Xenophobic death threats to the Finnish government

by , under All categories, Enrique

The most recent death threats to some members of Finland’s government as well as immigrants reported by Nelonen television by a group of  fanatics is in some cases the doing of the politicians, who have not spoken out strongly enough against racism but have by and large preferred to remain silent on the matter.

Their timidness to such a threat has only emboldened fanatics.

UPDATE March 2: A good example of such hesitancy was pointed out by Jonas, who regularly visits our blog: Vanhanen, speaking to the Swedish news division of Yle, did condemn the death threat to Thors – but only worryingly several days later and then only after Stefan Wallin demanded it. And, as far as I am aware, I am yet to hear him do the same thing in the Finnish-language mass media, which is yet more concerning.

The death threats can be accessed at the following website. In the blog, the anonymous Finn gives a short bio of himself/herself after threatening to murder four members of government, President Tarja Halonen and encourage others to kill immigrants: I am a normal (?!) working family man/woman. I don´t hate foreigners and I am apolitical. I understand, however, that we are at a crossroads with respect to our country. (Olen tavallinen työssäkäyvä perheellinen. En vihaa ulkomaalaisia enkä omaa mitään poliitista suuntausta. Ymmärrän kuitenkin, että olemme tärkeässä ratkaisupisteessä maamme kannalta.)

Minister of migration and European affairs, Astrid Thors, who has been the center of a number of death threats by anti-immigrant extremists,  has been one of their prime targets.

What is most surprising about this recent incident is that it happened in a country that prizes itself for being a Nordic welfare state and whose educational system has received  global recognition in the Pisa study. The Pisa study does not evaluate the knowledge of 15 year olds in humanities but in math, reading and science.

Where have we gone wrong?

Throughout my years in Finland I have heard various politicians tell me in silence that they do not consider it wise to stand up too vociferously in favor of immigrants because of the strong anti-foreign sentiment.

I remember writing a feature on refugees in Mikkeli in eastern Finland in the early 1990s for a large-circulation weekly. I received as a result three death threats.  It was a good matter that my then-six-year-old daughter did not answer the phone.

Even though the police are investigating this recent incident, it is clear that these types of groups are a problem in Finland. Not acknowledging them or hiding our heads in the sand will only fuel the problem. How many more alarm bells do we need to hear?

The way that a democratic society deals with groups that take the law in their hands is with the full weight of the law and by speaking out against the problem.

Finland cannot afford anything less.

  1. Tony Garcia

    That’s not the problem but the result.

    I hold responsible for this kind of attitude…

    First Mrs Thors and her reckless immigration policy, with is allowing any sort of rubbish in.

    Second, People who demands that the ethnic and cultural makeup of this country should be changed, without care what people think about it. People who insist in, unfairly, blame the immigrant’s failure on Finland. People who insist in patronizing minorities at the same time offending the majority who, in fact, pay all the bills.

    Finnish people are not stupid, they read, they hear, they watch, and this is the result. However the last think I expect from the multicultural left is look beyond their bubble and recognise the damage they are causing to law-biding integrated immigrants. As Dennis Prager says “be on the left means you never have to say sorry”.

    From an immigrant, thank you Mrs Thors and thank you all who have work hard to make our lives far more difficult.

    With friends like you, who needs enemy…

    • Enrique

      –I hold responsible for this kind of attitude…

      Are you saying that Thors is responsible for the death threats? I am sorry, Tony, but on this one you are way off radar. In first place, our representatives are elected by the people and then a government is formed. No, Tony, death threats are never justifiable especially in a democratic country such as Finland. Even though I think the person(s) who made them is off balance mentally, this type of intimidation is not an act of hostility towards members of government but to our democratic system.

      What do you mean by “reckless immigration policy?” Wow, Finland has a few thousand refugees and you call that reckless? Can you give me some facts to back up such a statment? You say Finnish people are not stupid. I say that those that make death threats and do not allow others to exercise their civil rights are grossly off track. Yes, Tony, they are stupid and in a pitiful minority.

      I agree with Jonas: I hope the police catch the creep.

  2. Jonas

    Hello Enrique. I am glad that you have blogged about this, I wanted to too, but my blog is rather sleepy these days thanks to its author’s lack of time!

    Firstly, I must correct Tony. Astrid Thors does not drive a reckless immigration policy, she is the minister responsible for the government’s commonly agreed immigration policy. In other words, the Centre party, National Coalition party, Green party and Swedish People’s Party’s ministers are all in agreement on this policy. The shocking thing is that, out of populism, the other parties’ ministers have not been there to support her at times. That shows a lack of courage in their convictions.

