Avoid turning Finland into a United States

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In a thousand years, if there’s History, America will be remembered as a nasty little Country. Full of Pricks…

Allen Ginsberg, Epilogue from “The Fall of America poems of these states 1965-1971”

Following the dysfunctionality and cultural war raging in US politics, any sensible person can conclude that the present situation is due to several factors. As a Latin American who has seen how US foreign policy has ruled and destroyed the region for its selfish benefit, it’s clear that the US is getting a bitter taste of its own medicine.

What is happening in the United States, how it is lurching into becoming an autocratic country, is nothing new. Money, greed, gullibility, and fairy tale exceptionalism are some culprits.

What is happening in the US will not end well. Even so, what is transpiring now in that country is a warning that we must avoid the same mistakes: unchecked capitalism, greed, and our misguided belief that money talks and has the last word.

Finland has succeeded in building a model society where the state attempts to take care of its own. In recent years, however, parties like the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), Center Party, Christian Democrats, Liike nyt have started to dismantle our welfare state piece by piece.

Politicians like Petteri Orpo, Elina Lepomäki, Heikki Vestman, Wille Rydman, Kai Mykkänen, Hjallis Harkimo, Päivi Räsänen, Jussi Halla-aho, and scores of others, would not think twice about selling out our welfare state for the USAmerican model based on extreme social inequality.

Even if we have one of the best education systems in the world and the highest standards of living in the world, about 18% of the population votes for a racist far-right party.

Watch and follow what is happening in the United States and cringe.

The recent decision by the US Supreme Court to strike down Roe and Wade and abortion rights for millions of women is an example of the lunacy that has inflicted USAmerica.

Certainly, one factor that has polarized the United States is racism and white supremacy.

Below is Republican Congressperson Mary Miller of Ohio, who thanks Trump for the Roe and Wade decision.

She said: “I would like to thank Trump on behalf of all the MAGA [Makke America Great Again] patriots in America. I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday.”

If that wasn’t enough, check the speech below where she quotes and thanks Adolf Hitler. “Hitler was right on one thing, he said whoever has the youth has the future,” said Miller. “Our children are being propagandized. I want to encourage you to do two things: tell your children’s minds what is true, right, and noble, and then they can overcome evil because then they can discern what is evil and what is good. ”

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What does Finland’s far-right Perussuomalaiset think of the overturning of Roe and Wade and attack of a gay bar in Oslo?

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Setting aside the US Supreme Court decision to reverse Roe and Wade, which effectively took away women’s rights to have an abortion, we saw the cold-blooded attack at a gay bar by a man in Oslo that left two dead and 21 wounded.

Meanwhile, in Finland, Yle reported some MPs’ reaction to the Supreme Court decision.

A staunch anti-abortionist, Päivi Räsänen of the Christian Democratic Party, hailed the Supreme Court decision as good news that would have a global impact on the abortion debate.

Yle approached other MPs from parties like the National Coalition Party, Center Party, Swedish People’s Party, and Green League, who expressed disappointment at the decision.

Center Party MP Jouni Ovaska echoed US President Joe Biden’s words, ”It’s a sad day for the court and for the country.”

Considering that the Supreme Court ruling passed thanks to three President Donald Trump appointed judges and that the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* has been the most outspoken supporters of the Trump administration, the silence coming now from the far-right party is defeating.



What are the party’s opinions about the J6 Commission?

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Sexual harassment scandal takes a political toll on Kokoomus MP Wille Rydman

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The scandal that embroiled National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Wille Rydman, has forced him to resign “indefinitely” from the Kokoomus parliamentary and Helsinki city council groups.

A Helsingin Sanomat investigative story exposed MP Rydman’s sexual harassment of underage girls to whom he sometimes offered alcohol. The police, who investigated the case, did not bring any charges against the MP.

Rydman, who has denied any wrongdoing, has built his political career by spreading anti-Muslim hatred and conspiracy theories like the great replacement theory. He has also pushed for closer ties with the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and asked, among other matters, to do away with hate speech laws.

One tweet suggested that apart from Rydman leaving the Kokoomus party, he could join the PS. PS MP Sanna Antikainen, in a tweet below, wished Rydman welcome to join her party.

The shift from Kokoomus to the PS would be a perfect fit for the likes of Rydman.


Source: Twitter

In the latest development, the police said they would not open the case again because there was no new evidence. Moreover, Helsingin Sanomat said it would write a new story about the scandal.


What’s all the commotion about Wille Rydman? Why is Kokoomus now shocked?

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A big question remains after a Helsingin Sanomat investigative journalism piece exposed how National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Wille Rydman treated women – even underaged ones – inappropriately. Some of these women, who were minors then, claimed that Rydman forced them to drink alcohol. 

A question remains: Why does Kokoomus appear so shocked today, even after the police decided not to press charges in 2020 against the MP? 


Source: Helsingin Sanomat

Several Kokoomus politicians like Nea Nättinen, the chairperson of the party’s student wing, expressed shock by the news.

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Wille Rydman exposes Kokoomus’ hypocrisy and its racist politicians

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I wonder if National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Wille Rydman has ever heard of Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, who is under investigation for sexually abusing minors, among other crimes? Helsingin Sanomat exposed in a story Rydman of inappropriate behavior and abusing sexually minors Sunday.

Like Gaetz, Rydman is in hot water and denies all charges against him.

Apart from being unofficially christened as the Jussi Halla-aho by some Kokoomus MPs, it is ironic that such a politician warns Finns of the dangers of the crimes of asylum seekers, which include rape, is suspected of the same crimes.

Former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson Jussi Halla-aho was convicted in 2012 for ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion. In his blog writings, he hoped that migrants rape certain MPs.

One of the far-right conspiracy theories spread by Rydman is the great replacement theory, which warns that Muslims and people of color will take over Europe and whites will become a minority.


A campaign poster for the 2011 parliamentary election, where Rydman claims, among other matters, that Finland should only accept the number of migrants it can adapt. In the ad, Mukhtar Abid, a social worker, states, ” This is why I, a Helsinki Social Democrat, will vote for Kokoomus’ Wille Rydman.” I sent Abib a message to ask him what he thought about the scandal and if Rydman was the right person to back in 2011. He has not responded to my message. Source: Migrant Tales

Apart from the hypocrisy of Finnish exceptionalism and that of Kokoomus’, it is surprising how little the party did to get to the bottom of these alleged crimes committed by Rydman.

Writes Helsingin Sanomat: “The women who were in contact with Rydman say he acted inappropriately and was sexually explicit in his words, behaved in a threatening way and forced them [to consume] alcohol. Some of the women were minors when Rydman approached them.”

Kokoomus chairperson Petter Orpo had heard about the allegations against Rydman in winter when journalists were investigating Rydman.

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Kokoomus’ Jussi Halla-aho is suspected of harassing underaged girls

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National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Wille Rydman, whose xenophobic views have earned him the dubious label of being Kokoomus’ Jussi Halla-aho, is suspected by the police of harassing underaged girls. He is the same MP pushing hardline policies against asylum seekers because he is worried about sexual harassment.

Former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson Jussi Halla-aho was convicted in 2012 for ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion and has, in his blog writings, hoped that migrants rape certain MPs.

One of the far-right conspiracy theories spread by Rydman is the great replacement theory, which warns that Muslims and people of color will take over Europe and whites will become a minority.


National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Wille Rydman is suspected of harassing underaged girls. Source: Helsingin Sanomat (paywall)

Helsingin Sanomat leads the story: “Several women report harassing behavior by MP Wille Rydman. Some were minors at the time of the incident, while others reported alcohol abuse and violence. In Kokoomus, Rydman’s interest in young women and girls has been widely discussed [and known] only inside the party. Rydman denies acting inappropriately.”

Rydman tweeted that he is planning to press charges against Helsingin Sanomat for writing a baseless “grossly stigmatizing article” He added that he would most probably report the matter to the police and charge Finland’s largest daily for aggravated defamation.

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Exposing white privilege in Finland #87: Social segregation is not white Finland’s fault

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The recent article and editorial in Helsingin Sanomat about social segregation in Finland is a good example of how white privilege deals with growing social segregation.

Finland’s largest daily, Helsingin Sanomat, published an editorial Thursday about how social segregation is growing in Finland. That follows a story about how some schools in Espoo have more pupils who speak other languages than Finnish, Swedish, or Saami.

One of the most important matters in a story written by a predominantly white newsroom about migrant and minority groups is what they overlook in the story. What the story discards can be seen as a Freudian slip.

Suppose the editorial board of Helsingin Sanomat had taken the time to address the problem of social segregation from an EU perspective. In that case, they’d encounter some good solutions to challenge such a social ill. These would include the usual issues: tackling institutional racism, effective social policy, and making cities more inclusive.

Thus urban segregation is the unequal distribution of different social groups based on occupation, income, education, gender, and ethnicity, according to the EU. In recent years, the gap has widened.


Social segregation is a growing problem in Finland as in Europe. Source: Google

Why the Helsingin Sanomat editorial does not address the core issues behind urban segregation reveals volumes about the daily and its editorial board. One possible reason why they are not mentioned is a common phenomenon: denial.

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The PS’ crystal ball racism based on selective scenarios

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With the parliamentary election about 10 months away in April 2023 and a disastrous county election showing and equally depressing opinion poll results, it’s clear that the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is desperately trying to connect with voters.

One example of these underhanded tactics is a proposal by the PS to close the border with Russia in case of hybrid threats coming from Moscow.


Two scenarios. Source: Facebook

Haven’t you wondered how parties like the PS fear-monger? It’s like they have a crystal ball to justify their racism by constructing selective scenarios.

In such stories coming from the PS, one must dig deeper and find out what is behind the proposal.

PS chairperson, Riikka Purra, claims that the measure is to guarantee the security of white Finns. OK, she does not mention white Finn, but that is what she means.

Thus, we see with the PS proposal r message: asylum seekers from Muslim and African countries threaten Finland’s white culture and society.

Purra, who heads the administrative committee of parliament, threatens to give the government’s proposal would fail to pass. In the face of the PS’ 38 MPs. the vote would not get a two-thirds majority.

Suspending the right to seek asylum, or just confining it to the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, is not only a human rights violation but a political prank by the PS to further their election campaign in April. The EU has also stated that suspending asylum applications is illgeal.

Everyone is aware that the aim of closing the border is part of the PS’ zero asylum seeker goal.

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Ilta-Sanomat’s message hasn’t changed in the past 30 years: Islam and refugees are a threat to Finland

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Ever wondered why tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat continue to publish racist stories? When the first Somalis came to Finland in the early 1990s, the tabloid had a field day (see billboards below). Imagine headlines like “Somalis will remain in Finland,” “Somalis tricked (authorities) to get asylum,” and twenty years later, “10,000 illegal refugees will come this year to Finland.”

As we all know, there is no such thing as an “illegal” refugee. Refugees are refugees, period.

The latest story by Ilta-Sanomat is on EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen, who said something positive about Islam on her visit to the United Arab Emirates (see tweet below).



What does the Ilta-Sanomat story reveal about anti-Muslim racism in Finland? It shows that Finnish tabloids and the media have successfully framed Muslims as a threat to Finland. If you say something positive about Muslims, you are a traitor and must be crazy.


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Why do the Perussuomalaiset speak in code when referring to Muslims?

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Throughout the years, far-right parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* have in recent years mainly used code words to refer to Muslims. Some of the most common ones are sexual offenders, overrepresented in crime statistics, asylum seekers, and, now the latest, vieraskieli, or “people who don’t speak Finnish as their mother tongue.”

One article published last week by Helsingin Sanomat highlighted the issue.

Russian and Estonian speakers were the most prominent vieraskieli groups in the story about Espoo schools. Arabic speakers were the third-biggest mother language group.

When far-right politicians like Riikka Purra use the term vieraskieli, it means in code Muslim and people of color.

One researcher pointed out that using the term vieraskieli is safer and more sanitized to express anti-Muslim hatred. It may help you avoid ethnic agitation charges.

Many understand that the Finnish media is part of the country’s racism problem. Any sensible person can see that the media rarely asks racialized people their opinions, never mind experts’ views on issues like racism and discrimination.

One overbearing message of parties like the PS and the near-silence and flirting of parties like the National Coalition Party is that people who are granted asylum are portrayed as a threat to Finnish values and culture.

Racism is deeply ingrained in Finnish culture. Excluding other voices means that little to nothing will change. Institutional racism must be challenged head-on.

I believe that if Finland’s newsrooms weren’t so white, they would write about racialized people differently.

It would be a big blow to the racist narrative of parties like the PS, which always label racialized groups with suspicion.

Twitter (@johanneskoski): The Perussuomalaiset are racist – what of it?

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With parliamentary elections approaching in April 2022 in a backdrop of depressing opinion polls, the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party is ratcheting its usual attacks against migrants and minorities. The strategy is like a motto used by the Green Berets in the Vietnam War: “Kill ’em all, let God sort them.”

The violent saying was used in the thirteenth century, which means the ruthless extermination of enemy soldiers and civilians.

The PS does the same thing: exterminate everyone who isn’t like us, and destroy all of them in Finland.

Finland’s racism problem is so acute that people (less today) openly admit that they are racist.

Today there are more closet racists than before. The PS (openly racist) and Kokoomus (many closet racists) are good examples.

PS MEP Laura Huhtasaari tweets: “The Perussuomalaiset are racists What of it?”

Tweets @johanneskoski: “The political core of the Perussuomalaiset is racism. No wonder the Perussuomalaiset always appear as vicious school bullies, ruthless liars, and trolls mocking democratic institutions.
Racists have nothing else to offer but endless hatred. Source: Twitter

How the Finnish media Others racialized pupils

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One of the casualties of the war in Ukraine will be social rights and the recognition of racialized people in Finland. Are we witnessing more aggressive reporting as a result?

Helsingin Sanomat published Wednesday a whole spread about how “over half of the students at several schools in Espoo don’t speak Finnish as their mother tongue.”

And it leads the story claiming that a researcher warns that what is happening in Espoo is a part of a “worrisome” European trend.

Sounds pretty sensationalist, right?

To top it off, Yle published a survey a day earlier showing that a majority of Russian speakers in Finland have a negative view of the country’s membership in Nato.

The Yle story labels Russians in such a toxic way that it feeds the Russophobia beast that resides inside many Finns.


The story can only be accessed through a paywall.

The Helsingin Sanomat, like the Yle survey, have a common message: Don’t trust “foreigners.” They are a problem.

Another question that the Helsingin Sanomat article raises is the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS).* We have heard for a long time how the Islamophobic party has spread ethnonationalist views and the great replacement theory.

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Homogeeninen kansallisvaltio? Ei kiitos! 

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Olimme yllättyneet Perussuomalaisten (Ps) nuorison kolmannen varapuheenjohtajan Lauri Laitisen kirjoituksesta,* joilla hän puolusti kansallisvaltiota ja sen etnistä ja kielelistä homogeenisuutta.  

Myös yllätyimme miksi Helsingin Sanomat julkaisi kirjoituksen jossa on niin paljon epäasiallisuus. Voisinko minä julkaista esim. kirjoituksen jossa vaadin naisten paluuta hellan ääreen?

Tällaiset ajatukset eivät ole mitään uutta. Natsi-Saksan sotarikollinen Alfred Rosenberg, joka tuomittiin ja hirtettiin Nuremburgin oikeudenkäynnin jälkeen, väitti, että Saksalaisten “arjalainen-rotu” voisi saavuttaa suuruuden vasta, kun se olisi päässyt eroon vähemmistöistä, kuten juutalaisista. 

