

    Leave us here with our discussion and you go and chat with your “gang”.

    Problem solved. You sane again and we happy.

  53. Elven archer

    “I was presenting this one”

    Good, so there’s even more cases showing it is not about some random event. It is nice you are arguing for me. My argument was that there are clear differences in values and you just participated in proving that. Thank you.

  54. Elven archer

    “Last time i checked, we were living in a democracy.”

    Last time I checked it is not still democracy if people turned it to a theocracy. Even by vote.

    “If three million Saudis (big IF) moved here, then we would carry on being a democracy.”

    That is, of course, a way over the top to clarify the principles working here. Like I said, smaller numbers means smaller effect but on the individual level the individuals are still working towards the same goal. To how far they get there, that is about numbers. In Sweden it’s calculated that in this rate it’s possible they are majority of Muslims in maybe 50-200 years. And if it is not, that doesn’t mean there is no effects. It doesn’t take a majority or voting something to have an enormous effect on society.

    Democratic decisions are not equal to good and ethical decisions. They can be, but not necessarily are. Finland is not a Muslim country and it never should be. There are many Muslim countries already. Just move there, if you want to live like a good Muslim and maybe tell women what to wear and punish couples for kissing or holding hands. It is so simple.

    So if there is nothing wrong with these cultures, why don’t you move there? Why do you insist on whining here about our culture, about us?

    Why some people insist promoting their values like those in here? What gives them the right? I strongly believe in individualism. That if there is no good reason to forbid something, it should not be. Live and let live. No scarf police here, thank you.

    • Mark

      Elven

      – “it’s so simple”

      Prejudice always is. It’s a fundamental laziness to deal properly with the complexity of the world.

  55. Elven archer

    “have you any idea what percentage of Muslim women wear Burkas?”

    Too many and in the heart of Islam. On the top of the Islamic religious hierarchy in Saudi Arabia for instance.

    And it’s not about burkhas, it’s more than that. It’s hijab. It’s about men telling women what to wear or else.

  56. Elven archer

    It’s very unfortunate that there are many men here defensing that kind of behavior. It’s ugly. It’s male chauvinism. But it proves my point about the values. People have different values. Some want to oppress women, some don’t. Some want to ban sexuality, some understand how natural it is.

  57. Elven archer

    “Why do you want me to move to Dubai??”

    Because I find your, and I mean just you “eyeopener”, values disgusting. And because it’s obvious you can’t speak in a civilized manner so this conversation is doomed from the beginning.

    “You really can make a horse lauggh!! Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”
    “Finns are need of a thorough education don’t you think Elf!! But too difficult for you.”
    “Stupid suggestion!! As are your questions. Absolutely irrelevant.!!”
    “Elf, when do you get yourself a good education??”
    “Too intelligent? Can’t help!!”

    And so on. You can’t make arguments. You can’t even insult people right. See how calm I am? See how distressed you act? You soon will run out of exclamation marks.

    I actually prefer you to keep going because after all I’m an immigration critic and you are an immigrant. So this image you create of you and the reference group you represent… it’s working very well for me. Keep it up. You and D4R and the others. People are hopefully reading these conversations.

  58. eyeopener

    Listen Elf.

    Your suggestion of 3 million Saudis coming to Finland is a JOKE!! But I understand for you a reality-call?? If I were you I would dig some trenches to hide :-).

    Oh, I see you are also a demographic forecaster. Some education in the field Elf?? “In Sweden it’s calculated that in this rate it’s possible they are majority of Muslims in maybe 50-200 years”. Can you inform me who has made these calculations. Based on what methods??

    Oh, and when not (you already felt your problem, didn’t you) there are effects?? BLABLABLABLA!! How can a guy that boast on his intelligence level write such a crap!!

    We already told you. but it doesnot get into you intelligent mind: Our Finland is multinational, multicultural and divers. And that’s where WE want to be.!!

    If you believe in individualism (what I doubt. Probably you mean egoisme) then what’s your problem with people being different. You motto is not Live and let live. No Elf: you motto is I Llve and you die!!

    Ever thought of what I would coin as: “The hooligan burkah”!! The way how many of your friends hide their faces because they don’t want to be recognized as “fascists”, “racists” of whatever “-ists”.

    Sorry I forgot, that the individual right to dress. But didn’t I remember something like a “dress-code”. Opposed upon people when you want to belong to …………?? Something like arm-sleeving??

    A good hooligan is a HOOD hooligan!!

    As dictated as your “burkah” belief, Elf.

  59. Elven archer

    “It’s a fundamental laziness to deal properly with the complexity of the world.”

    And what about forcing women to wear hijab because of the inability to deal with one’s own sexuality? It that lazy? Is defending it lazy?

  60. Elven archer

    “Your suggestion of 3 million Saudis coming to Finland is a JOKE!! ”

    The joke is that you found that a suggestion or even a realistic example or scenario.

    I can’t help if you can’t separate a principle from it’s obviously highly exaggerated form. But still it was not exaggerated enough for you, like you just yelled to the world. You didn’t get it. You took it literally. Are there enough exclamation marks in the world to correct that?

  61. Elven archer

    “BLABLABLABLA!! How can a guy that boast on his intelligence level write such a crap!!”

    Nice arguments there.

  62. eyeopener

    Hi Elf.

    Playing the morality game again. How do you know all these things that you are writing about?? When do you put finally real evidence on the table!!

    You came up with the scenario dear Elf. Don’t turn tables. Actually I could have known.

    Your principles are as undefined, unscientifically as can be. Like I said before. No defintions, not argumentations no nothing. Yes!!

    Crap, Elf, is everything you have been writing here.

    The only thing you do is trying to “piss-off”. The best thing to do for you, Elf, is to join Ylirautio as piss-off there.

    No match !!

  63. Mark

    Elven

    Last time I checked it is not still democracy if people turned it to a theocracy. Even by vote.

    Yeah, yeah…paranoid rubbish. So why haven’t the 16 million Muslims in Europe all moved to Finland, and then they can take over the place!!

