Disquieting questions emerge in light of the Jussi Halla-aho scandal: Is pressure on the Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP to resign as chairman of the administration committee due to his dismissive reaction to the Supreme Court sentence or because of what he wrote about Muslims and Somalis, which got him in trouble in the first place?
When the PS won the April 2011 elections, it was well-known by many that the PS was an anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam party. The question, however, at the time was how many politicians were ready to admit the latter about the PS.
Another important fact that Finland’s political establishment knew last year was that there were a few problem cases in the PS like Halla-aho, who was charged in 2009 by a lower court for defaming a religion.
In light of these facts, why was Halla-aho approved unanimously to chair the administration committee, which, among other matters, is in charge of immigration policy?
Would political parties be demanding the MP’s head today if he’d remained quiet and taken the Supreme Court decision with a drop of humility?
Legal scholars have reacted to Halla-aho’s provocative statements after the Supreme Court decision, who considered the ruling as “a personal interpretation by a few people.”
Halla-aho’s and the PS’ view of our judicial system is odd coming from a party that claims immigrants don’t follow and respect our laws.
Writes Husein Muhammed on Migrant Tales: “Now I grasp what the Perussuomalaiset actually mean when they demand that immigrants should respect the country’s laws. They don’t themselves respect Finnish laws/judicial system.”
If Halla-aho’s arrogant stand has surprised many, PS chairman Timo Soini’s decision to not do anything hasn’t helped matters either.
Soini said in 2009 that any person would get sacked from the party if that person were charged for a racist crime.
Soini has been forced to eat his words on a number of occasions. With a poker face, he claimed right after last year’s election that there wasn’t one racist among the PS and that if Halla-aho got criminally charged he’d get the boot from the party.
Halla-aho plans to take up the matter before the European Court of Human Rights.
If there is anything positive about the scandal, it may be that political parties in Finland are starting to take a social issue like racism more seriously.
Finland’s parliament may be making history tomorrow if the PS does not force Halla-aho to resign. Parliament may decide Wednesday to dissolve the administration committee and appoint new members, which in turn would choose a new chairman.