Rosenbergin kirjoituksia suositellaan yhä luettavaksi Suomen Sisulla.yhä luettavaksi Suomen Sisulla.

Voidaan kysyä kuinka homogeeniset kansallisvaltiot ovat “luonnollisia” jos niitä on luotu väkivallalla ja toisten ryhmien sortamisen tai hävittämisen kautta.   

Vaikka Laitisen historian tuntemus tai valikoiva muistinmenetys on ilmeistä, hänen kirjoitus paljastaa huolestuvampaa seikan: Perussuomalaisten flirttailu tai pyrkimys “homogeenisen kansallisvaltioon.” 

Vaikka Ps vastustaa kiivaasti kulttuurista ja etnistä moninaisuutta, he eivät tarjoa ratkaisuja siihen, miten homogeenisuus saavutetaan. Miten Riikka Purran ja Jussi Halla-ahon puolue aikoo pysäyttää kulttuurista moninaisuutta? 

Ainoa vastaus, joka minulla tulee mieleen on valeuutisten ja populismin levittäminen ja/tai muuttamalla demokraattista järjestelmää kuten olemme nähneet Unkarissa ja Republikaaninen puoluessa Yhdysvalloissa. 

Enrique Tessieri

Ahti Tolvanen

Suomen viharikosvastainen yhdistys ry

* Lähetimme vastine Helsingin Sanomille (27.5.) tuloksetta.

How institutional racism entrenches at a Finnish school

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How does institutional racism survive unchallenged at a Finnish school? An anonymous source got in touch with Migrant Tales and pointed out how structural or institutional racism survives at a Finnish school.

One of the most crucial factors for its survival aren’t surveys and legal ineffective and false assurances against discrimination and racism but what the principal or leadership of the school thinks about such social ills. Is anti-racism a low priority, and does the school management camouflage its racism usually with its silence?

In Finland, according to the source, it is easy to house racist views and seek cover in the protective structural racism infrastructure. One can even get money from the state for anti-discrimination work by throwing out catchphrases like “this will be good for integration.”

In many cases, the promise that “this will be good for integration” is false and misguided and feeds structural racism. Integration, or adaption, is a two-way process. Even so, this is usually forgotten.

The majority is not required to “integrate” but the newcomer is.


Guiding principles of the EU National Plan Against Racism 2020-2025. One of the many important objectives is to tackle structural racism.

Here are some of the factors that maintain structural racism at a Finnish school:

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Peddling theories about ethnic replacement in Finland for political profit and blood

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I received a call from an old Migrant Tales reader who was distraught about a letter to the editor written by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Youth of Lappeenranta. The headline? “The nation-state is our best protection.”

Is it?

The reader continued: “How can Helsingin Sanomat publish something that openly excludes non-white Finns and other minorities in Finland? I’m worried about my child. What kind of a country are we heading? Nazi Germany?”

After reading the letter to the editor, I agreed and understood the reader’s concern. Like the Republicans in the US, the PS of Finland are openly subverting our Nordic democracy by replacing it with an autocratic system like Viktor Orbán’s Hungary.


Source: Twitter

Apart from excluding minorities in Finland and forgetting what racism and hatred of Nazi Germany in World War 2, the PS Youth claims the following:

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Exposing white privilege in Finland #86: Maryan Abdulkarim and Finland’s amnesia

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I can’t remember. It’s not important anyway.

Finland’s political amnesia shrowded in denial and hostility comes in the form of knee-jerk reactions. Those knee-jerk reactions may appear by acting dumb to difficult questions or by destroying your credibility in public.

I met Maryan Abdulkarim many years ago and commended her bravery in the face of continuous suspicion and hostility. Many in this country see her bravery as a positive matter needed in a Finland that suffers from too many Teflon politicians and political amnesia.


Source: Halima

After six years of being a host on the Yle television show Jälkivisaat raati, which discusses topical issues of the day, Abdulkarim decided to leave after the program decided to include former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson (1995-2017), Timo Soini, as its new host.

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Will Nato membership for Finland be good for migrants and minority rights?

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If truth Is the first casualty in war, then the second casualty is the loss of your civil rights.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin are due to announce Thursday that Finland should join Nato “without delay,” according to The Guardian.

While Finland’s security concerns are valid enough for its giant eastern neighbor and what’s happening in Ukraine, the rushed pace of our membership in Nato has stymied debate about Finland’s major foreign policy shift.

One of the matters that worry me is if our hardened stance against Russia will continue to fuel our xenophobic tendencies. As a Nato member, will Finland find understanding to promote social equality for minorities, including Muslims, Africans, and people of color?

Another aspect that raises question marks is the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus).

Even if Nato will improve our security, the new tougher face of Finland could have a negative impact on our Nordic values and how they are applied to different groups.

Even if Nato improves our security, the new tougher face of Finland could undermine our Nordic values and how they are applied to different groups.

Disagree?

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How the Finnish media frames “good” and “bad” refugees

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Länsiväylä is a community newspaper that lives off advertising revenues. One story on Ukrainian refugees raking a park in Kirkonnummi, a city located near Helsinki, is another chapter in framing Ukrainian refugees as “good” refugees.

Some who use such stories to feed their racist worldview, use such stories to frame Muslim refugees as “bad” refugees.

One PS politician states:

These Ukrainians are pretty different from many others who have sought asylum in Finland.

Thankfulness is shown in this way (raking a park lawn. See picture below.)

I hope that some of them remain in Finland when the war ends.

They are needed here.

I belkieve they will not be over-represented in crime statistics.



Instead of framing “good” and “bad” immigrants, it would be good for the media to show that we have the ability to be humane and help others. If we can open our hearts to Ukrainians, why couldn’t we do the same for people from the Middle East and Africa?



Shadow racism in the happiest country

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It is quite true that when people come to a new country like Finland, they have a ”honeymoon” period – everything looks new and interesting. The first few months can feel like an extended holiday, and you experience the seasons, the holidays and the culture.

When it came time for me to look for work, and the first year, and then 20 months went by – it was so hard to explain to family and friends far away that there was just no way to find a job. One of my UK friends told me, ”Just take anything – even cleaning, and then other things will come”. They rarely did – whether I set my hopes high or low.

Fast forward another 18 years, and finding work is just as difficult, in fact, even harder for middle-aged people. Over the past winter, I tried looking into some new ideas through the ”Startup” groups, and then the TE office sent my details to the BusinessOulu office.

Source: BusinessOulu

On the 1st of March, a lady from BusinessOulu called, and introduced herself as a ‘business coach’ and she started to ask me about my recent work and searches. I explained some of the challenges I have had, and almost dropped the phone when I heard her say to me – ”Oh, I think you are too old to work”. A few seconds passed before I reminded her that her own President was older in his mid-70s, but she brushed it off and said ”oh that’s different.”

I guess in Finland, if you are a wealthy and famous man, you have more rights to a job than an immigrant woman without an income.

Another of my challenges has been the ‘Brexit Punishment’ British immigrants get – many officials like to make things difficult for us, regardless of our politics. Finland, via Migri (The Finnish Immigration Service), decreed all British permanent residents reapply for another Residency (plus 54 euros) and have interview, and then wait for a decision. This is currently taking – not weeks, but months! My own is now scheduled to take 14 months

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Not a Muslim “terrorist” but a white Finn belonging to the far-right PS

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A 33-year-old driver driving at high speed in the city center ended up hitting several cars and crashing in front of a cafe on Pohjoiesplanadi on May Day Eve, according to Yle News. Three people were injured including the suspect.

The suspect, a member of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party and a public servant at the ministry of economic affairs and employment, resisted arrest and yelled at the police.

In a video, he calls the police the devil and says repeatedly “amen” on the ground as he is being apprehended.

The suspect was a PS candidate in the country election held in January and on the same list as Riikka Purra, the chairperson of the far-right party.

The suspect is being held for aggravated endangerment of traffic safety, aggravated drunk driving, grievous bodily injury, resisting an official, and insubordination, the police said in a statement, according to Yle News.



Strangely, there has been no response from the PS on what happened.

If the person had been a Muslim, we all know how the PS and the Finnish media would have reacted.

Shouldn’t we demand, in the far-right PS example, an apology from all the party members for what happened?

The best news is that nobody was hurt seriously.

Minority voices in the anti-racism debate

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Considering that discrimination in the labor market is well-documented in numerous studies, it is surprising how little is still being done to challenge this problem and how migrant and minority voices are excluded from the debate. True, some stories quote migrants, but they are usually the victims and not the experts with solutions.

The lack of minority voices in the debate allows for denial and fuels bias. With so few minorities in newsrooms, it should come as any surprise why so little is written about Islamophobia and why it is still not seen as a form of racism.

There are other factors like the majority’s fear of losing power, spreading hate speech in order to acquire power, ignorance, and our lack of will to challenge institutional racism and our prejudices.

Women’s rights are topics that migrant newcomers encounter when attending integration courses. Misogyny and feminism are important topics that everyone should understand. But other ones are equally important, like anti-racism, religious freedom, living in a culturally diverse society, and how to claim and defend one’s inalienable rights.

Terminology on the topic is also confusing. The term tasa-arvo (gender equality) is commonly used by the media, politicians, and even policy-makers to mean yhdenvertaisuus (non-discrimination). When politicians talk about gender equality, do they mean non-discrimination? Do they mean women’s rights are more important than social exclusion and racism against people of color?

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Migrant Tales Literary: A father who is grand!

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By Leo Honka

Memories turn to stone when men age inside hats

Taking them off for added warmth

past days somersaulting, turning themselves upside down

atop your unruly gray hair,

half-asleep – whispering how you’ve aged!


My grandfather (1892-1978) was an avid watercolor painter. This one above was one of his favorites.

Tossed and navigated through the years of your life

How many of those days did you cast overboard?

And now…grandfather, father grand,

with your painful, tired, crippled walk

can you feel those days splashing on you like heavy rain?

Twitter: Perussuomalainen Nuoriso ja tyhmät saappaat

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Näyttää siltä, että Perussuomalainen Nuoriso tykkää kopioida vanhaa retoriikkaa. Teuvo Hakkarainen sanoi samaa yli 10 vuotta sitten. Ilta-Sanomien mukaan Hakkarainen ehdotti, että homot, lesbot ja somalit pitäisi laittaa asumaan yhdessä Ahvenanmaalle.

Tähän ryhmään nyt kuuluu kielteisen turvapaikkapäätöksen saaneiden.

Väite herättää monessa suhteessa paljon kysymyksiä. Miten vauras pohjoismainen hyvinvointivaltio, joka perustaa arvonsa sosiaaliseen yhdenvertaisuudeen ja oikeudenmukaisuuteen ja jolla on yksi maailman parhaista koulutusjärjestelmistä, voi langeta rasismin ansaan?

Pitäisikö Perussuomalainen Nuoriso muuttaa Ahvenanmaalle etsimään tähän kysymyksen vastausta?


The Right to Live citizen’s initiative has over 50,000 signatures – parliament has a moral obligation to grant residence permits to undocumented migrants

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The Right to Live (Lupa elää) citizen’s initiative passed through the 50,000 signatures barrier Friday. If passed by parliament, the initiative will grant four-year residence permits to undocumented migrants who came to Finland before January 1, 2017.

The ministry of interior published its recommendations on what to do with some 3,000 undocumented migrants who came to Finland in 2015-2016. Of this group, about 300 are children.

States the Right to Live: “An unprecedented number of asylum seekers arrived in Finland during the years 2015 and 2016. Many went through asylum processes that were hurried and of poor quality. More than 5 years later, some of them are in a legal limbo and are still waiting for a residence permit, while some are waiting for the first non-appealable decision to their asylum applications.”

The proposal, made by the Green League, to grant a residence permit to undocumented migrants has received opposition from government parties like the Social Democrats (SDP) and Center Party.

Migrant Tales has published several stories about the lives of undocumented migrants in Finland. Here is Amir’s story.

Some of the most vocal government objectors to the proposal are SDP MP Eveliina Heinäluoma and Mikko Kärnä of the Center Party, both parliament’s administrative committee members.



Be ready to hear a lot of empty whining by some politicians on why we should continue to let thousands of undocumented migrants and their children live on the fringes of society without any rights.

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“On the path of Sweden” and other deceptive claims by the Perussuomalaiset and Finnish media

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Ever wonder why the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party gets so excited about so-called failed immigration and riots in Sweden? Is it because there isn’t enough news in Finland to spike and spread their Islamophobic message and perpetuate their deceptive claims?

The PS is a case in point to study how fake news about migrants is planted and watered in Finland. You only need two things: fake claims and silent media.

A lot of fake news about migrants is perpetuated by the PS. One of these is that Finland is “on the path of Sweden” when it comes to brown migrants.

Some of the toxic assumptions that such a claim makes are that certain groups of migrants, namely Muslims and people of color, are prone to violence and anti-social behavior because of their cultural background.

Such claims or news stories dig deeper into why there is social unrest in Sweden and its causes. Ever heard of institutional racism? Discrimination? Lack of social mobility?

Placing the blame on migrants and minorities won’t solve matters but perpetuate the problem.


A PS tweet: “Finland should not take the same path as Sweden. We don’t want burning police cars. A policy shift is needed.” Ville Tavio is the chairperson of the PS parliamentary group. Source: Twitter

Apart from the lack of news in Finland and crystal ball predictions about our cultural diversity in Finland, why do the PS rarely state that they are targeting Muslims, people of color or brown and black people?

Is it because their racist rhetoric is so immersed in code words like “asylum seeker” and “people of foreign background” mean groups like Muslims? Are they fearful of being charged for ethnic agitation?

Considering that 17% of Helsinki’s population speaks another mother tongue other than Finnish, Swedish, and Saami, it is surprising how slowly the newsroom of Finland’s biggest daily, Helsingin Sanomat, is still so white.

Why does the media not challenge fake news about migrants?

Is it because the media is part of Finland’s racism problem?


Migrant Tales Literary: Autumn darkness and the midnight sun

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By Leo Honka

Deep in the forests of Savo, darkness is not always darkness but a state of mind that has learned to remain an image. In such places, time comes and goes but never leaves; its magic maintains you balanced like a trapeze artist without falling thanks to heart-filled joyous moments of memories once a time ago when you were part of the scenery…

Exposing white privilege in Finland #85: We need solutions, not racist provocations

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The riots in Sweden sparked by the burning of the Koran by the Danish far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party led by Rasmus Palaudan remind us how urgently we need solutions, not provocations, to heal the wounds gashed by racism and double standards. Provocations do nothing more than expose our hypocrisy and privilege. They never offer solutions on the way to move forward.

Be it by the Palaudan and other far-right political groups like the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* it is always the same script: provoke, provoke but never give solutions. While Palaudan has threatened a “final solution” to Muslims and expelling all of them from Denmark, the PS has only given cheap racist soundbites.

Palaudan loves attention, and he gets it from the media and, unfortunately, from some Muslims and others. He is not a champion of free speech by burning the Koran but an example of white privilege disguised as free speech.

In the last election in Denmark, his party got 1.8% of the votes, which is below the 2% threshold for an MP to be elected.

The PS is so full of bravado that they fear mentioning the term “Muslim” in their hate soundbites but instead speak in code. Asylum seekers and immigration policy are their code words for Muslims.

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports: “Police said up to 100 mostly young people threw stones, set cars, tires and dustbins on fire, and put up a barrier fence in the town of Landskrona after authorities moved a demonstration scheduled there by Danish party Stram Kurs to the nearby city of Malmö, about 45km (27 miles) to the south.”

Forgetting the crucial role migrants have played in building Sweden’s economy after World War 2, PS leader Riikka Purra parrots her usual far-right talking points about events in Sweden.