    Europe’s Muslims are very happy to live in a democracy, by and large. There are always a few nutters around, like yourself, who has no clue about how the real world functions and dreams of making things fit only to their own narrow expectations.

    And what about forcing women to wear hijab because of the inability to deal with one’s own sexuality? It that lazy? Is defending it lazy?…It’s about men telling women what to wear or else.

    When you can give me a rough estimate of exactly how many Muslim women wear the Hijab/Burkha etc, then we can have a discussion about how relevant it is.

    Second, many people wear a garment to signify something about their beliefs. If you wear BOSS underpants, I take it that reflects your freedom and choice to display a particular brand – cool man. and all that! If someone wears a hijab, then they are wearing a brand generally knows as Allah. Cool brand for some. 😀

    Many Muslim women might argue that Bikinis are only worn by Western women as a sign of their oppression to men, that they have to make themselves look ‘sexual’ just for men? Sound stupid? Well, it’s about the same as you saying the Hijab is only a sign of the oppression of women. Who knows what women would wear if bikinis didn’t turn on men.

    Freedom starts by giving people a choice. If you ban Hijab, you take that choice away. In the name of what? Your chosen secularism. Who is imposing their beliefs on who?

    So, for the sixth time, do you speak Arabic? 😀

  64. Mark

    Elven – the man who says this:

    It’s ugly. It’s male chauvinism. But it proves my point about the values. People have different values. Some want to oppress women, some don’t. Some want to ban sexuality, some understand how natural it is.

    And then says this:

    That’s why we have such great things as casual sex, porn and H&M commercials.

    without thinking for a second about the implications for women, the exploitation of women or the objectification of women. Nothing wrong with sex, Elven, but it’s amazing how blind you are to the real issues for women!

    Why some people insist promoting their values like those in here? What gives them the right? I strongly believe in individualism. That if there is no good reason to forbid something, it should not be.

    You are promoting your values. You are suggesting that values that you oppose are alien to the West, but when it’s pointed out to you that in fact they are not so different to the views of many Westerners, you try to shift your arse out of the sling by talking about wearing a scarf. A fucking scarf! Do you really think that wearing or not wearing a scarf makes us fundamentally different human beings? What a fucking dolt!

  65. Analyysi

    16 million was mistaked. The more accurate would be 61 million muslims, there is even a muslim (or is it islamic) state in Europe.

    The Sharia law is wanted among the muslims ranging from 14 % accourding polls in Norway to 56 % in Germany. So a few nutters is perhaps not a good word to use.

    • Migrant Tales

      Analyysi, what is your aim on Migrant Tales? There was a very kind and open woman, Zeinab, who was a breath of fresh air compared with what some are commenting here.

      What Is Sharia law analyysi? Why do we have Sharia law and do you think it has any role in our culturally diverse society?

    • Mark

      Analyysi

      16 million is not a mistake as such, that is the number in the EU. In Europe in total about 53 million, excluding Turkey.

  66. eyeopener

    Hi Analyysi.

    Evidnec of your claims?? No Hommaforum, Suomen Sisu. or other “biased sites” please. Who conducted these “polls”. Why were these “polls” held. What purpose do these “polls” serve??

    Maybe you are a nut yourself??

    • Mark

      Analyysi

      I know what I was talking about, and it’s common enough to refer to the EU as Europe. The figures are from 2007. But hey, the point I’ve been making is that Europe has already millions of Muslims and it hasn’t been problem. Even now the major terrorism in Europe has been separatist. Only less than 1% of EU terrorism in the last ten years has been Muslim extremists. Police and intelligence services do a good job too.

  67. Elven archer

    “A fucking scarf!”

    I think you just insulted Muslims with your comment.

    First of all, it is not necessarily a scarf. It can be a burkha, a niqab and so on. Hijab means dressing “modestly” and the basis of it is mostly in Quran 24:31. Quran actually lists there all the people who are exceptions to the rule. It’s quite… well… not funny considering how people are endorsing it… but still… It’s quite extreme, one could say.

    And the second thing, it’s not about some clothing. It’s a symbol primarily and an item secondarily. The scarf is just a scarf when you wear it just for fashion, when you are cold, when you just feel like it and when you can easily not wear it and so on. If you wear it all the time except the mentioned exceptions because of your religion, it tells much more about you. It tells you take your religion seriously, a way too seriously if you ask me. That kind of devotion very likely shows in other places too. Except when you are forced to wear it, like it too often happens. Then is just tells us that you are being oppressed.

    • Mark

      I think my point is very clear, though I’m not surprised to see you turn it into something else. By designating the hijab as being something on your list that defines a totally different set of core human values, YOU let a piece of fucking fabric get in the way of seeing the humanity of 1.5 billion Muslims, or half that if you consider it is only women wearing any kind of veil, though many don’t.

      There is nothing holy about a scarf Elven, it’s merely to protect modesty you dolt.

    • Mark

      Elven

      Yes, it is a symbol of modesty. But for you it symbolizes something else, and by that i don’t mean the oppression of women, about which i think you don’t give two fucks. Rather, for you it is a symbol of incompatible values, and more, a reason to deny them entry into Europe. And your symbolism amounts to gross discrimination, regardless of the wider debate about women’s rights.

  68. Elven archer

    “You are suggesting that values that you oppose are alien to the West”

    Like they are.

    “but when it’s pointed out to you that in fact they are not so different to the views of many Westerners”

    The views are different. A conservative Westener is much more liberal than a conservative Muslim. Your thinking is so black and white. And the mentioned conservative religious values don’t define the Western culture, not at all. We still have porn (which was a very nice hook from me to you to bite. It’s a good test to see how liberal people really are, how much they support the idea and the act of free will. Needless to say you failed.) and people running around in mini skirts and tops (the summer is almost here, I just can’t wait) and we can critisize relion as much as we like. But not Islam of course. The prophet of the religion of *peace* for example can’t be drawn publicly or there will be riots in some countries, death threats and even murder attemps, or at least that is the lesson of recent history. It’s quite ironic, don’t you think? But of course the whole peace thing is a misunderstanding, a translation error. It’s actually about submission. On the other hand, one can make a statue of Jesus, dip it to urine and call him gay and sell tickets for that. And that is fine, of course. What is not fine is the fact that you can’t see a difference.

