Exposing white Finnish privilege #74: The anti-Semitc beast inside Jussi Halla-aho

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THIS STORY WAS UPDATED

In a recent debate with Center Party chairperson Annika Saariko, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party head, Jussi Halla-aho, was put on the hot seat after asked about his anti-Semitic blog writings.

He denied being an anti-Semite and said that the claim was a popularity stunt by Lauri Nurmi, who recently published an unofficial biography of him and made such an observation.

Why didn’t the reporter at the debate ask two questions: “Are you, Halla-aho, an anti-Semite and an Islamophobe.”

The PS and how it treats minorities, especially Muslims, expose the power and privilege white Finns have. It is like living in a near-perfect world. You can eat your racist cake with impunity and have it at the same time.

While Finland’s 100,000-120,000-strong Muslim community has little to no political power and is constantly reminded that they can never be equal members of society, the smaller Jewish community is a different story.

The Jewish community in Finland has historically suffered from anti-Semitism. A characteristic of this form of racism is that you silence the victim and plug your ears to their objections.

Matias Turkkila is the editor of the PS party’s newspaper who confirmed Halla-aho’s anti-Semitism and that of the party’s as well.

Turkkila claims that the “fierce” attack made by Yle against Kärkkäinen is part of a plan to destroy Juha Kärkkäinen’s businesses. He claims that one of the journalists that did the radio program is a member of the Left Alliance. Turkkila asks in the tweet: “@yleuutiset why do you allow a Left Alliance activist to use your platform to aim [at Kärkkäinen]?” He adds that Yle should follow its own rules and not publish material to advance the world view of others. Source: Twitter.

In the tweet, Turkkila overlooks or believes that we do not know who Juha Kärkkäinen is. For starters, he was fined in 2014 for publishing anti-Semitic writings of Adrian Salbuch, Ted Pike, David Duke, and others, as well as cartoons that bear a striking resemblance to the former Nazi tabloid, Der Strümer (1923-45).

The anti-Semitic writings were published in Magneettimedia, a publication of his stores that continues to be rife with anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and Nazi glorification. It is today no longer edited by Kärkkäinen but by neo-Nazis.

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The media has power but it prefers driving a moped when confronting racism and the Perussuomalaiset

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If there is somebody to blame for Finland’s Perussuomalaiset (PS)* problem, a big part of the blame falls on the media. In that group, you will find politicians and about 17% of Finns who vote for an openly hostile party to Muslims, people of color, and minorities.

A good example of the media’s power was seen on Monday when PS chairperson Jussi Halla-aho was questioned about his anti-Semitic blog writings. The question put Halla-aho momentarily in the hot seat, forcing a knee-jerk response. He denied (surprise, surprise!) being an anti-Semite and said that the claim was a popularity stunt by Lauri Nurmi, who recently published an unofficial biography of him.

Read the original story (in Finnish) here.

The question took Halla-aho by surprise, and the only defense he could put up was to answer by hitting below the belt.

Halla-aho’s response and anger showed that he is vulnerable and that the media can ask politicians tough questions if it wishes. It is called having teeth or journalistic grit.

Why do we see so little tough questioning by the Finnish media when it comes to topics like racism, Islamophobia, and the PS.

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Mitä ajattelevat Perussuomalaiset ja mitä he peittelevät?

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Keitä ovat Perussuomalaiset? Elävätkö he rinnakaistodellisuudessa tai peittelevätkö keitä he ovat todellisuudessa, eli vihaamielisia islamofoobisia, etnonastionalistisia ja maahanmuuttovastaisia?

Tässä muutamia väitteitä. Totta tai tarua?

Keltainen ei ole pelkurein* väri. Se ei ole myöskään lumenväri.

Jussi Halla-aho ei ole stand up koomikko.

Emme kannusta aparthedia.

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What happened in France was horrendous, the reaction of Islamophobes is just as bad

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It is dreadful what happened in France when a man beheaded a teacher for showing students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Any sensible person, irrespective of his or her background, would condemn what happened. Even so, Islamophobes from the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party were already spreading racism and trying to score political points.

Having lived in Argentina during a terrible dictatorship 1976-83, young people had three choices to change society: remain silent, move abroad, join a guerrilla group, and kill people.