Tweets Riikka Purra: “The rampage continues in Malmö. Rocks and fuel bottles were thrown at the police. Masked persons ignited several arson attacks.  According to police, the situation at night was chaotic, says Yle.”
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Helsingin Sanomat treats Rikka Purra with kid gloves – by and large, stenography journalism

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If former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* head Jussi Halla-aho were a women, her name would be Riikka Purra.

Helsingin Sanomat published Saturday an interview with PS Chairperson Riikka Purra, where she puts Ukrainian refugees on a pedestal and dehumanizes Muslim and African refugees.

Instead of just publishing Purra’s comments like a stenographer, why not fact-check?

Here are some questions I would ask Purra:

1. Why has your party headed south in recent opinion polls?

2. What is the greatest threat that the PS faces?

3. Using hindsight, do you believe that your membership in the pro-Putin EU bloc Democracy and Identity was a mistake?

4. What is your opinion of Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orbán, Marine le Pen and Matteo Salvini?

5. Why does the PS have close links with far-right and neo-Nazi groups?

6. Why were you against Nato membership last year but are now in favor? Should Finland leave the EU?

7. Are there any ideological differences between you and Jussi Halla-aho? Please state one difference.


Source: WordPress/Openverse

Takeaways from the interview:

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Populist European parties and politicians, like rats, will abandon a sinking ship in 2022

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This year has been disastrous for the populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* for several reasons. The first hiccup came in last year’s municipal election, when the party, guided by promising opinion polls, expected to win but came in fourth place. Then came an even worse wreck: the county election in January, when its support dove to 11%. 

Despite these setbacks, the biggest one yet was going to land in chairperson Riikka Purra’s footsteps: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

With Putin’s invasion, populist parties in Europe – including the PS – suffered a massive blow since It was a wake-up call about what dangers and limits of populism.

While populists like the PS cannot enjoy the same dictatorial powers that Putin has, people in the West fear that democracy is in danger. Populist parties can pave the way for an autocratic regime, wars, destruction, and the tragic loss of lives that such calamities bring.

In one of the most powerful editorials ever written about the PS by Helsingin Sanomat, it cited MEPs like Laura Huhtasaari and why the PS are members of the far-right bloc Identity and Democracy (ID) that is the most pro-Putin in the EU?

The editorial suggested that MEPs like Huhtasaari in the ID group were “useful idiots” and since the war was not going to plan for Putin, populist politicians were rats abandoning a sinking ship.


Source: Migrant Tales

Another sign that populists like Hungary’s Viktor Orbán are losing support due to his close ties to Putin, was the cancellation of a meeting of the Visegrad Four defense ministers in Budapest on Wednesday. The Czech and Polish defense ministers refused to take part in the meeting due to Orban’s close relationship with Russia, according to Radio Prague International.

It is clear that the parties like the PS are disoriented today and trying to regain their political balance. What use is there for a party like the PS if anti-immigration sentiment and calls to leave the EU have lost their appeal among voters?

The latest example of the PS having lost its way was an announcement by Purra flip-flopped on NATO membership.

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Our willingness to help “women and children” Ukrainian refugees is code for anti-Muslim racism

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Think about it. Finland’s far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party has had a total change of heart about refugees, which it has attacked and fed its popularity. Not only the PS, but other parties like the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), Center Party, and a “taxi party” Liike Nyt, according to Yle.

A taxi party is one where all of its MPs can fit inside a taxi.

PS chairperson Riikka Purra, who scapegoats refugees with gusto, alleges that Ukrainian “women and children” should get help in Finland.

“There is a war in Europe pretty close to Finland,” she said. “It’s pretty clear that Finland should help mothers and children.”

Center Party head Annika Saarikko used the same argument with code words for white refugees such as women and children. Petteri Orpo, whose party has been hostile to Muslims, stated that we should help Ukrainians because “their integration will be much easier” because they have professions and speak languages.

Our favorable treatment of Ukrainians contrasts with our anti-Muslim racism.

Source: TRT World. Thank you Ambrosius Wollstén for the heads-up.

Even if it is a good matter that the Ukrainians have forced a change of heart in Finland and Europe concerning refugees, under such expressions of solidarity lies our ugly racism and bigotry.


Source: Yle

Let’s take the argument that we should help “women and children,.” Politicians who use this argument are bashing with another arm refugees from the Middle East and Africa.

With such thinking, men cannot apply for asylum even if they are fleeing war.

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Exposing white privilege in Finland #84: Suomineidot offers refuge to privilege, white power, whitewashing, the far right and racism

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Comments about the Yle television series on far-right young women, Suomineidot (Finnish Maidens), went viral, and for a good reason. Apart from revealing how much in the dark Yle is about racism and the far right, it also exposes white privilege in Finland.

In a nutshell, the series is about three young women:

  • Meri Kartta is a far-right ethnonationalist who hangs out with neo-Nazis.
  • Jasmin Ollikainen is an avid follower of Pentti Linkola, an ecofascist.
  • Liisa Siira is a member of the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party.

One of the best arguments against the program is that it lacks context. The journalists who did the series acted as obedient stenographers instead of critical reporters.

Despite the criticism of the program, Yle defended the program in a tweet below:

“Improving our understanding of each other and the world is one of Yle’s aims. By confronting different points of view, we increase our understanding and empathy and challenging confrontation. If we understand the reasons behind a particular point of view, we may feel that it isn’t so threatening.”

Source: Twitter

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(Migrant Tales 2015): Nunca más: 24 de marzo de 1976 y Rodolfo Walsh

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Este 24 de marzo, conmemorando a esta fecha infame en la historia argentina, dedico este humilde escrito  a Rodolfo Walsh quien murió un día después del primer aniversario de la dictadura militar de Jorge Rafael Videla. 

Aquí publicamos su “Carta abierta a la Junta militar en 1977, al cumplirse un año del golpe de Estado de 1976:”

 CARTA ABIERTA DE UN ESCRITOR A LA JUNTA MILITAR  

1. La censura de prensa, la persecución a intelectuales, el allanamiento de mi casa en el Tigre, el asesinato de amigos queridos y la pérdida de una hija que murió combatiéndolos, son algunos de los hechos que me obligan a esta forma de expresión clandestina después de haber opinado libremente como escritor y periodista durante casi treinta años.

El primer aniversario de esta Junta Militar ha motivado un balance de la acción de gobierno en documentos y discursos oficiales, donde lo que ustedes llaman aciertos son errores, los que reconocen como errores son crímenes y lo que omiten son calamidades.

El 24 de marzo de 1976 derrocaron ustedes a un gobierno del que formaban parte, a cuyo desprestigio contribuyeron como ejecutores de su política represiva, y cuyo término estaba señalado por elecciones convocadas para nueve meses más tarde.

En esa perspectiva lo que ustedes liquidaron no fue el mandato transitorio de Isabel Martínez sino la posibilidad de un proceso democrático donde el pueblo remediara males que ustedes continuaron y agravaron.

Ilegítimo en su origen, el gobierno que ustedes ejercen pudo legitimarse en los hechos recuperando el programa en que coincidieron en las elecciones de 1973 el ochenta por ciento de los argentinos y que sigue en pie como expresión objetiva de la voluntad del pueblo, único significado posible de ese “ser nacional” que ustedes invocan tan a menudo.

Invirtiendo ese camino han restaurado ustedes la corriente de ideas e intereses de minorías derrotadas que traban el desarrollo de las fuerzas productivas, explotan al pueblo y disgregan la Nación.

Una política semejante solo puede imponerse transitoriamente prohibiendo los partidos, interviniendo los sindicatos, amordazando la prensa e implantando el terror más profundo que ha conocido la sociedad argentina.  

2. Quince mil desaparecidos, diez mil presos, cuatro mil muertos, decenas de miles de desterrados son la cifra desnuda de ese terror. Colmadas las cárceles ordinarias, crearon ustedes en las principales guarniciones del país virtuales campos de concentración donde no entra ningún juez, abogado, periodista, observador internacional. El secreto militar de los procedimientos, invocado como necesidad de la investigación, convierte a la mayoría de las detenciones en secuestros que permiten la tortura sin límite y el fusilamiento sin juicio. (1)

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Suomineidot is another example of how much Yle is in the dark about racism and the far right

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Here is the plot of a new TV series Suomineidot (Finnish Maidens):

  • Meri is a far-right ethnonationalist who hangs out with neo-Nazis.
  • Jasmin is an avid follower of Pentti Linkola, who promoted population decline.
  • Liisa is a member of the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party.

Apart from the radical political views of the three participants, YLE launched the television series during the UN week of the elimination of racial discrimination (March 21-27).

Great timing, Yle, I know it was intentional.

It’s not the first time that the state-owned national broadcaster, Yle, has fallen flat on its face due to its shoddy programs.



Below, are two recent examples of programs on racism and the far right that backfired:

So what gives?

If a program promotes or tries to understand what racist and far-right people think, there should be an opposite opinion.

With minorities having a pitifully illegible voice in the media, programs such as Suomineidot normalize and only strengthen institutional racism and thinking. A lot of historical whitewashing happens as well. We forget how our hatred and racism led us to terrible wars. 

The TV series is another example of shoddy journalism driven by white Finnish privilege that don’t have a faint idea about racism and its harm.

Join us! Migrant Tales turns 15 years!

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Migrant Tales, the oldest anti-racism blog in Finland, will celebrate its 15th anniversary on May 30.

We are planning to publish an online magazine to commemorate the event. Apart from a section with greetings from people and associations, we will publish poetry, pictures, drawings, essays from our activists and readers in Finland and abroad. You can submit your writings in the language of your choice.

The online magazine will also offer an historical timeline of our most important achievements and the impact they had.

Send your submissions to editor@migranttales.net by May 16, 2022.

Source: WordPressOpenverse

How will we treat Ukrainian refugees in Finland?

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The interior ministry estimates “tens of thousands” Ukrainians moving to Finland as a result of the war in that country, according to  Yle News. There are about 7,000 Ukrainians in Finland, but Anna Rundgren, a ministry of interior senior specialist, believes that the actual figure is several times higher.

In 2015, the country saw a record influx of people coming here. Thirty-two thousand four hundred seventy-six asylum seekers, mainly from Iraq (20,485) and Afghanistan (5,214), came to Finland in that historic year. The country’s first wave of refugees was in 1921 when some 6,500 Russians from Kronstadt island in the Gulf of Finland fled the Bolsheviks.

Any sensible person should understand that the Ukrainian newcomers are an important human asset to the country. If we want to make Finland their new home, we must also treat them with respect and be vigilant so they will not fall prey to human trafficking and exploitation.


Read the full story here.

The treatment that some Iraqis, Afghans, and other non-EU asylum seekers received in Finland from 2015 was shameful in some cases. In May 2016, Migrant Tales, Rovaniemi-based daily Lapin Kansa, and the asylum seekers of the Kolari asylum reception center forced the Red Cross to fire the deputy manager of the camp Jari Sillantie.

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Hitting refugees below the belt

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I talked to a group of students from different national backgrounds today. Two things unite them: they are mostly Muslims and present or past asylum seekers in Finland.

While Europe is opening its arms to 2.809 million refugees from Ukraine since Sunday, according to the UNHCR, the two sets of rules for refugees reveal how little Europe has done to tackle racism.

In November, Finnish politicians talked about constructing a razor-wire fence on the border with Russia to keep keep out asylum seekers from crossing the Polish Belarus border.

Even if our insincerity, or hypocrisy, is upsetting to some of us, it has riled some asylum seekers who have waited for seven years to get a residence permit in Finland.

How do you tell such a person why Ukrainians are granted automatic residence permits, work permits and access to social welfare? Will you be sincere and tell them what James Baldwin said below?



Despite our understanding of the problem, there must be a lot of resentment among those asylum seekers who have waited for up to seven years for their residence permits.

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A racist explanation by the chair of parliament’s foreign affairs committee of Finland why Ukrainian refugees are better than other ones

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Despite all the objections to racism and Islamophobia in Finland, the silence and sub-rosa nods why such social ills continue to take root in the country. The chair of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Jussi Halla-aho of the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, explained why Europe should open its arms to Ukrainians and shut the door on refugees from regions like the Middle East.

In light of these racist and preposterous explanations by a high-ranking MP, their context is the hope that such statements will boost the PS’ slump in opinion polls.

What is a better place to do it than from the foreign affairs committee by a politician who not only built his political career on spreading racism but was convicted in 2012 for ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion?


Source: Ville Ranta/Iltalehti

Below are the head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee reasoning why Ukrainian refugees are better than others from regions like the Middle East and Africa on a Facebook post:

  • “Women and children are fleeing Ukraine. Those very children that are [fleeing] hug teddy bears in their arms, not those who claim they are 17 years old with built bodies. At the same time, when Ukrainian women and children flee the bombing, their husbands remain [in the country] to defend their homeland. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian men abroad return to fight against the [Russian] aggressor. The [Ukrainian refugee crisis] offers an average person what a refugee is and the [original] purpose of international refugee agreements.
  • Ukrainian refugees are grateful for having a roof over their heads. Iraqis state that the porridge is bad and why asylum reception centers are located so far from the city.
  • Many people already have [direct] experiences and perceptions of Ukrainians. You can see them at construction sites and farms. You can again see Iraqis…Everyone can decide where they’ve seen them.
  • Ukraine is a European refugee crisis. Naturally, they flee to the closest regions of Europe. [Ukrainian] refugees don’t demand that they go to the United States or Japan…”

Nato membership knocking at the door

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As the Finnish launches a process to consider the nation’s Nato membership, while the frightening news from the war in Ukraine floods the media, all of us living in the country need to stop and think how we got into this situation and where to turn now.

Perhaps we also need to reflect why we have not sought to join Nato earlier.


Source: Nato

This is not the first time Russia has invaded a neighboring country in recent times. We might mention the invasion of Afganistan for which many Western nations boycotted the Moscow Olympics. But not Finland.

Then we might mention the invasion of Georgia, the occupation of Czechoslovakia – even the bloody suppressions of a pre-independence uprisings in Chechenia and Hungary.

Admittedly all these had their unique historical. and geopolitical circumstances. But there were two things common to them all, A. They were events that shocked and upset many Finns when they occurred. B. No Finnish government ever even suggested we should consider joining Nato because of them.

Why now?

The suffering caused by the Russian invasion and the flight of about two million refugees is certainly extremely upsetting. More so because of our modern access to graphic coverage in mainstream and social media. The public’s empathetic response to the victims of war is understandable and commendable.

But his cannot be the main reason for why the government now wants to consider joining Nato. The past conflicts were also frightening in their day and the invaders often ever crueler.

An explanation might be found in the doctrine espoused by President Juho Paasikivi after the last war – adopted by his successor- President Urho Kekkonen- that maintaining cordial relations with the country’s biggest neighbor was the cornerstone of Finnish foreign relations. Finland should always remain a non-aligned nation between East and West. From crises to crises this was an edict repeated by both Russian and Finnish leaders that kept peace on the border.

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How long will our good will and patience last while millions of Ukrainian seek refuge in the EU?

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On Tuesday, 2.011 million refugees have fled Ukraine since February 24, according to the UNHCR. Some sources speculate that up to 4 million refugees may flee the war in Ukraine.

In light of Europe’s bleak history and the worst human rights abuses, atrocities, and wars in all of history, one wonders how long our goodwill lasts.

The goodwill of the EU has been shown by granting Ukrainians special protection status. Contrary to asylum seekers who came to Europe in 2015 and faced a long and grueling asylum process, Ukrainians receive automatic residence and work permits and access to social welfare.