    The deph and breadth of religion is just not there in the Western world like it is in Islamic world. I really don’t know what kind of moron it would take to deny that. I guess we’ll find out soon enough?

  69. Elven archer

    “By designating the hijab as being something on your list that defines a totally different set of core human values, YOU let a piece of fucking fabric get in the way of seeing the humanity of 1.5 billion Muslims, or half that if you consider it is only women wearing any kind of veil, though many don’t.”

    Only women wear it and so you deduct that you can count men out. That is so funny. Actually the fact the women are wearing it has something to do with the men being very religious. That is the nature of a highly patriarchal religion. And of course it’s not just that “getting in the way of seeing the humanity”. You are so funny, Mark. Where did you get that one? It’s the whole package. And it’s quite the opposite. I think some values can get in the way of seeing the humanity. But I’m sorry. I don’t back up your precious conservative patriarchal collective values. Not now, not ever.

    “There is nothing holy about a scarf Elven, it’s merely to protect modesty you dolt.”

    Like I said, and you didn’t understand, it’s just an item. It’s not holy in itself. But it’s a symbol for something very holy, too much is you ask me. The word of Quran is holy. Hijab is basically in the minds of certain religious people a meter to measure do you disrespect their god or not. Like I said, the item is secondary, but wearing it is a religious statement. And it also decides in the minds of some people, if they consider you a bad woman (i put it more nicely than the people I’m referring to) or not.

    There are reports of scarf “police” (self appointed, of course) even in Finland too.

  70. Elven archer

    “And your symbolism amounts to gross discrimination, regardless of the wider debate about women’s rights.”

    I also dislike the Nazi symbol. Do you have problems with that too? You know, I’m against neo Nazies moving to Finland. So start bitching about that. Buuhuu, Elven is so mean…

  71. Mark

    Elven

    The views are different. A conservative Westener is much more liberal than a conservative Muslim

    Says who? Have you said hello to the local tea party recently? They don’t want abortion, rights for women, they want women at home having babies, they don’t want rights for gays and transexuals and they want more and more to have Christian church welded to the secular state. Check out Rässänen’s views on gays, for instance. Have you checked out Timo Soini’s views recently?

    The point is that democracy tolerates degrees of conservatism and it certainly tolerates different views of what gives rise to the best society. By claiming religious conservatism is alien to the West, you are plainly wrong. The vast majority of Muslims in the world are not extremists. This is the simple fact that you have not processed.

    Not only that, but in arguing for liberalism and especially for immigrants to have the same liberal political views as yourself, you show that you are in fact trying to engineer a political profile for immigrants, and not specifically a social one. You don’t want immigrants here who will support a different political stand to yourself. I don’t think you care two fucks for how immigrants actually live their lives.

    We still have porn (which was a very nice hook from me to you to bite. It’s a good test to see how liberal people really are, how much they support the idea and the act of free will. Needless to say you failed.

    Yes, like I didn’t see that one coming. Don’t flatter yourself Elven, I see your pathetic games coming a mile off. And needless to say, pointing out that mentioned porn with absolutely no qualification of all the issues that go with, that are very much to do with the exploitation of women, trafficking of women and the objectification of women. That does not mean I oppose porn in principle. Not at all. But porn that serves men through an industry of exploitation of women is not exactly a ‘liberal’ sex industry’, is it. It’s more like a sex slave industry. You can have porn, but you should acknowledge the very serious issues that go with it. If you don’t, you absolutely have no moral authority to speak about women’s oppression in other countries.

    The prophet of the religion of *peace* for example can’t be drawn publicly or there will be riots in some countries, death threats and even murder attemps, or at least that is the lesson of recent history.

    So what? If it means something to them and it means nothing to you, why do you have desecrate it? If it really is ‘meaningless’ to you to draw something that is offensive to Muslims, then why would you do it? Just to show you can? Just to show them that you have ‘power’? Pathetic. Let Muslims have their traditions. It’s a fucking drawing for Christ’s sake. We don’t have to draw a symbol that is sacred to other religions. What do we prove? How free we are or how disrespectful we are?

    It’s really no big deal (choosing not to draw Mohammed) and people make a huge deal about it. Yes, some Muslims overreact to it, and murder and rampage and riot, and that should not be the reason that we choose not to draw Mohammed. It should be out of plain and simple respect. And if we showed respect, then we wouldn’t be arguing with Muslims about their reaction to our provocations. It is so completely pointless picking a fight with Muslims over this. It’s their symbol. It means nothing to non-Muslims, so why would we desecrate it? Plain fucking stubbornness, and I cannot justify that in my head.

    If atheists (or Christians) are so smart, then they can choose their battles. Choosing to battle over cartoons seems to me to be the wrong battle. Battling extremism and radicalisation is the battle, and that is not won by completely pissing all over the symbols of a person’s religion. And an athiest that demands their own rights of freedom over and above all others simply because THEY believe they are right is itself a kind of fundamentalism.

    The deph and breadth of religion is just not there in the Western world like it is in Islamic world. I really don’t know what kind of moron it would take to deny that. I guess we’ll find out soon enough?

    Okay, it’s clear you know next to fuck all about Islam or Muslims. You don’t speak Arabic, which fundamentally limits your ability to understand what Islam is. Second, you clearly don’t understand religion in the West. Christianity in America, and to an extent in Finland, characterises many people’s entire world view. Muslims are no more or less religious than Christians, and many Christians would be deeply offended if you were to attempt some kind of poxy scale of ‘faith’. Many people are Christian only in name, or baptism, but many many are in faith and spirit too. You really do see the world through your atheist bubble, imagining all the good things of the world are given by secularism, humanism and atheism, while religion is the root of all fairy tale and misery. And you think I see it black and white!