    Vanhanen, speaking to the Swedish news division of Yle, did condemn the death threat to Thors – but only worryingly several days later and then only after Stefan Wallin demanded it. And, as far as I am aware, I am yet to hear him do the same thing in the Finnish-language mass media, which is yet more concerning.

    In any case, even if you do (as anyone naturally has the right to in a democracy) disagree with the present government on immigration, making death threats can never ever be an acceptable response. The freedom of speech must be respected, but it does not include the incitement to murder. Such actions are disgusting and undemocratic. We have seen what has happened in Sweden with Olof Palme and Anna Lindh, we don’t want the same thing to happen to a Finnish politician. I hope that the Central Criminal Police make progress on this case quickly.

    • Enrique

      –Vanhanen, speaking to the Swedish news division of Yle, did condemn the death threat to Thors – but only worryingly several days later and then only after Stefan Wallin demanded it. And, as far as I am aware, I am yet to hear him do the same thing in the Finnish-language mass media, which is yet more concerning.

      This is the Center Party way of doing things. By remaining silent, he is giving fuel to these hate-groups.

  3. Tony Garcia

    Dear friends Enrique and Jonas, as expected my words were twisted, but… Oh, well…

    Thors, and the government she represents (thanks Jonas for the correction) are not responsible for the death threats. Someone to say that need to be stupid, with, I’m sorry to disappoint, I’m not. I wasn’t talk about the threats, but the overall feeling among the Finnish population about this open door immigration policy, with unfortunately caused the threats. Sorry but you guys are look only at the tip of the iceberg ignoring the rest. With is quite convenient I must admit…

    Finnish people doesn’t want their country to be transformed like UK, France, Sweden and others. And, as many times pointed here, neither do I.

    So, the civilized part of the population shows this in a civilized way, the uncivilized part shows in a uncivilized way. Nevertheless, the population doesn’t want what you is telling them they should have. They don’t want diversity, with is very different than immigration, we have seen this extensively here. The more they are pushed, the more unsatisfied they will get, I really hope the people shows this next election, with I will be working very hard on PS’s behalf.

    “What do you mean by reckless immigration policy? Wow, Finland has a few thousand refugees and you call that reckless?”

    The “low” quantity, my dear friend, doesn’t mean that it’s the policy that is prevent more to come. And for me, 6.000 is a lot… However…

    http://www.hs.fi/english/article/NEWS+ANALYSIS+Death+threats+have+become+an+everyday+phenomenon/1135253403519

    “Immigration policy in Finland has been in many respects much more lenient than in many other EU countries for some time.”

    But hey… Let’s twist what Tony is saying and carry on bashing Finns…

  4. Tony Garcia

    Can we have an example about what Finns are tired of?

    Last week we talk about that fact that 70.000 Muslims living in London think that civilian inside UK should be targeted by suicide bombers. What was your reaction to that? Critical? Apologetic? Just trivialized it?

    Now you talk about a pitiful minority of Finns, very well, how many? More of less than 70.000? And your reaction to this?

    So we have here two groups, one far larger, more organized and more violent than the other, both advocating violence. Did you have different approaches when dealing with both cases?

    What would the Finns, civilized and uncivilized alike who are reading you, think? Do you think this blatant double standard help us or make more damage?

    As I said before… With friend like that…

    • Enrique

      –Last week we talk about that fact that 70.000 Muslims living in London think that civilian inside UK should be targeted by suicide bombers. What was your reaction to that? Critical? Apologetic? Just trivialized it?
      Ok, but I asked about Finland. Moreover, were was this published and by whom?

      Tony, I will continue to speak of a pitiful minority of Finns who will revert to violence. They are no different from other fanatics or Jihadists. They are the same thing.

      Sincerely I do not see any double standard in defending our democratic institutions from fanatics irrepective of how them may be.

  5. Tony Garcia

    “Sincerely I do not see any double standard in defending our democratic institutions from fanatics irrepective of how them may be.”

    Absolutly, however you only defend our democratic institutions from only one type of fanatics, my friend. There is where the double stands are…

    I think we all could go back to the “The role of the Finnish social welfare state and newcomers.” post and re-read what have been said about this, it can be quite refreshing. Fortunately it’s all on the record. Only a quick quote…

    “Tony, after the military steam rolled over left-wing guerillas in Argenitna, they ran out of enemies to justify their autocratic rule. They invented a funny concept called hunting potential terrorists. Is that what you are suggesting?”

  6. Tony Garcia

    A quick exercise…

    I’m a conservative, as probably you all know already, so for me there is only one way to deal with this group, and that is The Law. I think this group should be hunted down and persecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law. Zero tolerance , no negotiations. And for two reasons: first to be punitive, second to be used as an example to others. I think if you tell someone that make a death threat is OK, you are also telling someone else that execute that threat is OK as well.