Even if such a policy is a step in the right direction, we can ask for how long our goodwill towards Ukrainians fleeing war will last?

If we compare what happened to asylum seekers who came to Europe in 2015 from countries like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia, our goodwill ran out pretty fast.

Ahti Tolvanen, a historian and member of the Migrant Tales editorial board, tackled the question.

“It is high time that we reform the structural abuse in our labor market to make sue that these people [Ukrainians and others] aren’t exploited,” he said.

The far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is already chipping away at our goodwill and patience towards Ukrainians.


The chairperson of the PS, Riikka Purra, is already attacking Ukrainian refugees by fear-mongering. She tweets: “NOW WE HAVE TO ACT. It would be easy for Russia engulf Finland with immigrants. The government must make sure that our border can keep [refugees] out.” Thank you @nopersu and @Reija_Harkonen for the heads-up.

The racist slogan by the PS is an example of how desperate the party is and that it has nothing to offer Finland except to polarize with injections of xenophobia.


 

Tekophyhä

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Kun muutamat opiskelijat kysyivät miksi ukrainalaisia saavat kaikki viisumi oleskella EU maissa ja toiset, mm. Lähi- idästä, eivät saaneet, kerroin heille sana, joka paljastaa hyvin asia:

Exposing white Finnish privilege #83: War doesn’t give a hoot if you are white or black

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The war in Ukraine is like a sinister brew boiling over death, destruction, tragedy, hatred, and xenophobia.

Apart from the shock and horror, our double standards and jingoism stand out as a stark reminder that we have done little to challenge the very social ills that caused the deaths of tens of millions of people in World War 2.

I’m talking about accomplices like the Holocaust and Stalin’s purges. And to our silence and inaction.

White Finnish privilege #82

“Rather than being a movement to turn on each other, this refugee crisis should be a reminder that ‘refugee’ is not synonymous for ‘brown person.’ Anyone could become a refugee. It’s a thing that happens to you, it’s not who you are.”

Trevor Noah

Will we learn anything from this war?

Will the tears of the dead and the living awaken us from what Henry Miller called the air-conditioned nightmare?

We are all hardcore nationalism junkies.

Detoxification now.

See also:


Migrant Tales Literary: Fatima

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Leo Honka

Who is Fatima? Who is the person wishing us from the Joutseno immigration removal center a kind, “Good night. Loved ones.”

Fatima is only a name. It houses no human because it is only a name written on paper by a plane dropping bombs, a tank shelling civilians, and a woman hoping for better days.

Could it be Fatima who is wishing us good night as floodlights expose the state of siege?

Maybe, but it doesn’t matter.


Bombs drop from the sky…

…and from the ground.
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The EU’s double standards on the treatment of refugees are out of step with its alleged values

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There is mounting evidence about how Polish and Ukrainian border guards openly discriminate against non-Ukrainians and minorities like the Roma fleeing war as well as attacks by Polish nationalists. The commissioner for home affairs and migration, Ylva Johansson, has only words of praise.

“We can expect a lot of EU unity and EU solidarity towards Ukrainian if the situation deteriorates significantly,” Johansson was quoted as saying last month in Euronews.

The commissioner does not mention last November’s inhumane treatment of asylum seekers on the Belarus border or the discrimination that Africans and people of color are facing at the border.



While such hypocrisy is visible for everyone to see if they wish, it shows not only how racist Europe is but how little it has done to combat this social ill.

In light of the discriminatory and racist treatment by Polish and other EU border guards of non-EU citizens, I was surprised by a tweet from the Polish ministry of foreign affairs denying and slamming it as “fake news.”


Source: Twitter

I wonder what the Polish chancellery has to say about an African Union and other statements that claim that racist and discriminatory treatment at the border isn’t fake news?


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Länsi-Savo: Kuinka tulla toimeen eri kulttuurien kanssa

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Suomessa puhutaan paljon, kuinka ihmisten eri kulttuureista pitäisi tulla toimeen toistensa kanssa. Perustuslakimme antaa siihen hyvät eväät: syrjintä on kielletty, ihmisille on oikeus omaan kulttuurin ja kieleen, on myös uskonnonvapaus.

Mielestäni nämä periaatteet ovat oikeita ja tärkeitä, jos haluamme rakentaa ja elää yhteiskunnassa, jossa kaikilla riippumatta taustoista on yhdenvertaisia oikeuksia ja velvollisuuksia.

Nykyään enemmistö suomalaisista nuorista ei ole ennakkoluuloisia. Nuoret ovat oppineet ymmärtämään, että maailma on moninainen ja Suomi on osa tästä maailmaa. Tähän on auttanut muun muassa sosiaalinen media, matkustaminen ja eri tv-ohjelmat.

Olen opiskellut Otavan Opistossa yli puoli vuotta. Suurin osa lähiopiskelijoista on muualta kuin Suomesta. Itse olen syntynyt ja kasvanut Suomessa. Olen 17-vuotias.

Olen oppinut paljon kouluaikana, erityisesti kuinka eletään moninaisessa yhteisössä ja rakennetaan hyviä suhteita. Mielestäni ymmärrys, uteliaisuus ja kiinnostus toisia ihmisiä ja kulttuureita kohtaan auttavat paljon luomaan hyvät ja toimivat suhteet.

Ymmärrys on yksi keskeisistä asioista, koska se luo pohjan ja mahdollisuuden kunnioitukselle. Tämä ei kuitenkaan toimi, jos ymmärrys ja kunnioitus ei ole molemminpuolista.

Ymmärrys on yksi keskeisistä asioista.

Kuten kerroin, tietynlainen kiinnostus tai halu tietää toisesta on tärkeää, jos haluaa elää ja tulla toimeen toisten kanssa. Jos ei ole kiinnostusta tietää toisesta mitään, ei kyseinen henkilö pysty ymmärtämään toisesta tai hänen kulttuuristaan mitään. Tämä antaa tilaa ennakkoluuloille.

Jos nämä ohjeet ovat toimineet minulle, ne voisivat toimia myös muille.

Suosittelen.

Leevi Mikkonen

Mikkeli

Lue alkuperänen kirjoitus tästä.

Millions of Ukrainians are coming. How long will it take before our goodwill turns into open hostility?

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Remember 2015, when some 1.3 million million asylum seekers came to Europe from countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia? Europe says welcome! Tervetuloa (welcome)! Meillä on tilaa (there is room for you)! After the initial outpouring of support and understanding for these people fleeing wars that we had started, attitudes took an abrupt turn for the worst.

New soundbites emerged: Go back to your countries! Social welfare bums! Illegal “refugees.”

Behind those sinister phrases were plans to make life as difficult as possible for these asylum seekers, who were mainly non-white and Muslims.

Today, Europe is ready to grant Ukrainians and foreigners fleeing war in Ukraine special protection status. If approved, it would give such refugees automatic residence permits, work permits, and access to social welfare for up to three years.


In 2016, the EU was welcoming, sometimes with open arms, asylum seekers from outside the EU. Photo: Enrique Tessieri

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Other casualties of Ukraine are European far-right parties like the Perussuomalaiset of Finland

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Since the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, we are seeing the restructuring of Europe’s security structure and political landscape. The new landscape is bad news for Europe’s far-right and populist parties like Finland’s Perussuomalaiset (PS)*. 

The new situation may explain why PS chairperson, Riikka Purra, offered a new image with new glasses that makes her look more sensible and not her usual angry self? Is it why she did not mention once on the talk show her favorite pet word she likes to exploit: migrants?

Simultaneously, Finland’s staunchly anti-immigration party showed no objection to the millions of Ukrainian refugees [the media is now calling them by their proper name] who would settle in the EU and have access to a residence permit and social welfare.

PS MEP Laura Huhtasaari, a Donald Trump admirer and leading Islamophobe in Finland, tweeted: “Refugees welcome.”


Source: Twitter

The dismal performance and showing of the PS in January’s regional elections and recent opinion polls force the party to reorient itself and find a new path to voters. Understanding that anti-immigration rhetoric won’t fly in the same way as in the past, the party has asked its former leader Jussi Halla-aho to the rescue.

Halla-aho, convicted of ethnic agitation in 2012 and is the country’s most vociferous Islamophobe, was appointed as the new chair of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee after PS MP Mika Niiko’s abrupt resignation.

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Ukrainians battle against the Russians but do little with the Poles to fight racism

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Shameful and racist treatment. Ukrainian train conductors push back on Africans fleeing the war while Polish border officials don’t permit Africans to enter Poland, reports The Guardian

Just like when Poland fenced out Middle East asylum seekers in November from entering the country, which even led to the death of children from hyperthemia, Africans are facing the same obstacles at the border. 

Keeping out asylum seekers was done with the full complicity of the EU.

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

Racism is a driving source of injustice in the EU swept under the rug with double standards and hypocrisy.

Such acts and treatment of Africans and other people of color force Ukraine and the EU to lose their grip on their high moral ground they wish to have.


Source: YouTube

Selling your political soul to the highest bidder and Putin’s collateral damage to Europe’s far-right parties

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Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s plans of breathing new life into a second take of the Soviet empire by invading Ukraine have backfired and produced the opposite effect. Far-right parties like the Perussuomnalaiset (PS)* are collateral damage in Putin’s miscalculation. 

It’s been a wretched start for Putin:

– Plans to carry out a rapid invasion and victory of Ukraine have hardened and emboldened Ukrainian resistence;

– Putin’s war of aggression has mobilized the strongest international outrage since 9/11

– Hopes that the Russians would be greeted as “liberators” in Ukraine was nothing more than the wishful thinking of an autocrat; 

– Aims to divide Nato and the EU have produced the opposite effect and strengthened and united these bodies;

– Intimidating Finland and Sweden not to join Nato have encouraged and brought them closer to seek membership;

– Close far-right ties with Putin by parties like Lega Nord and Front National Party of France have put them in an awkward position;

– The PS’ racist broken record against asylum seekers and refugees changed instantly when the EU decided unanimously to permit Ukrainians to move to the EU for up to three years without applying for asylum.

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PS’ about-turn on Russia is reprehensible

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In the backdrop of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, some politicians, especially from the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, have changed their tune. Don’t be fooled by them, and such moves are nothing more than an opportunistic move to prop up their sinking popularity.

Their shift in opinions about the Russians is so reprehensible that it resembles Adolf Hitler rising from the grave and claiming he is a changed person who renounces anti-Semitism.

It’s not going to fly because Halla-aho lacks credibility.

Disagree? Check out the PS’ close ideological ties with former President Donald Trump. He stated that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was “genius and savvy” and that he was an intelligent person.

In the quote below, the late social commentator James Baldwin warns us not to trust politicians and parties based on their questionable record.

As everyone knows, the PS has a dirty history of racism and populism with numerous ethnic agitation convictions like Halla-aho’s in 2012.



Is the tweet below credible?


Tweets Halla-aho: “People of Russia, Russian soldiers, politicians, officials!
Stop the criminal who dishonors you and your country before humanity.
History will not only condemn him but will judge you too.” Source: Twitter

Why doesn’t he and the PS directly condemn Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine? Just say it loud and clear without wavering: We condemn Putin for his military aggression in Ukraine.

A study published in fall 2021 by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum, showed that the most favorable attitudes towards Russia were Movement Now (67%), PS (48%), and Center Party (47%).

Anything coming out of the PS is a deception.

I can’t believe them because I see what they do.


Exposing white Finnish privilege #82: Good “refugees” are white and Christian, “bad” ones are Muslims

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In light of the Russian invasion and bloodshed in Ukraine, Finland has expressed its readiness to take in “tens of thousands” of “refugees” from that country, according to Yle. Remember last year, when Poland closed its border with Belarus over mostly Iraqis seeking asylum in the EU?

Remember the calls to keep out such asylum seekers by building a fence between Finland and Russia? Remember how parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) demanded that Finland draft new laws that would temporarily exclude asylum seekers from seeking refuge?

Former Kokoomus MP and minister Kimmo Sasi said that Finland use violence to repel asylum seekers from entering Finland.

The narrative may have now changed, and it’s good news, somewhat.

A Yle news commentator said on Friday that “Finland can take in if needed tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees. Finland has the resources even if Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries.”

White Finnish privilege #82

In an opinion piece (in Finnish) by Reija Härkonen, she pointed out how the narrative has changed when those seeking asylum are white and Christian.

“Now, the situation is better since Ukraine is in distress, as sad as this may be. Conservative politicians, including Petteri Orpo, speaking before parliament on behalf of Ukraine, [are now] crying and showing an outpouring of sympathy. I have never heard, for example, such understanding for Iraqi and Syrian children.”

Here’s the question with an obvious answer: Why isn’t anyone speaking about building fences and even using violence against Ukrainian refugees? Why are refugees from outside the EU, mainly Muslims and Africans, called illegal immigrants?

The answer is clear. Where you are from and your religious background are crucial whether you will be accepted or scorned publicly.

Sad but true, but a lot of hypocrisy stains our present-day politics.

See also:



Donald Trump called Vladimir Putin’s invasion “genius and savvy.” Why are the Perussuomalaiset hiding their faces in shame?

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While the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* are scrambling to prop up their dismal poll numbers, they are also changing their tune on Vladimir Putin and Russia. One of the best ways to understand the PS’ admiration of Putin and the tragedy in Ukraine is through former President Donald Trump.

We can cite Jussi Halla-aho’s praise of Trump in a tweet, where he claims that the former president is the best thing that happened to the United States and the Western world, to Veikko “Tramperen Trump” Vallin posing with Vilhelm Junnila with MAGA caps on May Day.

And how could we forget former parliamentary foreign affairs committee chairperson Mika Niikko, who suggested that a Western leader should assure Putin that Ukraine will not join Nato?

Writes historian Ahti Tolvanen, who sits on the Migrant Tales editorial board: “It is interesting to note that when Niikko presented an idea for a compromise in the Ukraine conflict, there was a vast outcry demanding his resignation right away. When his replacement Halla-aho suggested Finland should send arms to the Ukrainian military and scrap Finland´s traditional role as peacemaker and non-aligned country- there were no calls for his resignation. Since the last war, Finland’s keystone political position was denounced by the new foreign affairs chairman in parliament, and even President Niinistö has said nothing so far!”

There is a long list of other PS politicians that have been more direct about their admiration of Putin, like PS MEP Laura Huhtasaari.



Apart from all the expressions of admiration and support of Trump, who is under multiple investigations for attempting a coup, the PS are members of the far-right EU group Identity and Democracy, where they are in “good” Putin buddy company with leaders like Marine Le Pen.

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Reija Härkönen: Pakolainen on päästettävä pannasta

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Ukrainalaisia pakolaisia, Beregsurany, Unkari, 24.2.2022. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

Suomen rasistisella kansalla on suuria vaikeuksia sanojen kanssa. Yle vaihtoi jo kauan sitten termin  ”pakolainen” termiin ”siirtolainen”. Tällä pyritään etäännyttämään kansalaisia ihmisten hädästä ja ajattelemaan, niin kuin korkein valtionjohto toivoo: heillä saattaa olla ”pahat mielessä” tai niin kuin tasavallan presidentti puheessaan valtiopäivien avajaisissa ilmaisi:

”Viime vuosina turvallisuusympäristössä on nähty uusia ilmiöitä, jotka antavat aihetta valmiutemme tarkasteluun. Laajamittainen, vihamielisten ulkopuolisten tahojen organisoima maahantulo on tästä yksi esimerkki.”