    Elven, you pathetically attempts to discredit 1.5 billion people on the basis of those that wear scarfs and those that don’t; on the extremely rare but admittedly barbaric custom of stoning, which happens mostly in the world’s most far flung and remote areas, and which happens much less than corporal punishment executions carried out in the West by e.g. the USA; and the fact that us non-Muslims cannot resist for a second pissing all over the sacred symbols of Islam just to prove we can and just to provoke a reaction so that you can say, he look, they are angry. Look how superior we are. But guess what: When Westerners are angry, they protest and riot, and yes, people often die too, though much less than previously was the case, granted. Five people died in last year’s riots in the UK. 100 serious fires, over a 100 homes ransacked, and a bill for £200 million pounds.

    There is not a single thing that you can produce about the Islamic world that has not happened to some extent in the Western world. And that is no surprise, because at the end of the day, we are all human beings. We have the same failings, the same beautiful characteristics.

    By all means, oppose extremism, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. And don’t become an extremist yourself in the process. You do none of us, your fellow Europeans, any favours if you do.

  72. Elven archer

    “Rather, for you it is a symbol of incompatible values”

    For me? Um, it’s more like for them it is an important object, a tool, in their religion. It shows devotion to the religion which has values I’m not so fond of. It is a proof of their devotion for themselves also. But I’m asking if they are so devoted to Islam, well, there’s a lot more in Islam than just hijab.

    I will never understand the fixation Islam has on sexuality. Actually that was not true, that was just a figure of speech. I understand from where does it come from but I don’t approve it.

  73. Mark

    Elven

    Only women wear it and so you deduct that you can count men out. That is so funny. Actually the fact the women are wearing it has something to do with the men being very religious. That is the nature of a highly patriarchal religion.

    Originally men wore veils too in the Arabian deserts! And veils on women predate Islam, and go back to Persians and Byzantines.

    I’m well aware of what patriarchy is and some cultures in the world are clearly more patriarchal. However, I absolutely cannot accept that Finland or any other country has finished dismantling its own patriarchy. Second, the more Muslims there are in the West, exposed to Europe’s moderating effect, the better. It was the case that many of the Arab uprisings were organised and led by exiles returning home who had spent significant time in living in the capitals of Europe and learning from their experience. You seem to take absolutely no account of this process of cultural exchange or influence. Indeed your view of the world is static and brittle.

    I don’t back up your precious conservative patriarchal collective values. Not now, not ever.

    You make the mistake of thinking that someone that defends the right of someone else to hold conservative views must himself be a conservative. I guess that is the view of someone that cannot see past his own perceptions and especially someone that has not truly understood the nature of a democracy and social freedom. I am not a conservative. Indeed, I would argue against conservative values. However, I certainly don’t think that conservatives are any less human beings, or that they should be denied rights based on their political or religious beliefs. I certainly don’t think you can control human migration on the basis of what colour someone’s politics or religion is. That is a bigotry in itself. One you do not seem to grasp.

    Like I said, the item is secondary, but wearing it is a religious statement.

    So what? Why are you getting your knickers in a twist. What is wrong with that religious statement? Who does it hurt? The question is really one of choice. What you don’t seem to understand is that if the choice is truly that of the man’s, then banning the hijab means that these oppressed women are kept indoors or travel in blacked out cars. You have not helped them one bit by making it illegal. Not a single man has been prosecuted in France to date for forcing someone else to wear a veil. What a complete waste of time that law was.

    What about the oppression of women in Finland that means they have to carry the vast majority of the child care burden, even in today’s ‘modern’ Finland? The take up of fatherhood leave is still very disappointing, and more importantly, the longer leaves are taken up almost exclusively by women, with a few hundred exceptions. Women’s low wages, insecure employment relationships and men’s reluctance to even discuss the matter are the major stumbling blocks to sharing the load more fairly. The other factor is breastfeeding, which women are being encouraged to do for one whole year. Once the woman is settled into that routine, it is very hard to break it. This is the reality of patriarchy in Finland. Care to comment on that before you start talking about patriarchy in Saudi Arabia?

    There are many issues to discuss in Islam, to do with rights, the rights of women, the judiciary, the extent and reach of the law. But guess what, Muslims are debating these things, all across the world. Each corner of the world finds it’s own solutions, no two being identical. Is that surprising? Not at all. Except that your homogenous view of the world and your utter pessimism towards Islam completely blind you to the normal everyday functioning of societies and people in the lands of Islam. The world faces challenges, no question, but your approach is not to debate or find solutions. Your approach is to sit in judgement, and that is why it is fundamentally flawed. Criticism is one thing, but devaluing Muslims as human beings is something else – something akin to fascism. Take it or leave it, but that is the lesson of history.

  74. Mark

    Elven

    I will never understand the fixation Islam has on sexuality.

    Says the man who just stated not half a dozen messages ago that casual sex and porn were the ‘great things’ coming from liberalism in the West! What a fucking hypocrite you are!

  75. Elven archer

    “It’s really no big deal (choosing not to draw Mohammed) and people make a huge deal about it.”

    It’s a huge deal. The biggest! It’s about knowing you can’t do something innocent like draw a picture or someone will kill you for that. Not a big deal? What the f…? And if the threatening works, what comes next? It’s about the freedom of speech also. Today a cartoon of Mohammed, what is it tomorrow?

    Who doesn’t think it’s a big deal if we are living in a society in which your life or death is hanging on a thin thread like that? That there are people amongst us who are willing to commit a murder for a freaking cartoon! That is not a big deal? Has the world gone insane? Certainly some people are.

    And who gives anybody the right to decide what I can draw? And threating me with death? What the fuck? Yes, I really want the “power”, the option, to draw what comes to my mind. That is called being free. Being free of tyranny. And you think I’m the bad guy here because of not submissing to accepting or liking the terrorist tactics because that is what they are if they threat you with death.

    What if you couldn’t eat spaghetti because then you would be eating my god, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, hallowed be thy name? You just can’t make random demands to people and threaten them. To me the demand of not drawing something is as absurd as the spaghetti example. But of course, your sympathies goes for them. People who thread others with death. You understand *their* feelings. How else.

