By Enrique Tessieri
Even if some anti-immigration groups try to make their message more digestible to voters, it should be clear after the tragic events in Norway that hate speech affects everyone. Selective hatred is a myth. If you loathe one group that poison spills over on other ones and eventually to all of society.
Hate speech and racism are extremely dangerous for any society because their aim is to undermine and destroy our Western democratic liberal way of life and values.
It is sad, even unfortunate, that Finland has only awoken now to the menace of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party’s artillery of populism, ignorance, anti-EU and anti-immigration rhetoric.
PS head Timo Soini resembles the “good cop” and others like MP Jussi Halla-aho and his band of Suomen Sisu followers the “bad cops.” Whether there is a good and bad cop in the PS is not the point. The safe haven that these bad cops have found under Soini stick out like an ever-growing sore thumb. The good and bad cops of the PS resemble a police force that is more interested in defending its shoddy record than correcting it.
As far as for the hundreds of thousands of immigrants, Multicultural Finns and minorities living in Finland are concerned,the PS is a visible threat to them.
While the PS may be an expression of social discontent in this country, its racism and xenophobia of too many of its MPs place a big question mark over the party’s credibility.
How can a party that places so much political capital on demonizing other groups ever aspire to lead Finland?