Olen vuodesta toiseen odottanut, että presidenttimme joskus sanoisi hyvän sanan maassamme turvapaikan saaneille pakolaisille. Sitä ei ole kuulunut. Sen sijaa saamme useaan kertaan vuodessa tuollaisia pieniä heittoja, jotka pahantahtoiset ihmiset tulkitsevat siten, että maassa oleskelevat, valtaväestöstä ulkonäöltään poikkeavat ihmiset ovat vaarallista väkeä.

Tästäkö mahtaa johtua sekin, että kuusi vuotta maassamme eläneet, paperittomiksi ja oikeudettomiksi jääneet ihmiset, jotka eivät uskalla palata entisiin kotimaihinsa, eivät saa mitään ratkaisua tilanteeseensa? Hyvin suuri osa kansasta, ehkä jopa niin suuri, joka on Niinistöä presidentiksi äänestänyt, ei oikein tahdo tuntea myötätuntoa kaiken menettäneitä kanssaihmisiä kohtaan.

Nyt näyttää kuitenkin paremmalta, kun Ukraina on ahdingossa, niin surullista kuin se onkin. Konservatiivipoliitikot Petteri Orpoa myöten pitävät eduskunnassa puheita Ukrainan puolesta, itku kurkussa ja suurta myötätuntoa osoittaen. En ole koskaan kuullut moista intohimoa vaikkapa Irakin tai Syyrian lasten puolesta.

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Helsinki court of appeal increases involuntary manslaughter sentence to nine years for stabbing Somali-Finnish youth

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THIS STORY WAS UPDATED

The Helsinki court of appeal* has increased Miro Pesonen’s involuntary manslaughter conviction to a nine-year prison term from five years previously and pay to the parents 10,000 euros for their suffering, according to Yle. Pesonen is a white Finn who stabbed Keyse Abdifatah Maalesh at Kannelmäki Helsinki railway station in April 2020. 

The mother of the victim told Migrant Tales in December that she was not happy with Pesonen’s five-year prison sentence and that she had appealed the sentence.



Keyse Abdifatah Maalesh was stabbed and killed on April 26, 2020 at the Kanneläki train station of Helsinki. The police did not consider the death a hate crime. Source: Facebook

Two important questions remain unanswered from the case: Why the district court had sentenced Pesonen to five years, and what role did the police have in this.

Was it a hate crime?

The victim’s mother said that her son’s killer was intimidated by his dark skin and because he was tall physically.


“If a foreigner did something small [crime] at an R-Kiosk, a big commotion would emerge,” she said in December. “If a foreigner would have done what happened to my son, he’d receive a tough sentence and be deported from the country.

*Correction in the original story should read court of appeal, not district court. Thank you Ambrosius Wollstén.

Russian aggression against Ukraine threatens Finland and exposes hypocrisy

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It finally happened. Russia launched a full-scale invasion of a sovereign country like Ukraine. Apart from former President Donald Trump, who admires Vladimir Putin like many of the far-right Republicans, in Europe, we have racists and populists who are rooting for Russian aggression openly and silently.


Source: Twitter

Caught with their hypocrisy and political pants down, populist parties like the Perussuomalaiset, and even conservative ones like the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), are now quiet about building a fence on our border with Russia to keep out asylum seekers.

What will we do if tens of thousands of Ukrainians seek asylum in Finland?

Should we suspend temporarily their right to seek asylum?

Just asking.


Reija Härkönen: Jussi Halla-aho viihtyy salarakkaansa helmoissa – onko se Suomen etu?

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Jussi Halla-aho, ulkoasiainvaliokunnan puheenjohtaja

Vuonna 2019 ihmeteltiin, miksi perussuomalaiset ovat europarlamentissa liittoutumassa Venäjä-mielisten äärioikeistopuolueiden kanssa. Isänmaallisuus, joka persuilla on arkihokema, on Suomessa tavannut tarkoittaa melko nihkeää suhtautumista itäiseen naapuriin. Jopa perussuomalaisten veljespuolue Ruotsissa, Sverige Demokrater, piti persuvalintoja kummallisina.

Aihetta käsittelevässä artikkelissaan Ilta-Sanomissa 16.5.2019 toimittaja Arja Paananen kuvasi perussuomalaisten ”joustavaa valmiutta hyväksyä Venäjän tapa selittää omaa toimintaansa – olivatpa nämä toimet länsimaisen demokratian tai kansanvälisen yhteisön säätöjen näkökulmasta kuinka ristiriitaisia tai aggressiivisia tahansa”. Tämän kaltainen Venäjän nuoleskelu ja suoranainen ihailu on ollut hyvin näkyvää useissa perussuomalaisissa poliitikoissa ja myös kannattajissa. Hommaforumilla kävi ennen ”jytkyä” selväksi, että Venäjää ihannoidaan etenkin siksi, että siellä on muslimit laitettu kunnolla kyykkyyn eikä turvapaikanhakijoita ”hyysätä”.

Tästä rintamasta hiukan erillään on ollut puolueen entinen puheenjohtaja, jonka salarakas on Ukraina, oma entinen asuin-, työ- ja opiskelumaa, jossa hän on oppinut kielenkin ja kenties saanut janoamaansa  tunnustusta ja ihailua.

Tästä rakkaudesta luultavasti johtui sekin, että Halla-aho riensi kirjoittamaan koko eduskunnan nimissä tweetin Ukrainan suurlähettiläälle, kun ulkoasiainvaliokunnan puheenjohtaja Mika Niikko joutui eroamaan ulkopoliittisesti arveluttavan lausuntonsa vuoksi. Hän halusi jonkun merkittävän eurooppalaisen johtajan ilmoittavan Ukrainalle, että maalla ei ole asiaa Natoon. Näin Niikko ilmeisesti ajatteli hyvittelevänsä sotaisan Venäjän ja saattavansa Euroopan jälleen rauhan tilaan. Niinhän se on ennenkin mennyt, pienet maat sulkekoot suunsa ja antakoot suurvalloille sen mikä suurvalloille kuuluu. Niikko, tuon Venäjän ystävä, puhui niin kuin suomettuneessa Suomessa tavattiin puhua.

Se, että Halla-aho, rivikansanedustaja, oitis tweettasi Ukrainalle viestin: ”Eduskunta, mukaan lukien perussuomalaiset, tukee yksiselitteisesti a) Ukrainan alueellista eheyttä ja itsenäisyyttä; b) Ukrainan oikeutta itsepuolustukseen sisäisiä ja ulkoisia hyökkääjiä vastaan; c) sen oikeutta päättää liittyäkö tai olla liittymättä kansainvälisiin järjestöihin” olikin sitten mielenkiintoinen toimi. Näinhän Suomi varmasti ajattelee, mutta ajatelkaapa, jos vaikkapa pääministeri Sanna Marin olisi tällaisen tempun tehnyt! Jopa olisi äläkkä noussut: menee ohittamaan presidentin valtioiden välisessä diplomatiassa! Nyt nousi vain ihaileva huokailu: ”Ooo, Halla-aho kirjoitti ukrainan kielellä, ihmeellinen mies!”

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Cultural diversity is still a challenge in the Finnish education system

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An article in Yle News brings us back again to one of the biggest challenges for multilingual children at Finnish schools: How the Finnish education system treats cultural diversity.

Language and cultural interpreter and early childhood educator Nadezda Kärmeniemi admitted that multilingual children are caught between differing attitudes at schools.

She is saying that there is no uniform system on how Finnish children, who speak more than one language, are treated at schools.

“Unfortunately, there are instance in our society where speaking oner’s mother tongue is not allowed,” she said. “When a child goes to school, the multilingual ‘coat’ may be left at home, with only Finnish used at school, as there is a sense that the language used at home does not belong there.”

Cultural diversity means for me two-way adaption. All cultural and ethnic groups in society have space to express and be themselves. The glue that holds them together with other groups is building respect through learning from each other.


This picture was taken from the former Urpola School of Mikkeli. It tells multilingual children that they should speak Finnish and that they are mamus, a derogatory term no longer used to mean migrants. Photo: Enrique Tessieri

Having taught and worked at a folk high school with multicultural backgrounds for thirteen years, I have noticed the following challenges:

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Ykkösaamu interview highlighted Halla-aho’s contempt for Human Rights

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Yle’s Ykkösamu talk show exposed to a tee what the parliament’s new foreign affairs committee chairperson thinks of Human Rights. The first question by the host forced Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Jussi Halla-aho, who was convicted in 2012 for ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion, to reinforce his contempt of Human Rights.

The interview was done after Halla-aho began his mandate as chairperson of parliament’s foreign affairs committee.

“The Perussuomalaisets’ view [on human rights] is that the right to move to Finland and remain here is not a human right but a privilege,” he told the host, adding that Finns’ human rights, like the right to security and wellbeing, should be taken into account.

We have only to visit his past statements and the aim of the PS to end all asylum seekers from coming to Finland, especially from Africa and Muslim-majority countries.

In plain English, Halla-aho loathes asylum seekers.

Let’s give Halla-aho a few pointers on Human Rights and cut through the chase.


Source: Twitter

Yes, there is another point that Halla-aho made about the human rights of Finns. He states this with a poker face even if his past writings have encouraged foreigners to rape politicians like Eva Biaudet and Tarja Filatov.

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The far-right PS 1984 logic: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

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Riikka Purra, the chairperson of the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, defended Jussi Halla-aho’s blog writings that are full of racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-democratic worldviews. In one of Halla-aho’s writings, he hopes foreigners rape MPs like Eva Biaudet and Tarja Filatov.

The former PS chairperson’s blog writings were under scrutiny again after he was named chairperson of the foreign affairs committee. He also denied mentioning Eva Biaudet’s name in the infamous blog post.


Source: Twitter

It was disproven by Helsingin Sanomat and Halla-aho stuck by his lie, stating in the interview he would not apologize for what he wrote.


Source: Twitter

Imagine Purra, who holds a master’s degree and who is writing her doctoral dissertation and is one chosen offspring of the Finnish education system, can spread so much racism and hatred against people who never had the same opportunities as her.

Her logic went as far as to defend Halla-aho’s racist writings that are a good example of George Orwell’s famous quote in 1984: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength,” and our own “racism is cultural understanding.”

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Keep it up, Riikka Purra, don’t stop now. Kick out all the migrants and “let God sort ’em out.”

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There are a lot of baffled faces at the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. “Did you see our regional election result?!” one asks while the other states: “A Yle poll saw us nosedive by 3.3 percentage points to 15%. and now Helsingin Sanomat reinforces the latter.”

In our opinion, the PS is a far-right party that beats mainly the anti-immigration drum. The party is so obsessed with anti-immigration themes that it lost, a long time ago, its good sense if it ever had any.

Its good showing in the 2011, 2015, and 2019 parliamentary elections hinges on its anti-immigration theme. Before 2011, Finland was being intoxicated with racism from politicians like Jussi Halla-aho, the 2015 election was helped by a sexual assault case in Helsinki, and in 2019 by the overblown sexual assault cases of Oulu.

All of the PS 39 MPs elected in 2019 had an anti-immigration platform.


Source: Helsingin Sanomat

So what gives? Why are the PS facing a crisis in the polls?

Contrary to the past, politicians are more outspoken and openly question the PS racist and far-right ideology. Voters are also getting tired of hearing, like a broken and scratched record, the same anti-immigration theme over and over again.

Moreover, the PS has lurched further into the far-right thanks to Halla-aho and its new chairperson, Riikka Purra, who parrots what the former chairperson says.

If this type of strategy by the PS does not work and forces the party to suffer election losses, I hope that they continue spreading the same hateful rhetoric until they are blue in the face. More of Halla-aho, Purra, Mauri “Perkele” Peltokangas, Jani Mäkelä and a long list of others.

Keep up the “good” work, PS!

Kick out all the migrants, “let God sort ’em out.”


Reija Härkönen: Bidee, biudeetti, bjödee

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Reija Härkönen

Tämän kuvan alt-attribuutti on tyhjä; Tiedoston nimi on biaudet-halla-aho.png
Kuva: Heikki Saukkomaa, Lehtikuva

Presidentinvaalien alla v. 2012 RKP:n ehdokkaan nimen kirjoittaminen oli somen kielikriittisille lähes mahdoton tehtävä. Osa virheistä meni painovirheiden ja huolimattomuuden piikkiin – Biudet, Biadet. Sekään ei tietysti ollut kovin kohteliasta, kun puhutaan yhden poliittisen puolueen ja siis yhden kansanosan valitsemasta ehdokkaasta maan korkeimpaan virkaan – nimi pitäisi tietysti aina pyrkiä kirjoittamaan oikein. En oikein ymmärrä myöskään sukupuoleen ja ulkonäköön liittyvää lällättelyä kun oli kysymys presidenttiehdokkaasta:

”Biudet kertoo Kalevan mukaan kutsuvansa Immosen vierailulle toimistoonsa. Hurmaako kaunokainen Immosen ja pelastaa määrärahansa, jää nähtäväksi.”

Oma tarinansa ovat naisvihaajien, ruotsinkielisvihaajien ja muukalaisvihaajien porukka, jotka säännönmukaisesti vääntelevät kansanedustajan nimeä milloin mihinkin muotoon. Olipa tuolloin vaalien alla esillä tällainenkin tilasto:

”Nuorisovaalien ensimmäisen kierroksen  äänet jakautuivat seuraavasti: Niinistö 36,1%, Soini 20,3%, Haavisto 16,2%, Arhinmäki 7,9%, Väyrynen 7,4%, Lipponen 5,3%, Biudetti 4,5% ja Essayah 2,4%.”

Monella nimenmuunnokset näyttivät viittaavan siihen, että on jotenkin hienoa olla juntti ja tahvo, kansanmies tai -nainen, jonka suuhun vieraskielinen nimi ei taivu, vaikka käsisuihkulla osoitettaisiin:

”Eva Biaudet (lausutaan eeva bjödee)”

”Biudeetti vastustaa demokratiaa ja haluaisi omasta näkökulmastaan epämieluisat demokraattisesti valitut kansanedustajat pois eduskunnasta. Ei ehkä ihan tervettä touhua, sanon minä.”

Joillakin ruotsinkielisten viha johti tarkoitukselliseen loukkaamiseen myös nimenmuunnoksen avuin:

”Bidee on huonolla ruotsilla kerrottu väljähtänyt vitsi. Kolmen prosentin äänisaalis olisi RKP:n falskille helmikanalle jo valtava torjuntavoitto.”

toiset taas olivat liittyneet koulukiusaajiin ja innoissaan vieneet alapesuallasta tarkoittavaa sanaa vielä vähän pitemmälle

”Katsokaa nyt vaikka pönttö-bideen hovia; oikein YLItarkastajaa täynnä koko vetämistä vaille oleva pönttö…”

Nyt helmikuussa 2022, kun Eva Biaudet jälleen osoitti selkärankaisuutta ja rohkeutta seisomalla hyvien arvojen, jakamattoman ihmisarvon ja rasisminvastaisuuden takana, eikä halunnut äänestää ulkoasiainvaliokunnan puheenjohtajaksi uusfasistia, tuo samaa bidee-lätinä on taas alkanut opposition kannattajien keskuudessa.  

Ihmisillä on tietysti pelkonsa. Vieraita kieliä osaamattomilla ihmisillä voi olla vaikeuksia muistaa, kuinka Biaudet äännetään tai kirjoitetaan. Pelottaa, että vaikuttaa tyhmältä, jos ei osaa. Mutta siihenkin apu on niin helposti saatavilla: google. Ja toisaalta: Eva Biaudet on ollut julkisuudessa vuosikaudet ja hänen nimensä on nähty ja kuultu satoja kertoja. Jotain voisi ehkä oppiakin.