  76. Elven archer

    “Says the man who just stated not half a dozen messages ago that casual sex and porn were the ‘great things’ coming from liberalism in the West! What a fucking hypocrite you are!”

    And they are truly great things if people do it freely (maybe the greatest part of it is that you can do it, it’s an option you are free to take which was not always the case). It’s nobody else’s business.

    How can you not understand the simplest thing: if you try to control other people’s sexuality and even dominate it like in some religions is the case, it is a fixation. If even talking to a man not a member of your family or not wearing a scarf is a huge thing for you, it’s a fixation. That means you interpret almost every normal social contact by sex. That’s a fixation.

    If you could not care less what other people do (if it’s their free will), then it’s clearly not an obsession. I don’t care how others express their sexuality ergo I’m not fixated in sexuality. Some are so much that they even tell others what to do and what to wear and even force their fixations on others.

    Simple but true logic, Mark.

  77. Elven archer

    I have detected a pattern here. When Mark doesn’t understand something, he’s defences take over and he starts insulting you. So from now on I just patiently explain things to him (again).

  78. Elven archer

    “I’m well aware of what patriarchy is and some cultures in the world are clearly more patriarchal.”

    A breakthough!

    “the more Muslims there are in the West, exposed to Europe’s moderating effect, the better.”

    Another one!

    So why all this when you clearly agree that there are clear differences? Now it’s just a matter of the efficiency of that “moderating effect”.

    I think it is not worth it. Not for us anyways. I have not always thought so. When I was young and naive and knew little of… certain cultures I believed these people will see the advantages in the free way of life if they experience it. I have gathered lots of knowledge since then. Many studies and figures show that 2nd generation is quite often less moderate and more conservative than their parents. That’s alarming. Then there’s the cost of whole process. The effects on society these people have. And so on.

  79. Elven archer

    Needless to say I have lost my optimism in the matter after gaining sufficient knowledge what is actually happening and why. I really would like to call me a cynic but sadly it’s not the case. You can’t take your knowledge out of your head and pretend it wasn’t there in the first place.

  80. Mark

    Elven

    It’s a huge deal. The biggest!

    Don’t you see the irony in this response? You say it’s a big deal, and Muslims say it’s a big deal. How are you any different to them?

    You have a choice, and you are choosing to make it into a big deal, but then you complain that they are making it into a big deal! But who came first? This is their symbol. What does it take to show some simple respect?

    You complain that it won’t end there, but really, you have started at the very heart of their sacredness. Why? I have little sympathy when it comes to the anger. I do not think that you should come to harm, but I think people have a legitimate right to express their anger to you You broke their trust. For them this is no ‘small’ matter, however small it might be for you. Should you respect that difference between you, or should you impose your own view of the world? Well, you are free to choose, but if you aggressively seek the right to desecrate other people’s religion, I have to say I think you are slightly nuts and probably a fundamentalist too.

    How can you be protecting us and our freedom if you commit actions that us to war when none threatened? You are not protecting anything – you are destroying something. Many a crime has been done in the name of freedom!

    You don’t want to respect religion. Fine. That should not be illegal in my view. However, I think only a fool or a fundamentalist would choose to do that.

    Look at the sacredness that the Finnish flag is held in. I’ve been told I cannot put up a Welsh flag on flag day because it’s disrespecting Finns. The flag must be clean, otherwise it’s disrespectful. I don’t know exactly where the boundaries are, but they are there…and I do respect them, even if I really would like to be able to put a Welsh flag up. It is a pretty dragon after all!

    Society is all about boundaries, and by respecting those boundaries, we can function as a society, as a basic system of trust. Of course, it’s not perfect and people abuse it, in all sorts of ways. But it works because the majority of people implicitly understand and support it.

    What you are suggesting, with your version of ‘free speech’ is to undo the fabric of that trust and to impose your own secularism on people with religious sensitivities. And for what? To play with symbols that don’t actually mean anything to you, but which are sacred to a great many people? That is fundamentally disrespectful.

    Who doesn’t think it’s a big deal if we are living in a society in which your life or death is hanging on a thin thread like that?

    Yeah…who thought that baiting Muslims could be so dangerous!? Fool! You can complain all you like, but there are ‘symbols’ that you will equally value to the point of death. You served in the Finnish army? You would fight for ‘Finland’? Well, I’ve news for you, that is a symbol.

  81. Elven archer

    “How are you any different to them?”

    Because it’s my life to do as I please. Because I am not the one making death threats and even acting on them. A couple of years ago a Somali man, if I recall correctly, tried to murder Kurt Westergaard with an axe. Westergaard just drawed a picture. Even now he’s living under police protection. If you can’t make any differences in these kinds of behavior, I’m speechless for once in my life.

  82. Mark

    Elven

    You can’t take your knowledge out of your head and pretend it wasn’t there in the first place.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but you don’t have knowledge.

    A breakthough!

    No. You simply were told what I thought, rather than the assumed ignorance that you attributed to me.

    Another one!

    No. You simply cannot be bothered to actually find out what I think. You are so busy putting up straw men or falsehoods that we rarely get to actually discuss the real issues. And when we do, it surprises you that I can see something of what is really a very obvious reality. The thing you lack Elven is perspective!

    So why all this when you clearly agree that there are clear differences? Now it’s just a matter of the efficiency of that “moderating effect”.

    Well, that’s a very good question. We are no longer imperial Europe. The absolute easiest thing to do is exaggerate the threat of an ‘enemy’. In the midst of this narrative that is the ‘war on terror’, the biggest casualty is perspective. I simply refuse to trade in perspective for a mess of pottage. You cannot give away trust and respect and hope to gain freedom.

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say there are ‘clear’ differences. Rather, I would say that those ‘clear’ differences are equally ‘clear’ inside our culture as opposed to between our cultures. Often the same things are there but they are so familiar that we don’t notice them as being the same. It’s much easier to see the blemishes in other people’s portraits. And we don’t even look to seem them in ourselves. We decide that what they value is a heap of shit and we would never be seen dead ‘wearing that’. It’s like reducing culture to a fashion parade. There is something plainly false about it; there is something superficial. And usually, when we get caught up in the superficial, like the Emperor’s clothes, then we have lost perspective in other areas of our lives, in other areas of how we relate to other human beings.