Killing anyone for his or her ideas should be condemned strongly without labeling whole groups as terrorists.

One of the matters that racist parties like the PS forget is that they blame the whole group like @sallykohn tweets so eloquently.

I answered PS MP Sebastian Tynkkynen’s Islamophobic tweet.

Tweet: “Remember what happened has nothing to do with Islam, because Islam is a religion that promotes peace.”

Tynkkynen hits back at my tweet and asked what was racist about it?

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Problems with our Internet provider

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Saturday afternoon, I received the following message from my Internet provider of an “unscheduled maintenance service.” If you wanted to visit Migrant Tales, you got the following message below:

The problem started Saturday afternoon but after about eight hours, Migrant Tales was up and running and back to normal.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Analysis: What does this year’s hate crime report reveal about Finland and its police service?

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The Police University College published this week its latest suspected hate crime statistics for 2019. It showed that while hate crimes, on the whole, had retreated a tad compared with 2018, 87.1% of all suspected cases were due to a person’s ethnic or religious background.

Other suspected hate crimes were due to sexual orientation (72 cases/5.7%), disability (44/4.9%), and gender identity (21/2.3%).

While we understand that these cases, like that of sexual assaults, are only the tip of the iceberg, the important question we should ask is how to challenge hate crime more effectively.

This may be easier said than done, considering that Finland is still living in denial when it comes to hate crime, hate speech, and racism.

Nobody has yet given a fair and honest answer to how Finland, with one of the best education systems in the world and whose laws are supposed to promote social equality but not equity, has seen the growth of an openly racist and radical right party?

The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is not only a racist party but one that brings out the worst side in the Finns when it comes to bigotry. It should not come to any surprise that the lion’s share of the most infamous Islamophobes in Finland are from the PS.

If Finland’s second-biggest party in parliament is openly Islamophobic and turns a blind eye to far-right ideology among its ranks, should we be surprised that so little is being done politically to challenge a social ill like racism?

The biggest problem in the police service’s relationship with racism and different minority communities in Finland is the low priority that this social ill has. Sometimes, one gets the impression that the police fear more the reaction of a minority community to what happened to a victim of its group than readily condemning hate crime.

Another matter that is a blow to police trust in resolving hate crime cases rapidly. Many who have reported racist harassment and threats to the police understand that your case may take months to resolve. In such cases, the police may even overlook the bias motivators as happened in Jämsä with an asylum seeker.

Another case that received wide coverage in June was an eighteen-year-old Muslim, who was chased and physically attacked by locals in Teuva, a town in western Finland.

See also:

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Suspected hate crimes in Finland near flat in 2019 versus 2018. Only the tip of the iceberg.

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Suspected hate crimes reported in 2019 totaled 899 cases, which is 1.21% less from 910 cases in the previous year, according to the Police University College of Finland.

As in previous years, the lion’s share (72.3%) of suspected hate crimes was due to ethnic or national background, which rose by 2.52% fro 650 from 634 cases. Religion was the second-biggest group (14.8%) of hate crimes totaling 133 cases, down by 14.2% from 155 cases in the previous year and down 43.4% from 2017.

Reports the Police University College of Finland: “In 63 percent of the cases, the victims of the crimes based on ethnic or national origin were males and in 37 percent of the cases, victims were females. Most common crimes targeted against the males were assaults whereas majority of the crimes
targeted against females were defamation.”

And adds: “In relation to the number of people with foreign citizenship and living in Finland, those holding a citizenship of Somalia experienced the highest frequency of crimes motived by ethnic or national origin in 2019. From all the reports of offenses based on ethnic or national origin, nine percent of offenses were against a member of a Roma minority. Of these, the most common suspected crimes were defamation.”

Some NGOs like the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), state that Muslim women are the most vulnerable to Islamophobia. In France, 81.5% were women, and over 90% in the Netherlands suffered attacks due to Islamophobia.

Seventy-nine percent of Muslims do not report their most experience of discrimination to any competent organization, according to ENAR.

If this is true elsewhere, then it suggests that hate crime reported in Finland is the tip of the iceberg and hate crime against Muslim women underreported.