Suurin osa bideettäjistä on kuitenkin naisvihaajia, ruotsinkielispelkoisia ja perussuomalaisia, jotka eivät voi sietää sitä, että ruotsinkielinen nainen puolustaa vähemmistöjen oikeuksia. Ei voi kuin toivoa, että äidit ja isät kasvattavat nykyisten ja tulevien sukupolvien pojat ja tytötkin vähän paremmin.

Olemme eläneet ruotsinkielisten rinnalla koko ikämme ja jo monta sukupolvea. Maahanmuutto on lisääntynyt ja toivottavasti lisääntymään päin ja jokaisen on opittava elämään muidenkin, kuin kotikylän tutun väen kanssa. Eiköhän olisi jo aika ymmärtää, että kaikilla on oikeus omaan kieleensä ja nimeensä.

(Kirjoitus on julkaistu vähän toisen muotoisena Uuden Suomen Puheenvuorossa tammikuussa 2012.)

Convicted PS MP of ethnic agitation voted to chair parliament’s foreign affairs committee

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THE STORY WAS UPDATED

The new chairperson of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Jussi Halla-aho, did not get such a warm reception. In a highly unprecedented move by the committee members, 11 voted in a secret ballot in favor of Halla-aho while six abstained.

Halla-aho took over the committee’s chair Mika Niikko, its former chairperson, resigned in disgrace after suggesting that some Western leader should assure Russia that Ukraine will not seek Nato membership.

Even if the PS wouldn’t care less, too many in Finland have not forgotten who Halla-aho is and that he was convicted in 2012 for ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion. The former PS chairperson’s writings in the 2000s are full of racist Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, or for suggesting that three women politicians be raped by foreigners.

Source: Twitter

Halla-aho has not apologized or regretted his past writings.

Below are some of his recent tweets:



Considering that people like Halla-aho could build a political future by spreading racism, those very things he said have come back to haunt and bite him.

He might get a lot of votes, but he would never become prime minister, never mind president.

Thanks to Halla-aho, the PS has become even more racist and openly flirted with neo-Nazi and far-right groups.

Should we be surprised that six MPs abstained on Halla-aho’s appointment to chair the foreign affairs committee?

Not at all.

His racist writings and opinions will follow him till the end of his days.


If Finland believes in its laws, it must give residence permits to undocumented migrants

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The ministry of interior published on Thursday its recommendations on what to do with some 3,000 undocumented migrants who came to Finland in 2015-2016. Of this group, about 300 are children living in legal limbo thanks to a 2016 law that abolished granting residence permits on humanitarian grounds.


Source: Ministry of the Interior

The number of undocumented migrants rose from a few hundred to a few thousand thanks to the 2016 law.

Before the passing of the law during Prime Minister Juho Sipilä’s government, asylum seekers who could not be sent to their country because of human rights violations were given temporary residence permits.

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Racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination, and misogyny are a blow to Finnish police trust

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan took a proactive approach to discrimination in the Metropolitan Police. We need the same in Finland to deal with a problematic issue in the Finnish police force.

“Last week I made it clear to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner (Cressida Dick) the scale of the change I believe is urgently required to rebuild the trust and confidence of Londoners in the Met and to root out the racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination, and misogyny that still exists. I am not satisfied with the commissioner’s report on being informed of this. Cressida Dick has offered her resignation of which I have accepted.”

“It’s clear that the only way to start to deliver the scale of the change required is to have new leadership right at the top of the Metropolitan Police. “

Wise words by Mayor Khan.

Why don’t we hear the same from our politicians?

It is clear that the same issues that stain and undermine confidence in the Metropolitan Police also are a blow to confidence in Finland, especially among migrants and minorities.

We have read too many stories in Finland about racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination, and misogyny in the Finnish police.

The latest one was how little the police do to tackle human trafficking.

One explanation of disinterest could be resources, but another one would be racism. The vast majority of human trafficking victims are migrants.

Despite those police officials who stain the police service, many dedicated police officials do their job without the toxic baggage of racism.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Sweden is a great country thanks to immigrants

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“It always amazes me to hear Finland’s most xenophobic politicians from the Perussuomalaiset* and National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) pointing the accusing finger at Sweden about how the country has failed because of immigration. Sweden has a more dynamic and competitive economy than Finland’s because of migrants. If there are problems in Sweden, the state is one big culprit. Don’t just blame migrants. That’s cheap populism.”


Jussi Halla-aho, who wanted the Greek army to crush protestors ten years ago, is expected to replace Mika Niikko

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According to Helsingin Sanomat, former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson Jussi Halla-ago is expected to replace Mika Nikko, the chairperson of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, according to Helsingin Sanomat. Niikko resigned Tuesday evening after he suggested in a tweet that the West should assure Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine will not join Nato.

While Niikko is a loose canon, Halla-aho isn’t any better. He wrote in 2011, on Facebook that Greece should have a military junta to crush protests. He was temporarily banned from the party’s parliamentary group for the comment.

No media in Finland has mentioned how inappropriate Halla-aho would be as chairperson of the foreign affairs committee for suggesting, among other matters, a military coup in Greece.

In 2011, he was temporarily banned from the party’s parliamentary group after he wrote on Facebook that the military junta could best solve the crisis in Greece by crushing protestors.

PS chair of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee resigns after “careless” Ukraine tweet

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Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP and head of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Mika Nikko, resigned today after he tweeted that come Western leader should assure Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine must not join Nato.

The tweet, which was in conflict with Finland’s foreign policy, was deleted. Even so, it had created quite a stir and it was in the evening when Niikko announced that he’d resign as chair of the foreign affairs committee.

Surprised?

Not at all. Nikko, who has made a name for himself from his homophobic and Islamophobic stances, was never cut for the job. There is speculation that former PS leader Jussi Halla-aho named him as a joke to the foreign affairs committee chair.

Apart from his close relations with China that pay his visits, Nikko recently created headlines when he contracted Corona and used parasiticides as medication.

However, today’s inappropriate Nato tweet was the stick that broke the camel’s back and reinforces that he is a loose canon.



The PS will decide on Thursday who will replace Nikko. Some possible candidates are PS chairperson Riikka Purra, MP Sakari Puisto, and Halla-aho.

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Migrant Tales Literary: Argentinean dirty war odyssey

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Leo Honka

Cemetery silence

emerging

from the ashes of death

next to gagged cobblestone streets

and I should be asleep

but I just can’t.

The keys of my typewriter

glowing red-hot

are razor-sharp

to the tuouch.

The night is at a standstill, now

searchlights are combing the state of siege

a few high-pitched sirens screaming

in the distance.

And I should be asleep

But I just can’t.


Photo by Enrique Tessieri

Strong bangs at my door

easily cornered

but not deterred:

What’s the big idea?

It’s the fight against terrorism!

Proceed!  

Disappearing, without a trace

not even a timid objection

…only a few high-pitched sirens

screaming in the distance.

Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1977

Seinäjoki police wrapping up their suspected hate crime investigation. Charges are expected this month.

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The Seinäjoki police, which had taken over a year and eight months to investigate a crime when Fares Al-Obaidi was attacked by over ten people from the Western Finnish town of Teuva, plans to bring charges this month, according to the victim. The incident happened on June 6, 2020 when over ten suspected townspeople from the Western Finnish town of Teuva physically attacked Al-Obaidi. His car was later vandalized.

Al-Obaidi was questioned by the police earlier last month, and one of the surprising matters that turned up was that the suspects, who attacked the young Iraqi, allege that they were provoked and attacked.

“I denied this to the police,” he explained. “I made it clear [to the investigating police officer, Aki Perämäki] that it was the townspeople of Teuva who started the incident [and attacked me].”

Al-Obaidi added that the police are accusing him of petty assault.

“My lawyer said at the questioning that even if they find you guilty of petty assault, it is not serious and you did so because you were defending yourself from the attackers,” he said.

One of the matters to watch closely, in this case, is if the Seinäjoki police will charge the suspects with a hate crime. The police said previously that what happened could well be a hate crime.



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Sanna Ukkola, if antiracism is the new racism, it shows that you are part of the racism problem

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THE STORY WAS UPDATED

Of all the newspapers that write about migrants and cultural diversity, tabloid Iltalehti published Sanna Ukkola’s column on how “antiracism is the new racism.”

With a headline like that, we could also put together provocative headlines like how “feminism is modern misogyny,” “anti-fascism is the new fascism,” and “how promoting same-sex marriage is the new homophobia.”

Nonsensical, right?

Ukkola, who is a white Finn with an alt-right view of things, is married to far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* editor Matias Turkkila, who belongs to Finland’s Islamophobic network, according to the European Islamophobic Report 2020.

She, of all people, is coaching us about the evils of antiracism.

Dr. Leonardo Custódio offered a good tweet concerning Ukkola’s conclusions.

Source: Twitter

Ukkola goes further in the column and cites four “people with migrant backgrounds” to back her preposterous claim.

Convenience? Just because her sources aren’t white doesn’t mean that they are “experts” on racism.

Of all the four that Ukkola cites, Arman Alizad quotes conservative apologist and critic of the Black Lives Matter movement, Robert Woodson, “antiracism has become the new racism.”

Throughout the years, Alizad has vacillated on racism in Finland. In early 2011, he criticized and made fun of foreigners on Tuomas Enbuske’s show who were social welfare recipients and victims of racism.


Tweets Outi Länsman: “Finnish journalism. The year is 2017.” Read the full story here.

Binga Tupamäki is a National Coalition Party city councilor of Helsinki. She claims that “a lot” of people see anti-racism as a bad way of dealing with societal problems. She adds: “One reason, for example, is to bring out the ‘races.’ Personally, I would like to remove the talk of ‘races’ when there are no such things in humanity.”

Tupamäki’s observation is a good example of colorblind racism, which is nothing more than a convenient way to brush the problem of ethnicity or race under the carpet.

Do I have to say anything about Kamal Jafi and Seida Sohrabi?

Both of the above persons make a name for themselves by parroting the most toxic views about migrants that are the foundation for bigotry and racism in this country.

Antiracism is a good concept if any to tackle inequalities in society. NGOs like the European Network Against Racism have done a lot of work on this front.

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A-Talk exposed further what a poor leader Riikka Purra is and how little respect she has for other politicians

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Did any of you watch A-Talk with two government representatives, Iris Suomela of the Green League, Center Party Finance Minister Annika Saarikko, and two opposition representatives, Perussuomalaiset (PS)* head Riikka Purra, and National Coalition Party MP Antti Häkkänen?

One matter stood out: Purra’s aggressive style and talking out of turn when Suomela spoke. Her facial expressions and body movements reinforced her disdain for the Green League MP.

After her party suffered a big setback in the regional elections and saw its support in a Yle opinion poll plummet by three percentage points to 15%, it is clear that Purra is a bit on edge.

Apart from being a poor leader, which is coming to bite her party, she sounds like a broken record scapegoating migrants, especially asylum seekers, mostly Muslims.


From left to right: Annika Saarikko, Iris Suomela, Riikka Purra, and Antti Häkkänen. Source: Yle.

Purra is a person who has shown beyond any doubt her Islamophobic colors. In one debate, during the regional elections, she suggested that foreigners living in Finland should not get social welfare. While her suggestion is unconstitutional and her party’s wet dream, not a single reporter asked if she took her comment seriously.

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The far-right Perussuomalaiset head south in the opinion polls

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THE STORY WAS UPDATED

There’s good news and bad news. Depending on your perspective, bad news can be good news and vice-versa. In the latest opinion poll published by Yle, the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party saw its support nosedive by three percentage points to 15%.

While it would be simplistic only to blame the regional election, other factors like PS chairperson Riikka Purra’s poor leadership, living in large and small populist bubbles, and brainless nationalism are just a few factors that contributed to the fall in popularity.

But above all, I have to thank the PS team that put together the last campaign strategy, namely MP Mauri “Perkele” Peltokangas, party secretary Arto Luukkanen, and Purra, who gave their blessing to such populist malarkey.

Imagine the party raised the issue of petrol prices at the pumps and so-called harmful migration as their main campaign message in the regional election, which will decide on health care and emergency services.

Regional councils cannot decide on petrol prices or immigration policy.



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Migrant Tales Literary: Cold Turkey Night

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Leo Honka*

Outside, near winter’s home I stand

Leaning against the night

All alone

Listening to hallucinations

Popping from silence and stance.

It’s a cold night of thick gloves and clothes


Photo: Enrique Tessieri

A night no one should stand outside too long

For sidewalks and streets

Solemn and silent

Are asleep and lead nowhere.

Only a winter’s night here in the Far North

Where planets revolve and rain is cold

Where the snow wants to tuck you into bed

To be only found in spring

By singing birds atop of budding trees.

*The poem was originally published in California-based Amelia in 1986.

Getting a job does not scare me, it is what happens after that raises concern

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If we look at the many stories of job discrimination that we have published in Migrant Tales, one factor links them: despair and the police, which too often look the other way. 

Considering the underwhelming effort the police have made in challenging human trafficking, labor discrimination, hate speech, and other social ills, why would a victim trust the police?

There are too many cases involing the latter social ills and too little done by the authorities. If the situation is dire, and employers can get away relatively easily with exploitation of workers and human trafficking, imagine when more labor migrants come to Finland. Will the police continue to bury its head in the sand and will the media take labor discrimination and exploitation seriously apart from an occasional story?

Migrant Tales has written scores of stories about an ongoing problem: slow due justice.

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Do we want an openly Islamophobic prime minister that aims to exclude foreigners? I hope not!

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After the disastrous showing of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* in Sunday’s regional election, the far-right party aims to win next year’s parliamentary election and have its chairperson, Riikka Purra, as prime minister.

Good luck with that, especially after the big election setback.

Even if the regional election will turn out to be a watershed for the PS, why would Finland want to have a prime minister from a party that openly promotes and spreads racism?

In one of the debates, Purra went as far as to say that Finland should exclude foreigners from getting social welfare. While most people know this would be unconstitutional, none of the media reported the comment by Purra.



The regional election result must have sent shivers up the PS’ spine. Near-fool proof campaign Islamohpbic and xenophobic themes did not help the party.

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The National Coalition Party wins Finland’s first regional elections

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The National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) won Finland’s first regional elections after capturing 21.6% of the votes, according to Yle. Apart from the low 47.5% voter turnout, there were two big surprises: the good showing of the Center Party and the abysmal result by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*. 

During the past decade, much of the PS’ success hinges on Islamophobia and racist soundbites.

Even if the regional election was supposed to be about health care and emergency services, the PS campaigned on high petrol prices at the pumps and anti-Muslim racism.

The party’s poor showing is a big blow to Riikka Purra, her first as chairperson, and raises an important question of whterther the hostile racism of the party has finally lost its appeal among voters.

SDP leader Sanna Marin said that the good result of the Kokoomus, her party, and the Center Party marked a return to the ‘big three’ in Finnish politics after the PS’ good showing during the last decade.

“In my opinion the forecast shows that this election was a return of the big three and the return of traditional politics,” Marin was quoted as saying in Yle News.

Another factor contributing to the PS’s poor showing was Purra’s lack of charisma and racist talking points.


The National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) got 21.6% of the votes with the Social Democrats and Center Party getting 19.3% apiece, respectively. If the good showing of the Center Party was a surprise, so was the poor showing of the Perussuomalaiset, which captured a disappointing 11.1%. The second table is of the seats that each party won. Source: Yle

Migrant Tales Literary: Anti-Perussuomalaiset poetry – an eye for an eye

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No room for words today!