    Enrique , do you agree with me?

    Very well… There is another group with is also breaking the law and is always in the news… Illegal immigrants.

    For me it’s just the same, illegal’s should also be hunted down and deported with no further due. And for the very same 2 reasons above. Again, zero tolerance. Telling someone that come illegally is ok(amnesty) is rewarding who broke the law and an open invitation for others to do the same.

    How about this one? do you agree with me? Or should the government have a different approach when dealing with the second law breaking group?

    • Enrique

      –I’m a conservative, as probably you all know already, so for me there is only one way to deal with this group, and that is The Law. I think this group should be hunted down and persecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law. Zero tolerance , no negotiations. And for two reasons: first to be punitive, second to be used as an example to others. I think if you tell someone that make a death threat is OK, you are also telling someone else that execute that threat is OK as well.

      Tony, I know were your are heading. Violence has no place in the decision-making process of our democratic societies.

      Illegal aliens? A different story. You have to put things in context. If you leave a country that is worthless and want to improve your life, you have a right to search for a new home. There are illegal aliens in Europe because there IS a market. The law and the market offer illegal aliens an opportunity. So is it only a problem of the illegal alien, who is prividing growth and profits for a company for slave wages?

      And by the way, illegal aliens aren’t a problem in Finland.

  7. Tony Garcia

    Another example about what pisses the Finns off…

    So, if the victim is a ordinary law abiding tax payer Finn – sorry mate, there is nothing that can be done, you can complain AFTER you are f***ed.

    However is the victim is the sacrosanct of diversity, well…

    http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Police+say+Swedish+criminal+groups+sell+plans+for+crimes+in+Finland/1135251324302

    “Under Finnish law, the planning of a crime is not a criminal act in itself, except in certain crimes such as genocide, treason, and crimes of terrorism.

    Even some types of violent crimes, including armed robbery, assault, can be planned with impunity in Finland; a crime does not take place until the actual crime is committed, or attempted.

    “We know that the planning of two robberies is taking place in Finland. We do not know at what stage the planning is, or if the plan will ever be carried out”, Teijo Ristola of the NBI said to Helsingin Sanomat.

    Ristola says that Finnish police cannot interfere with those planning a crime before a criminal act has taken place, such as the theft of a car, or possession of an illegal weapon.”

    • Enrique

      –So, if the victim is a ordinary law abiding tax payer Finn – sorry mate, there is nothing that can be done, you can complain AFTER you are f***ed.

      So you are suggesting that all people who are from group XX are potential criminals and should be treated as such. If you have forgotten, in the West a person is innocent before proven guilty. But I guess you don’t mind bending the rules as long as it includes this group XX.

      Your way of doing things would lead to the worst witch hunts like in the US South when blacks were lynched. It would also change our democratic system for good into one with autocratic overtones. Fortunately, we don’t have to revert to that.

      Tony, for your information I used to work for the Buenos Aires Herald. They are a conservative newspaper that took a very strong stance against the military dictatorship and human rights violations. The military – like some today, Bush for example – uss the threat of terrorism to get a carte blanche to bend the rules. I think the Herald called it the defense of due process of law. Does a conservative overthrow a system and makes up his own laws? I don’t think so.

  8. Tony Garcia

    Oh well… Very interesting points.

    Market: Yes there is a market for ilegals but is that a justification for breaking the law? There is also a market for drugs, money laundry, terrorism, but that doesn’t remove the blame from the criminals. Ilegals are not different. They break the law, so they are criminals.

    Searching for better life: Indeed a valid thing to do, I did it 10 years ago, however I haven’t broken any law when pursuing this. Have you Enrique? Sorry but, another no excuse.

    Context: My favourite. Why some groups have the benefit of having their crimes put in context? I really didn’t see you punting the act of those threatening Thors in any context.

    It’s all comes back to what we are after. For those who pursuit multiculturalism illegals are a valid asset, especially if they come from Africa, Middle East or Asia. For those who what to keep Finland a safe place for their children… Well…

  9. Tony Garcia

    http://yle.fi/uutiset/news/2010/03/lappeenranta_pizzeria_staff_in_gang_fight_1503831.html

    I just read this news and I can’t help but wonder…

    Nothing special about it, two groups of thugs using violence to sort their problems. We can find this anywhere. But something called my attention. They are 2 groups of Turks, very well, what if one group would be Turks and the other Finns? What kind of noise do you think this news would make? Do you think we would see the word racism somewhere?

    • Enrique

      –What kind of noise do you think this news would make? Do you think we would see the word racism somewhere?

      Why do you want to speculate in such a manner? Is it because you think that immigrants in Finland receive special treatment? Certainly if a group of skinheads attacked a kebab fast-food restaurant what conclusion would you make? The long-standing historical and ethnic strife between the Turks and Kurds is not known by everyone. Ethnic strife? Probably part of the mix that caused the problem.