    You put up veils and songs, and prayers and worship and you say these things stand between you and other people, who are so different. You hunt out the most base and brutal in the opposing culture and then ascribe it to all of that culture. Now that’s a cut and paste job, if ever I saw one.

    You simply do not know enough about the world. You imagine you see all its dangers, and actually you don’t see the danger of your own ignorance. OH, I know, you see the danger of mine, and his, and his and his…but not your own.

  83. Mark

    Because it’s my life to do as I please. Because I am not the one making death threats and even acting on them.

    NO, but you are the one baiting those that do. There is no reason for you to pick a fight with Muslims. You can of course do with your life ‘as you please’, but if that means choosing to bait Muslims, then what kind of fool are you?

    Like I said, all countries have their sacredness. Someone pissing over the balcony at the President’s Ball would probably spur outrage and ostracisation, maybe even criminal proceedings. But one could equally say, ‘but I can do with my life as I please’. Such a limited understanding of how your life links to that of others is lamentable.

    A couple of years ago a Somali man, if I recall correctly, tried to murder Kurt Westergaard with an axe. Westergaard just drawed a picture. Even now he’s living under police protection. If you can’t make any differences in these kinds of behavior, I’m speechless for once in my life.

    No, you’re not speechless.You are just refusing to accept that you might share something of the essence of the very thing you hate. Westergaard probably knew full well that he would unleash a storm of protest. One could say that painting a huge penis on the Finnish Parliament Building is ‘just drawing a picture’. You could say that scribbling a cartoon on the Magna Carta or the Doomsday Book is just ‘drawing a picture’. But if you stop to think, you know that you have hidden a great deal with that easy phrase.

    Like i said, if you go baiting Muslims, then don’t surprised that a few of them will try to bite you. And don’t be surprised that because these Muslims you are baiting have been fighting civil wars for the last three or more decades that they happen to have Kalashnikovs in their hands! Just saying.

    That the world has its fundamentalists should not really come as a surprise to you. You do realise that Finns were at each other’s throats not more than three or four generations ago. 30,000 dead, many executed brutally.

    There by the grace of God, go I.

    You are too quick to judge, Elven. Do what thou wilt, but love under the law.

  84. Elven archer

    “You have a choice, and you are choosing to make it into a big deal”

    The other option is that I don’t have a choise, big deal or not.

    “But who came first?”

    One’s drawing obviously comes always first. You create something, art or a statement, it’s yours. Don’t you see how dangerous it is if you accept thinking which goes like this: “do this. don’t do this. or we’ll kill you”? Don’t you find that kind of thinking just sick? Don’t you understand what giving the Devil your little finger means?

    If terrorist tactics work, and sadly in this matter they did, they use it again. Just some time ago Obama apologised US army destroing Qurans. Destroying them was no statement. It was no insult. They were left over Qurans which they burned because they had no use for them anymore and they had to clear the space. And maybe you know or can guess what happened then. Bad things happened. And what did Obama after that? The same mistake all over again: he gave them what they wanted. Again violence worked, it produced the wanted output. So the next time…?

    In Germany the Salafists are handing over free Qurans. Their goal is to give one to each household. Oh boy, that’s mess just waiting to happen when people are trying to get rid of those.

    “This is their symbol. What does it take to show some simple respect?”

    Death threats? Respect is earned. And it’s not my holy symbol. And if I drew something, that would not be theirs, it would be mine. If Nazis were in power and they said you can’t ridicule Hitler, you can’t draw Hitler under a penalty of death, would you be asking me the same? Would you be saying it’s no biggie, just don’t do it? Why some people get so offended, that is not very important. The important thing is that you must not give away your rights under the threat of violence.

    Some people must learn that if they are offended, no wait, not maybe even offended, if they feel offended, that does not give them the right to kill somebody. The only way to do this is not to give in to the scary tactics.

  85. Elven archer

    “Yeah…who thought that baiting Muslims could be so dangerous!? Fool!”

    You said it’s just a religion like the rest. You said there’s nothing to fear from Islam and it’s influence spreading in Europe.

    So why would it be so dangerous? Yeah, I got you, Mark. A full nelson. Ippon, really. I end this conversation after this message. You admitted what I wanted to hear. I got the truth out of you, your true feelings.

    “You can complain all you like, but there are ‘symbols’ that you will equally value to the point of death. You served in the Finnish army? You would fight for ‘Finland’? Well, I’ve news for you, that is a symbol.”

    I would not fight for a mere symbol. Finland is more than a symbol: the people, the land. I would fight only to defend my family from a physical harm, from invaders threating their lifes and mine, from invaders slaving them, invaders coming to take my property. You are not very competent with analogies, it’s obvious. I would not fight for a symbol. I would fight only to defend us from a phycical, concrete harm.

    The correct analogy would be what would I do if somebody burned a Finnish flag or insulted Finland or Mannerheim or insulted my beloved and mighty The Flying Spaghetti Monster, the mightiest god there is. Nothing. I could write a response argumenting they are wrong if I thought they are wrong. But not even on their personal email, I wouldn’t disturb them. If they were debating on an open discussion board, maybe then I would debate the matter. But basically I would do nothing. I’m a civilized man.

    If somebody thinks that words or pictures are enough a reason to kill someone obviously that somebody is not a civilized human being.

  86. Mark

    Elven

    Let’s try and clarify what the debate is from my point of view, especially as you claim to know my ‘true feelings’ about this topic. First, the issue is about who has:

    a) the right to offend and
    b) the right to be offended.

    On top of this there are two more questions

    c) what is legal/illegal
    d) what is socially acceptable

    And finally there is the question of how Muslim religious sensibilities fit into this.

    It is not a foregone conclusion that the right to offend is always possible or always legal in a modern society. Many things can be both offensive and illegal, such as rape, or defamation. With freedom comes responsibility.