Said the Finns Party politician

that racist fascist hypocrite

angry as hell

yelling at the top of its voice:

Give me a light, scum!

Lighting its cigarette

soon

thumbs,

hands,

arms

and other body parts

melt and splash

to the ground.

In my hidout after that affair  

the police,

the military,

the security forces

even my mother

are out looking for me.


Asylum seekers aren’t sheep or the personal canon fodder of racist politicians.

A daring escape I conspire

give another strike

to those obnoxious populsits

but for now, just for a while

the subterranean routes

are clogged

with their racism and contempt.

Mayday! Mayday! The Perussuomalaiset are sinking

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The recent poll on the regional elections shows eveals and exposes the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, who suffered a 3.3 percentage point fall, as a one-issue party. The regional elections, which will be held on Sunday, will transfer power from municipalities to regional councils, which will manage health care and emergency services.

Sunday’s election appears to turn out as a disaster to the PS and a stinging blow to Rikka Purra, who is leading the party for the first time as chairperson.

The PS’ campaign has been deceptive by bringing up issues like gas prices at the pumps, immigration, development aid, or issues that regional councils do not have the power to change.

Moreover, Purra’s performance at debates has been disappointing, to say the least.


Source: Yle News

The PS campaign has been hit from all sides. Two firms, ST1 and Finnair, which the party used in its commercials are asking to refrain from using their logos or products.

When everything starts to fail and the popularity of the PS heads south, it’s clear that the party reverts to its old lifesaver: Muslim and migrant bashing with a strong odor of toxic nationalism.

In the PS mindset, it is time to turn on the racist ads like the one below.


The claims that money is a value issue. “Three Somali migrants already cost the public sector annually more than hiring a nurse. How do you want your tax revenues spent?” Source: Twitter

A stomach-churning ad, no?

Should the PS be charged for ethnic agitation again?

I think so.


Remember Jari Sillantie of the Kolari asylum reception center and coming out of the Islamophobic closet

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I do, and very vividly. Jari Sillantie was the deputy manager of the northern Finland Kolari asylum reception center that sacked him after some 140 asylum seekers protested his management style.

Even if his management style and Facebook “likes” did not reveal his attraction to the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, they did speak volumes about his anti-immigration views (see picture below).

After all of the asylum seekers at the reception center demonstrated on May 4 and forced the Red Cross, which managed the reception center, to sack Sillantie was deemed “unsuitable for the job.”

We learned more things about Sillantie: His heart is with the Islamophobic PS party, and he was convicted for tax fraud in 2018. He owes 666,000 euros in back taxes to the state.



Sillanpää is a good example of the hypocrisy of the PS. He states in his campaign message all the racist talking points of the party. Migrants should follow the law but Sillantie and the PS have special privileges.

Sillantie’s message comes in loud and clear in his campaign poster: Vote for Finns first!

Thanks to the asylum seekers of the former Kolari asylum reception center, the media, and our work, we were able to expose Sillantie for what he was: a questionable person who wanted to make the lives of asylum seekers as difficult as possible.


The party with the most criminal charges: Perussuomalaiset candidates, who else?

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THE STORY WAS UPDATED

Guess which party has the highest number of candidates charged with a crime? Correct, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*. According to Helsingin Sanomat, 6.3% (8.2% in the 2021 municipal elections) of PS candidates in January’s regional election have been charged for crimes during 2017-2021.

That was followed by the Left Alliance (3.0%/4.1%), Christian Democrats (2.2%/2.4%), National Coalition Party (2.1%/3.2%), Center Party (2.0%/2.5%), Social Democrats (1.2%/2.7%), Green League (0.8%/2.0%), and Swedish People’s Party (0.7%/2.1%).

Two one-MP parties, Power Belongs to the People (VKK) and Movement Now, had 6.1% and 7.4%, respectively, of their candidates in the regional election charged with a crime.

Apart from demonizing migrants, especially Muslims, the PS always finds ways to exclude Others.

Their latest prank is “Finns first.”



What the PS means by who is a Finn is a question for interpretation. Some PS politicians claim that even if a person becomes a naturalized Finn, he will never be a Finn.

The dehumanization and fear-mongering of people like Muslims explain the PS’ close ideological ties with a Nazi-spirited association called Suomen Sisu. At least five PS MPs are members of Suomen Sisu, which openly campaign for PS candidates.

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A victory for free speech against the far-right and “racist clowns”

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Due process takes a long time in Finland as the landmark Johanna Vehkoo against far-right agitator Junnes Lokka, whom she called in a Facebook “a Nazi clown” and “a racist.” Surprisingly, a Rovaniemi appeal court upheld a prior Oulu district court ruling that Vehkoo had defamed Lokka.

Today’s ruling by the supreme court dismissed the prior ruling by the appeal and district courts.

“The supreme court ruling is important because members of Finland’s far-right and Islamophobic groups can also be criticized and fall under scrutiny. Moreover, the ruling reveals that some courts are not up to speed on racism and the threat of the far-right.”

Lokka’s case, if the supreme court had upheld the prior rulings, would have made it difficult to criticize politicians who use racism to advance their political aims.


Read the full story here.

While the Oulu appeal court ruled against Vehkoo because her comments were against Lokka’s person, the supreme court took a different view.

“In view of the derogatory and hostile statements made by Lokka in public, the terms used in the [Facebook post] text are not considered to have gone beyond what could be considered acceptable,” reported Yle News, citing the KKO stated in its judgment.

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Onko porvariston hillitty rasismi hyväksyttävää?

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Reija Härkönen

Timo Soini kirjoitti blogissaan 20.9.2015 otsikon ”Maahanmuuttolinja kiristyy huomattavasti” alle seuraavasti: ”Perussuomalaiset ovat jo vuosia varoittaneet sekä moraalittomasta europolitiikasta ja löperöstä maahanmuuttopolitiikasta Euroopassa, myös Suomessa. Minua, EU-politiikasta ja Jussi Halla-ahoa maahanmuuttopolitiikasta, on arvosteltu rajusti. Vääriksi väitteitämme ei ole todistettu”.

Timo Soini blogissaan 20.9.2015

Tuohon päivään mennessä perussuomalaisten rasistinen ja uusfasistinen henki oli jo moneen kertaan pulpahtanut pintaan, tankit oli lähetetty Kreikan kaduille, rikostutkintoja ja tuomioita kansanryhmää vastaan kiihottamisesta oli ollut useita ja Facebookiin perustettu ryhmä: Perussuomalaisista erotetut. Kaikki me tiesimme, että perussuomalaisista erottaminen tapahtui vain silloin, jos rasistinen möläyttely oli niin törkeää, että siitä nousi sosiaalisessa mediassa riittävän suuri kauhistelu tai perussuomalainen ei osannut tilanteessa olla riittävän nöyrää poikaa johdon suuntaan. Tuomio kiihottamisesta kansanryhmää vastaan ei ole ollut riittävä syy.

Turvapaikanhakijoiden mustamaalaaminen oli ja on määräävä osa perussuomalaisten toimintaa. Se pitää vain osata tehdä riittävän hillitysti.  Riikka Purrakaan ei siihen kykene, vaikka media on hehkuttanut perussuomalaisten nyt hänen johdollaan sopivan entistä paremmin hillittyä rasismia suosivan kokoomuksen hallituskumppaniksi.

Riikka Purra Twitterissä 2.1.2020

Kun nyt turtiaislaiset ovat päässeet median huomion kohteeksi, on syytä muistuttaa, että Ano Turtiainen ja hänen sihteerinsä eduskunnassa, James Hirvisaari, ovat molemmat näitä perussuomalaisista erotettuja tai ”eronneita” ja he jatkavat perussuomalaisen politiikan tekemistä. Hommaforumilla sovittiin jo aikojen alussa, että yhteiselle asialle kelpaavat myös kokoomuslaiset rasistit ja kaikki, jotka ilmaisevat halunsa ”islamin invaasion” estämiseen. Hirvisaari oli Soinin mukaan ”itseohjautuva” ja Turtiainen nousi julkisesti Mestaria vastaan.

Suomalainen media ei vieläkään, toisin kuin vaikkapa ruotsalaiset, pidä perussuomalaista puoluetta rasistisena eikä ota puoluejohtoa kunnolla kiinni puolueessa ilmenevästä rasismista. Törkeimmätkin rasistisen retoriikan käyttäjät ohitetaan olankohautuksella. Ano Turtiaisen hörhöilystä voitiin nyt tehdä kunnon paljastusartikkeli Helsingin Sanomiin, kun siinä ei loukata paria suurta eduskuntapuoluetta, niiden rahoittajia ja vaalikansaa. On muka kysymys pienestä hörhöjoukkiosta, vaarallisesta, mutta ei kunniallisiin rasisteihin kuuluvasta.

Dagens Nyheter ilmaisee 27.8.2015 selkeästi, että Timo Soini välttelee puolueensa rasistisuuden tunnustamista
https://www.dn.se/nyheter/varlden/utrikesminister-soini-valjer-att-ducka-for-rasistiska-utspel/

Kun vain äänestäjät huomaisivat sen, että samalla edistetään Perussuomalaiset rp:n rasistista politiikkaa. Perussuomalaiset ovat Timo Soinin ja Jussi Halla-ahon johdolla jo päässeet ensimmäiseen tavoitteeseensa: rasistinen puhe on arkipäiväistetty. Hyvin nopeasti se johtaa siihen, että se on totta. Siitä ei sitten olekaan enää pitkä matka väkivaltaisuuksiin.

Migrant Tales Literary: Finland does not accept asylum seekers any longer

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One of the children of the Iraqi family of nine looks outside her barred and barb-wired window from the Joutseno immigration removal center. Source: Migrant Tales and Iltalehti.

By Leo Honka


On ships,

On foot,

By bus,

By plane,

By car,

By bike,

With hope,

Everyone conspires to leave

where the floodlights comb

the state of siege.

Whoever writes about pain,

in my country,

is slain,

tortured on the street

left starving

fed to your racism.

Don’t sing me any lullabies!

Don’t hand me calf shit

that Finland is not accepting asylum seekers!

If they place me in front of a firing squad

I’ll die yelling Viva Finlandia!

How we treat terrorism in our society depends on your ethnic and religious background

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After creating a big commotion in December about uncovering Finland’s first far-right terrorist cell, the Stakunta District Court ordered the release of four of the suspects on Wednesday, according to Yle News. One of the suspects was released last month.

Even if the police consider the arrest of the suspects as the “first” far-right cell, it all depends on how you define terrorism. Several arson attacks, even a sitting MP (Ano Turtiainen), were carried out even encouraged against asylum reception centers in 2015.


Perussuomalaiset* Kankaanpää councillor Teuvo Roskala was elated by the release of the four terrorist suspects. He compared it with Finland’s first ice hockey world championship in 1995 and asked on Facebook to celebrate at the marketplace. Roskala took down the post after Helsingin Sanomat approached him. Source: Helsingin Sanomat

The four terrorist suspects were released on a technicality.

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Twitter (Veikko Vallin): A racist lesson on types of migrants

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Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Veikko Vallin gives us a lesson in racism by definIslamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Veikko Vallin teaches us racism by defining “harmful” and beneficial migration. Vallin, who likes being called the Tampere’s Trump and boasts about how he places his money in Estonia from the Finnish tax person, bases his political program on hatred for asylum seekers, especially Muslims.

The PS is the only party in parliament that labels migrants as “harmful.”

Vallin is the last person you should listen to concerning ethnic relations.

He Tweets:

“The difference between harmful and beneficial migration? Harmful migration is a drain on the public sector, while beneficial migration generates tax revenues. Among others, beneficial migrants find employment as gardeners.”

What is wrong with this tweet?

It is racist because it generalizes and debates migration as a simple, 1 + 1 = 2 phenomenon.

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The first anniversary of 1/6: A hammer blow to democracy, our democracy as well

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As we return to that horrible day of January 6, when former President Donald Trump supporters invaded the Capitol and whacked the foundations of US democracy, we should ask how much of a blow that infamous day was for our democracy in the EU and Finland.

The bad news is that matters in the US will get much worse before they improve. As everyone should know, racism, fear, and political greed by autocrats to the US’ growing diversity is at the heart of the January 6 violence.


Insurrection? Coup attempt? Tour guide? Source: Washington Post

Apart from racism, capitalism and the smell of money have enticed the country to flirt with a right-wing dictatorship.

Certainly, exceptionalism and the blindspot to enforce adequate checks and balances is one of the main culprits. It comes in the form of denial and burying your head deep in your colon.

Can the same happen in Europe, in Finland?

All we have to do is turn the clock back 89 years to the rise of Adolf Hitler and his vehemently anti-Semitic and racist government that led to a global war that killed tens of millions of people.

Like Hitler, Trump was also considered a joke. Few, during the 2016 presidential primaries, thought he could win the election.

Hitler’s fuel was the unfair Versaille Treaty, anti-Semitism, and racism. Scapegoating the blame on minorities paved the way to Nazi power.

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The PS and its enablers are the wrecking balls of Finland’s social welfare democracy

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I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.

James Baldwin

If some scholars sound the alarm bells that democracy in the United States could turn into a right-wing dictatorship that has the potential of sparking a civil war. How should Finland prepare for such an eventuality?

Writes Thomas Homer-Dixon, a Canadian political scientist, in an Op-Ed: “By 2025, American democracy could collapse, causing extreme domestic political instability, including widespread civil violence. By 2030, if not sooner, the country could be governed by a right-wing dictatorship.”

The European think tank, among others, label the United States as a “backsliding democracy” in a new report.

While former US President Donald Trump has spread the big lie about the 2020 election that has turned the Republican Party into a personality cult, it is a different story in Finland even if the threat is the same.

While it should be clear that a party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, which is eager to strip minorities of their human rights and relegate them to second- or third-class citizens, the party is the best example of Trumpism in Finland.

The PS has not made its admiration for Trump a secret. Former PS leader Jussi Halla-aho – like other PS politicians – do not hold back their admiration for Trump and his racist and autocratic political message.


Jussi Halla-aho has backtracked on his 2019 claim that he digs Trump and is the best thing that has happened to the United States and to the West in a long time. Source: Twitter

Like the United States, Finland has seen its society become ever-polarized thanks to the politics of the PS and its enablers, which undermine our Nordic political institutions. If Trump’s big lie is the “stolen” election, which Joe Biden won hands down, in Finland, it is immigration and other populist soundbites.

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European Islamophobia Report: Finland

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The European Islamophobia Report 2020 was published on December 29. Below is the Finland chapter of the report. The editors for the report are Dr. Enes Bayrakli and Dr. Farid Hafez.

While the government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin has tried to roll back some of the draconian immigration law measures of the previous government, Islamophobia continues to be an obstacle in treating Muslims and other minorities as equal members of society.

The big question will be the 2023 parliamentary elections and if the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), which is flirting with the far-right Finns Party (PS), will emerge – as recent opinion polls suggest – as the winner and form the country’s next government.

The actions and messages of Kokoomus are a cause for genuine concern for Finland’s culturally diverse community, especially Muslims.

In Finland, officials are quick to remind newcomers about gender equality, but too little is mentioned about equity for everyone irrespective of their background. Finding a job is part of the integration program, but too little is mentioned about discrimination at work and in the labor market. Due process still takes too long, and there are big questions about how seriously Finland sees institutional racism, the rise of fascism, and other social ills like hate speech.

Ensuring that Finland is not a hostile place to minorities is paramount and ensures that social ills like Islamophobia will not undermine the country’s democratic institutions.