      Tony, one of the biggest stumbling points of people who claim that certain groups are incompatible with our way of life is that they are not aware – or don’t want to acknowledge – certain facts about how culture influences us. You have probably read Christopher Caldwell, an FT journalist, who claims that one of the problems of the West dealing with Islam is that “advanced cultures” have a long track record of underestimating vulnerability to primitive ones.” Apart from making such a ludicrous statement not founded on fact but mere subjective and ethnocentric views, the problem with his take on the matter is that he does not understand the dynamics of how culture works or how it impacts our lives.

      Thus people such as Caldwell argue that we people are “robots” who are imprisoned by culture and cannot shape their lives as individuals. If you think of it, Tony, human beings are more alike than some would want to believe. The interesting question to ask, I believe, is what agenda do different groups have when their relations are soured by hatred and suspicion. Why does the BNP have a “messianic calling” to save Britain from itself? Is it the war on terror? Are they based on myths about how cultures work? Is it a good platform to get votes and attention? You can ask the same questions of Jihadists. Is hatred towards the west ok because it brings more people to their faith? Are there historical factors such as colonialism at play?

      One of the matters that such a line of thinking about others brings is strife, hatred and a dead-end. There are no solutions in resolving the issue because that would take away their shine.

      Much of the European racial thinking of the 19th century rubbed off on the 20th and 21st centuries through Frankenstein creations such as eugenics. Without any scientific empirical facts the Germans went on a rampage against the Jews and other minorities. That same idea, that we are the most racially advanced and morally correct, was pushed by European anthropologists in the 19th century to justify colonialism. It was a rasion d’etre to pillage, destroy and ransack other cultures.

      Imagine all the suffering, hatred and devastation what a misguided racial theory about oneself brought. That is why future generations must continue to read about the Nuremburg Trials and the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany. No other group has systematically killed as many people as the Hitler regime. Not even the Khemer Rouge come close to it.

      If you are a person with a higher education and make your money thanks to globalization, with all due respect, you can’t have a 19th century colonial view of the world. That is, we will conquer and use all your resources but please stay where you are and don’t object because we are “advanced” and your culture is “primitive.”

  10. Tony Garcia

    Sorry but what was that all about? Wasn’t I clear? Again? My point in this case is not against the Turks. I think I say it, but… There are tugs in every group, and I see this as part of being humans.

    What I wanted to show here is the media’s double standards.

    Turks against Turks = normal.
    Finns against Finns = normal.
    Finns against Turks = hell break loose.

    Certainly is a group of skinheads attacked a Finnish pub what conclusion would you make?

    PS. I haven’t read Caldwell but I do agree that we have an advanced culture, just look around you. With culture people wants to escape from and with culture people want to immigrate to?

    • Enrique

      –I haven’t read Caldwell but I do agree that we have an advanced culture, just look around you. With culture people wants to escape from and with culture people want to immigrate to?

      Tony, I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

      If you made such a claim in the social sciences, you would lose your licence. This is not due to social scientists covering their eyes, but to decades of research that have proved such claims wrong. There are no doctoral dissertations proving how advanced we are against group XX. This was, however, very popular in Nazi Germany and in the rest of Europe in the 19th century.

      Technology is only one parameter. Arabs were once the most technologically advanced and I am certain that the shift has gone from people to people. That line of thinking, that we are advanced and thereby morally right to exploit and impose our ways on others, comes from 19th century ideology that was made to justify colonialism. All we have to do is look at the horrors of World War I to see how “civilized” Europe was; and there was also a rising power in the east called Japan that had had bet Russia and China in wars.

      If you look at the writing and coverage, I think it was quite well covered the fight between the Turks and Kurds. And hey, we are talking about a minor incident in a Finnish town. Not such a big deal.

      Why would it get coverage if Finns attacked a Turkish kebab restaurant? Because it is shameful and not the way Finns resolve matters.

  11. Karo

    Jonas, politics is not about courage, it’s about trying to make others understand and follow your own beliefs, thats all there is to politics.

  12. OnTheRoadToSuccess

    Immigration is a highly polarized topic, but we can’t be silenced.

    Enrique, I’m glad I found your blog and I hope you don’t mind – I linked this article to my blog post about the use of Military Drones for Migrant Control in Europe.

    I’ll stick around.

    • Enrique

      Hi Zuzeeko, and welcome to Migrant Tales. Thank you for the kudos.

      Even though immigration is a hot issue, it does no good to run to a corner and allow others to bash you. We live in democratic societies and we have not only the means, but the obligation to make our case.

      I hope to hear more of you!

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