    Society has to weigh up one person’s right to freedom against another person’s right to not have their well-being undermined by someone else exercising that ‘freedom’ to do what they please. I cannot see us arguing about this.

    My view of the cartoon issue is simple. People in the West have the right to draw these cartoons. They are not illegal and I don’t think they should be. People have the right to publish them too. The simple picture is that we have the right to offend, and it’s an important right in the sense that at the end of the day, religious symbols do not define the limits of what is illegal (ignoring blasphemy laws for the moment). This is secularism, to simplify. Again, I cannot see us arguing about this point either.

    While people have the right to draw a cartoon, I also feel that people have the right to be offended by that, and to express that in all manner of legal ways, including street protests, burning flags and effigies, condemnation and any other legal means that expresses the extent of anger and outrage. This is where I think we start to differ in opinion. If drawing a cartoon of Mohammed is okay, then of course burning a flag of Finland is okay. Is that legal? It should be. If that offends you, then perhaps you know how Muslims feel about your desecration of their symbols.

    In attacking religion, you would likely argue that the cartoon is merely a drawing and that it has no power, and that any power we attach to it is ‘magical’ and so has no place in modern secular society. You would be right only as far as you take the argument. The drawing has no ‘power’ to you. And no amount of protest will or should change that. But the other side of the coin is that it does have power for Muslims. It is an insult in Islam, and it should be taken seriously and accepted that Muslims have the right to feel insulted – it is a desecration of their sacred religious symbol.

    At this point we can go backwards and forwards about whether this is offensive or not and this seems to be where you like to stay in the debate. You say it is, they say it isn’t. You claim you are on the side of freedom and they are on the side of the terrorists. However, it is not the job of the law or the state to decide who is right in the sense of whether it is or is not offensive.

    In the sight of the law, you are both right, and both have the right to be right. There is room for both. Both have the right to state their claim, by legal means, and to support it morally. You have the right to offend, and they have the right to be offended, as far as cartoons go.

    While you might object to their protest, their protest is nevertheless as much a right as is your right to draw the cartoon. That, I believe, is the situation as far as rights are concerned and I would not change that. The morality of it is a whole different thing again and demands something else from us. Discrimination – in the sense of knowing what is valuable.

    This brings us to the question of what is socially acceptable. This is something I would like to see change and this is the main point that I am arguing with you about.

    Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it should be socially acceptable. There are people who don’t care about what is socially acceptable, but they tend to stay on the margins and the effects of their irreverence are kept to a minimum. Sometimes they can be entertaining and stimulating, sometimes they can simply be highly offensive and best avoided.

    Should insulting religious symbols be socially acceptable? The very simple answer for me is ‘no’. And this is where you and I probably disagree. You are stuck in that place that talks about ‘magical symbols’ and living in a secular society and all that, and you want to make a statement, to stand on your platform and denigrate religion. That is fine, and that is your right, but I don’t think that actions like desecrating symbols should be considered socially acceptable. There are many other ways to make the same points without resorting to a published insult.

    I think that it is reasonable for you to say what you feel about the symbolism, but that as soon as you move to parade a desecration of that symbolism in front of Muslims, you have gone over the bounds of what should be acceptable. I think for Muslims, they would have much less of a problem with you if they felt that the weight of public opinion supported them in saying that this should be socially unacceptable, because it is disrespectful.

    If the symbol has no meaning for you, you do not need to ‘own’ that symbol. If that symbol ‘belongs’ to Islam, then let Islam own it – it’s their brand. As long as the symbolism does not require anything of you, I cannot see how you would object to its existence or its meaning for some people. The more you seek to ‘own’ that symbol, the more I can understand Muslims being frustrated by that.

    When it comes to illegal responses, then clearly death threats and personal attacks are and should not be acceptable.

    Now let’s move on to the extreme ends of the response to this desecration of Muslim symbols. It is no mystery that the world has an international network of religious extremist militants known as Al Qaeda, born in the conflict zones of Afghanistan. It is also clear that this movement is a rallying call for Muslims, one that has appeal to lots of poor and underdeveloped parts of the world.

    It is also true that this network has active support and sympathy within Muslim communities throughout the world, partly because of the political disenfranchisment of Muslims generally and partly as a hangover of ancient and present imperialism on the part of Western industrialised nations, whether in the form of political power or economic power. That’s an extremely complex debate that I’m not getting into here.

    The point is that this network has become extremely adept at radicalising and training individual Muslims in the skills of urban terror. The question is whether this movement should be seen to represent Muslims in general. The complex interplay of religion and political aspiration doesn’t make this a simple black and white issue. For many Muslims, they sympathise with the political message, they feel the passion of the religious message, but they do not like the religious conservatism or the use of terror as a political weapon.

    Radicalisation breeds primarily in disaffected youth. The greatest force of disconnection comes through a sense of injustice and imbalance in how the powerful in the world relates to the world of Islam and Islamic political identity. Palestine is a continuing festering wound, while two wars in major Islamic countries have not helped. A left over legacy of the cold war in Somalia is likewise a forgotten victim of previous ideological battles the West has fought, and won. But in abandoning the victims, they have given rise to another ideological battle.

    However, for all of this, I do not believe that Al Qaeda or its extremism can be used to characterize the majority or even a tiny minority of Muslims. While many Muslims might politically sympathise, the number of people willing to wage war against the West and its values is very small, and mainly confined to those countries that have already been ravaged by war for many decades. War and militancy has become an institutionalised part of their communities.

    Is the sensible response to create militants of our own? Absolutely not. This disrespecting of religious symbolism is itself a kind of cultural militancy. It is provocative, and it is confrontational, and more importantly, it is utterly disrespectful. Without respect, there will not be trust, and without trust, the moral fabric that holds society together starts to break down.

    This is why it’s important to respect religious sensibilities. Disrespecting religious sensibilities in the name of ‘free speech’ encourages rather than discourages radicalisation. It amounts to little more than cultural posturing, as society has already established the extent of legal norms government people’s right to offend. And it doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. Muslims are sensitive about how their prophet is depicted.