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Somali-Finn victim’s mother appeals manslaughter conviction

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The mother of eighteen-year-old Keyse Abdifatah Maalesh, stabbed to death at Kannelmäki Helsinki railway station on April 26, 2020, by a white Finn called Miro Pesonen, is appealing the involuntary manslaughter ruling on September 7, 2020, by the Helsinki District Court.

The mother who said that she had not found the energy to pursue the case because of health issues, believed that the Court of Appeal would decide on their appeal “soon.”


Keyse Abdifatah Maalesh was stabbed and killed on April 26 at the Kanneläki train station of Helsinki. The police did not consider the death a hate crime. Source: Facebook

She added that at the time of the death of her son, she felt abandoned by the authorities, the Somali and foreign community.

“I was all alone,” she added. “I felt abandoned by the authorities, the Somali and foreign community.”

“We appealed the decision of the Helsinki District Court and are hoping to raise the conviction to 9-10 years from 5 years now,” she added.

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A question to the Kankaanpää police: Was a proper investigation carried out on the burning of an asylum reception center in 2015?

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In 2015, when a record number of asylum seekers came to Finland, a number of attacks were carried out against asylum reception centers. One of these was in Niinisalo, located a stone’s throw from Kankaanpää, where over two weeks ago a group of white Finnish terrorist suspects was detained by the police.

While a lot of questions abound about the motives and ideology of the white Finnish terrorist suspects, there is one question that needs an answer.

For those who don’t remember, a building going to house asylum seekers was set alight and razed to the ground in December 2015 in Niinisalo. Perussuomalaiset* MP Juho Mäenpää, elected to parliament in 2019, claimed jubilantly after the arson attack: “Great. There is a god. My prayers have been answered.”

I interviewed Mäenpää and asked him about the arson attack. “Politicians should wake up to the situation [of asylum seekers],” he said, “if they don’t it could spark a civil war.”

The person thanking God for the burning of the future asylum center and threatening a civil war is none other than Mäenpää, who is Southern Ostrobothnia district manager of the far-right and Nazi-spirited Suomen Sisu association. During a session of parliament in 2019, he labeled asylum seekers “an invasive species.”



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The sources of Finland’s far-right problem: downplaying and denial

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“The main agents of ideological violence are not isolated ‘lone wolves’ but are usually interconnected with communities, non-violent agents and legal entities, at times even including connections to law enforcement personnel.”

Mihai Varga

Over two weeks have elapsed since the police announced the detention of five white-Finn terrorist suspects in the Western Finnish city of Kankaanpää. Reaction to the detention has varied, but one matter is for sure: Denial shrouds our ability to identify and challenge the social ill.

The terrorist suspects of Kankaanpää are no joke. They meant business but does Finland mean business when challenging such groups? Is our exceptionalism blinding us from tackling the social ill? Photo: Police

Denial comes in many ways:

  • The terrorist suspects are a lone detached splinter group
  • Even if the suspects had committed acts of violence and promoted their far-right white nationalist ideology in Kankaanpää before, the rector of the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK), Jari Multisilta, downplayed the threat
  • Contrary to what some students felt that SAMK hadn’t given them enough support, Multisilta was quoted as saying in Yle that there was no threat to the fine arts campus in Kankaanpää by the suspects and that the authorities had not been in touch with the university
  • The fact that the police had not been in contact with SAMK about the threat reveals how they may have downplayed the problem in Kankaanpää
  • In 2015, a new asylum reception center was razed to the ground; we still don’t know who the possible suspects are and if like-minded groups carried it out
  • Yle A-studio airs over a week after the detentions a talk show about far-right violence with researcher Leena Malkki and police Superintendant Jari Tapanen
  • If the detained suspects were Muslims, a talk show and reaction would be much swifter
  • In the talk show, the rise of far-right terrorist violence is blamed on social media and an issue facing young people
  • There is no mention about how Finnish society and the police are responding to the rise of far-right terrorism and ideology
  • There is no mention about how Islamophobia can be a bridge between far-right ideology and terrorism
  • Why didn’t the A-studio program bring up how the rise of populist parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, far-right associations like Suomen Sisu among their ranks and their close links with even neo-Nazi groups promote far-right ideology are fertile ground for acts of terrorism?
  • The PS is the biggest party of the Kankaanpää city council
  • Why do we still know so little about this group and other ones that may be conspiring to carry out acts of terrorism?

Bye-bye Inger Støjberg, something is not always rotten in Denmark

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Former Danish immigration and integration minister, Inger Støjberg, was convicted to 60 days in prison for illegally separating asylum-seeking couples if the partner was under 18, reports Euronews. An uncompromising Islamophobic hardliner who served as minister during 2005-2019 was also responsible for passing a law that required asylum seekers to hand over valuables like jewelry to pay for their stays in Denmark.

The impeachment court, which had not convened for 26 years, found Inger Støjberg guilty of providing parliament with “incorrect and misleading information and that she had neglected her ministerial duties >”intentionally or through gross negligence.”

Apart from her conviction, parliament will decide whether she can continue to serve as an MP.

Maintaining her innocence and thanking her supporters, Støjberg was quoted as saying on Facebook that the ruling was a blow to Danish values.


Inger Støjberg. Source: Bashy Quraishy’s Facebook.

Apart from other harsh laws against asylum seekers, Støjberg ended up in legal hot water when she initiated a policy of separating under-eighteen-year-olds from their partners on suspicion of forced marriages.

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Some SAMK students of Kankaanpää feel that the school hasn’t given them enough support

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After the police had detained five white Finnish terrorist suspects in the town of Kankaanpää, students at the fine arts campus of the Satakunta University of Applied Science (SAMK) were surprised to read from Iltalehti that one of the apparent targets of the terrorist suspects was the school.

SAMK’s Kankaanpää campus has about 300 students.

“We had heard about how much those held in custody by the police wanted us out of Kankaanpää because we studied fine arts and because we weren’t from the town,” said a SAMK student, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid any reprisals against him.

Like the rest of Finland, the SAMK student had read about the five terrorist suspects on Friday (3.12) thanks to the media. However, on Wednesday, Iltalehti wrote that one of the targets was the school.

Some of the students feel abandoned by SAMK,” the student said. “We read the Iltalehti story [that the school was a target of the terrorist suspects] on Wednesday, but it was not until Friday that the principal spoke to the students of the school.”


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Downplaying and whitewashing the far-right threat in Finland

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It is disappointing to note that it took Finland’s largest daily, Helsingin Sanomat, five days to write an editorial on the threat posed by the far-right after the detention of five white Finns on Friday. Considering the media attention and general outrage in general that Abderrahman Mechkah knife attack caused in Turku in 2017, a question emerges: were the suspects in Kakaanpää the wrong type of terrorists?


Pictures apprehended of the terrorist suspects. Source: Police

Moreover, the suggestion that the Kankaanpää suspects were some isolated splinter group detached from society is an example of how the problem is being whitewashed. As Mihai Varga stated: “The main agents of ideological violence are not isolated ‘lone wolves’ but are usually interconnected with communities, non-violent agents and legal entities, at times even including connections to law enforcement personnel.”

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The PS was, is, and will be a party with close ties to neo-Nazi and fascist groups

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From the days when Timo Soini headed the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party to the present, there’s one denial coming from the party that is an outright lie: The PS is not a far-right party with links to neo-Nazi, fascist and far-right groups. 

I could list several examples, but let’s look at Kansallismielisten liittouma, a perfect example of the PS links with far-right groups. Eight of the 13 persons (61.5%) in the picture below are or were PS members.

Remember when PS MP Juho Eerola’s aide, Ulla Pyysalo, was caught seeking membership in Pohjoismaisen vastarintaliike (PVL), a neo-Nazi association?

There are many, many other shameful examples. You would have to be very susceptible to believe that the PS is not a far-right party set on destroying our democracy and Nordic way of life.

One notable guest of Kansallismielisten liitouma is Antti Niemi, the former head of PVL’s Finnish chapter.


Source: Twitter

How long will Finns put up with these types of politicians and parties and vote them out of power?

A trail of xenophobic and far-right violence in Finland and yet no suspects

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The detention of five far-right terrorist suspects in the western Finnish city of Kankaanpää Friday raises many questions. One of these is the collaboration of this group and others in the burning down of an asylum reception center in December 2015.

The asylum reception center in Kankaanpää wasn’t the only one that suffered arson attacks.

Former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP, Ano Turtiainen, was convicted in 2018 for inciting violence against the Finnish Red Cross, which manages many asylum reception centers. The conviction has its roots in a 2015 Facebook post “liked” by PS MEP Laura Huhtasaari.

If we connect the dots and start asking the right questions about what happened from 2015, the answers we may get can be revealing exposing strange and not-so-strange bedfellows.

Moreover, it would be wishful and careless thinking to believe that the terrorist suspects in Kankaanpää acted alone and were totally detached from society.

Mihai Varga hit it right on the dot: “The main agents of ideological violence are not isolated ‘lone wolves’ but are usually interconnected with communities, non-violent agents and legal entities, at times even including connections to law enforcement personnel.”


Source: Police

For those who don’t remember, a building going to house asylum seekers was set alight was burned down in December 2015 in Niinisalo, located a stone’s throw from Kankaanpää. Perussuomalaiset MP Juho Mäenpää, elected to parliament in 2019 but a member of the Nazi-spirited Suomen Sisu association, claimed jubilantly back then after the arson attack: “Great. There is a god. My prayers have been answered.”

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PM Sanna Marin is a true leader

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An interview published today in The Guardian of Prime Minister Sanna Marin reveals that countries like Finland have not caved into populism, xenophobia, and toxic nationalism. Her leadership is a direct snub at those forces in Finland trying to bring down her government.

Marin said in the interview that she believed future governments would continue to promote Nordic state welfare values like social equality.

“I think so,” she was quoted as saying in The Guardian. “Because it’s work that’s ongoing. We have always worked for equality in Finland, and I think it’s also important in the future, and not only the equality of men and women, or the genders, but also the equality of minority groups in society.


Read the full story here.

Foretunately, human rights rank high in PM Marin’s government. If the opposition ever gained power, human rights would be compromised and demoted.

“We have to say this is not acceptable. We’re condemning the actions of Belarus. But at the same time we have to make sure that people’s human rights are respected in this situation,” Marin said.

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Far-right terrorism in Finland has many direct and indirect supporters

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THIS STORY WAS UPDATED

The main agents of ideological violence are not isolated “lone wolves” but are usually interconnected with communities, non-violent agents and legal entities, at times even including connections to law enforcement personnel.

Mihai Varga

Five white Finns were detained Tuesday and remanded by a Satakunta District Court Friday, at the request of the police, on suspicion of terrorist offenses, according to a statement by the Southwestern Finland Police.

The police said that this far-right suspected terror offense is the first in Finland.

The face of Finnish far-right terrorism. Source: Southwestern Finland Police.

“We have found in their possession terrorist material which, when examined in conjunction with other criminal investigation material, reinforces the impression that they have become radicalized and gives reason to suspect them of terrorist offenses,” said Detective Superintendent Toni Sjöblom, head of the investigation.

While the detention of this group is good news and no longer poses a threat, the interesting question is to see the reaction.

If the suspects were Muslims, Finland would have a serious knee-jerk reaction from Islamophobic parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), and others to draft tighter terrorist laws and more surveillance powers to the police.

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Five white Finns arrested on suspected terrorism charges

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Five white Finns born between 1995 and 1998 were arrested Tuesday by the police on suspected terrorism charges, according to Pori-based daily Satakunnan Kansa. The five suspects are from the Western Finnish region of Kankaanpää.

The police did not call the suspects white Finns but stated that they had “ethnic Finnish names.”

The police and the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service (Supo) will hold a press conference at 6 pm to release more details like the detention of the suspects and the danger they posed to the public.


Tweet #1: “Police of southwestern Finland arrest five people suspected of terrorist offenses. The Satakunta District Court will decide on the matter today.” Tweet #2: “The police suspects that the individuals planned a terrorist act. There is no acute danger. The suspects live in the Kankaanpää region of Satakunta. Police arrested the suspects on Tuesday. Police will comment further at the media conference tonight.”

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A Finnish Islamophobic party’s recipe for inclusion and ethnic understanding

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Since the 2011 parliamentary elections, which saw the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party win 39 starts from 5 seats previously, it has systematically tarred and feathered migrants, especially Muslims, people of color, and specific minorities.

Should you be surprised that all PS MPs elected in 2019 based their campaign on an anti-immigration message.

The PS demands that Finland should strive for zero asylum seekers (code for Muslims). Those that remain in Finland must endure the constant racism, labeling, and bombardment of their group.

PS MP Minna Reijonen epitomizes this toxicity in a question to the government during a session of parliament.


Source: YouTube

MP Reijonen parrots the PS’ populist and racist stance of migrants and minorities, planting the seeds of future social strife.

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Kirkko ja kaupunki: Security costs at the Helsinki Synagogue soar

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It should not surprise us that anti-Semitism is also on the rise in Finland. An article in Kirkko ja kaupunki revealed the cost of security needed at the Helsinki Synagogue has soared between 2017 and 2021. Yaron Nadbornik, president of the 1,100-strong Jewish community of Helsinki, was quoted as saying that the cost of security at the synagogue has jumped from 200,000 euros in 2017 to 450,000 euros in 2021.

Personal donation targets have also risen sharply, from 15,000 euros to 50,000 euros.

He said: “The purpose of our community is not to maintain security, but to maintain Jewish life in Finland and especially in Helsinki. In the past, it was not known precisely how much money was spent on security because it was not a meaningful metric that we followed closely.”


Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

Nadbornik added that the accounting system to monitor security was changed three years ago giving a more precise view of such costs.

In an interview last year, the president of the Jewish community of Helsinki said that only recently the police have acknowledged that there is an anti-Semitism problem in Finland.

“The authorities have recognized during 2018-2019 that there is an anti-Semitism problem in Finland,” he said. “Before, it was [for them] pretty unclear if such a matter existed.”

In 2017, Nadbornik blamed the government and police of Finland for not doing enough to clamp down on hate speech, which was directly linked to anti-Semitism.

In the interview with Kirkko ja kaupunki, he stated that the police understand the threat of physical harm, but if somebody paints a Nazi symbol on the synagogue’s wall it is not treat it as a hate crime.

In many parts of the world, racist graffiti is considered a hate crime.

We recommend that the Jewish Community of Helsinki ask the police why they don’t treat racist graffiti like a swastika a hate crime.

Racists at the Mikkeli bus stop

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I hadn’t heard the statement, “I’m a racist,” for a long time. Even so, two middle-aged women were chatting in Mikkeli loudly about how bad migrants were.

I intervened because silence is a total cop-out.

“Are you a racist,” I asked one of the women.

“Yes, I’m a racist,” she snapped.

“You should be ashamed of yourself for being a racist,” I responded.

There is no need to write what they continued to say about migrants because it was straight from a Perussuomalaiset* playbook.

Source: European Network Against Racism.

I concluded: “I’m happy that you are a minority [in this country]. Only a minority think like you.”

The discussion ended, and for some strange reason, the two women disappeared from the bus stop.

Don’t give racists space. Challenge what they say. The next time they speak and show off their racism in public, they’ll think twice.

Shameless Europe does not care if you live or die

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We cannot just snuggle here and see who comes to the border. We must promote the values of the EU with greater determination because without these values we are worthless.

Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen

We just read about the tragic death of 27 people when attempting to cross the English Channel. One of the victims was a pregnant woman with three children, according to The Guardian.

Even if Britain and France are pointing the finger, nothing will change, and refugees, people, will continue to die.

The cold-hearted treatment and hostility towards people attempting to apply for asylum in the EU show that Europe is addicted to lies.