    I think that respect for religious sensibilities should be socially advocated. I don’t think you can use the law to impose that. We have to win the moral argument. Once the law enters the field, the argument is already lost to an extent, and the loss of freedom is further used to inflame the situation.

    At the same time, sometimes it has only been the instruments of law that have persuaded a majority to give up their bigoted and prejudiced views, as in racism. However, I don’t see the need for new laws at this time. I think the balance is currently about right, in terms of plain discrimination, and in terms of ethnic agitation, which is clearly a social threat.

    While you focus on the extremists, I think you have forgotten the majority of Muslims. While you say that we cannot give in to the death threats or terrorism of extremists, you have forgotten about the normal sensibilities of the majority. And in doing that, you have allowed extremists to define the debate. I’m sure they are happy with that response.

    But it’s not right. It’s not fair to the majority of moderate Muslims. Because they are offended too, and the question is, what has been gained by allowing a religion’s sacred symbols to be violated in this way? It only tells Muslims that they are second class citizens whose most basic values are not even respected by some vocal provocateurs who have access to national media in the society in which they live. Of course, they have to live with that. But what has been gained in making that point? It only breeds further discontent and potential radicalisation.

    The more you play to the extremes, the more you feed them. Not because this is the essence of Islam, about which you are way of course, but because you fail to acknowledge and respect the ordinary people within Islam. The more you indiscriminately choose to colletively disrespect groups of law-abiding people in this way, ‘because it’s your right’, then the more you create a situation where your radicalisation helps to breed further radicalisation among Muslims.

    Does this potential for radicalisation reflect badly on Islam? It is a potential among all minorities who are disenfranchised and significantly oppressed. Remember, 99% of the terrorism in Europe in the last ten years has been exactly this kind, and not religious terrorism – it has been seperatism. This is another important reason why I oppose your vocal tirade against Islam Elven. I oppose you strongly, because I think you threaten OUR safety with this ‘right to do as you please’ argument and action.

    Protecting our ‘freedom to insult or offend’ is all very well, but if in the midst of that you have unraveled the tenuous threads of trust and respect within our diverse communities, then you have done us a disservice. You cannot claim to protect us while all the while dragging us to a war with religion or Islam. You are not serving society by trying to show us that religious people are oversensitive about something sacred to them. We all have our sacred cows and you could argue that none of them have value in the cold light of day. But realism is itself an ideology, and it would do you well to recognise that. In seeking to show religion to be ‘defective’, you are serving yourself and your own belief system. You are not serving the wider society or respecting religious freedom. And I cannot let that go unanswered.

  87. Mark

    Elven

    If Nazis were in power and they said you can’t ridicule Hitler, you can’t draw Hitler under a penalty of death, would you be asking me the same?

    A comparison of ordinary Muslims with Nazis is offensive. The vast majority of extremist and militant Muslims live in other countries and are not interested in coming to the West. Those that do are free to preach religion in the same way you are free to preach secularism. The best defence against extremism is a fair and equal society, in which Muslims are respected. This is not about ‘respecting extremists’ as you constantly like to portray. This is about the hundreds of millions of ordinary citizens who are not one bit interested in fighting a religious war, who you misrepresent and whose symbols you appear quite happy to desecrate. Fine, but you cannot pretend that you are protecting my ‘society’ by doing that.

    You said it’s just a religion like the rest. You said there’s nothing to fear from Islam and it’s influence spreading in Europe.

    So why would it be so dangerous? Yeah, I got you, Mark. A full nelson. Ippon, really. I end this conversation after this message. You admitted what I wanted to hear. I got the truth out of you, your true feelings.

    What is dangerous is social division, discrimination, bigotry towards religion, radical or militant secularism or atheism. These are not in the same league as some religious extremism (whether Christian or Muslim), granted, as their organisation is mostly ideological, though their pernicious influence is nevertheless real. It is the ‘counter-Jihad’ discourse. And make no mistake, if it is allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged, it will eventually militarilise. Why? Because it is fundamentally a fascist discourse, and militancy is wedded to it. One look at Breivik shows us clearly the direction that counter-Jihad is most likely to move in.

    I’m not saying you are defending him, but the point is, as long as your ideology is identical and all you deny are the methods, then you fail to acknowledge the inherent violence in that ideology. An ideology that breeds intolerance is inherently violent, in exactly the same way as Al Qaeda is inherently violent. Extremism must be opposed, regardless of which side of the fence it grows.

  88. Mark

    Elven

    There are two more fallacies I want to draw to your attention:

    First, you clearly seem intent on framing this discussion in such a way that you are on the side of freedom and I am on the side of the terrorists. While I can see that this makes your argumentation easier to produce, it doesn’t reflect reality. I think it is important that you acknowledge that even those that support a respect for religion are quite capable of processing, formulating and preserving notions of freedom.

    Second, by politicising this debate, you fall into the major fallacy that befalls religion or at least, religious leaders. Politics is such that politicians cannot publicly admit to being wrong. If they are wrong about that, what else are they wrong about? This makes political discussion a very constricted form of debate in exactly the same way religious discussion can also be restricted. In fact, much of your argumentation is prefaced on exactly this: if you can prove I’m wrong about one thing, then it casts doubt on the whole argument. Except that it shouldn’t – but that’s politics.

    This is why I firmly believe that this debate cannot afford to be politicised too much, and that neither should religion or ethnicity be politicised in the way you are doing. Your stand against religion would not be problematic were it not for the fact that you are using these arguments as a means to formulate political policy, about immigration. The effects of politicising the debate are essentially to polarise many elements of it. This does not take us closer to understanding.

    Of course, this is just you, and you do not really know how to debate in a civilised way. I mean that. For you it is adversarial and aggressive from the outset, but in that sense, nothing is achieved, except perhaps to present to the ‘hidden’ audience several different viewpoints. In terms of working towards a shared understanding, well, the starting position is totally wrong. And that’s because it’s a political debate. I’m not so different to you in this, I accept, but I am aware of how it handcuffs the discussion. Maybe you are too. 🙂

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