Sunday’s election in Finland was historic for many reasons. For one it ushered in a populist far-right party with xenophobic elements to the Eduskunta (Parliament). In order to comprehend the new political landscape of Finland, we must ask to whom will such a victory be a threat and an opportunity.
Search Results for: a perilous watershed
Finland’s bigoted and perilous path
Finland has become in a short time a country that has lost its way. The police service, public officials like politicians and even ministers, who should know better, don’t. The most shameful matter that exposes these wretched times is that we’ve allowed xenophobia and nationalist populism to not only enter through the back door but through the main and wide one as well.
A danger to democracy
If there is one matter that US President Donald Trump’s self-coup has evidenced, it is the fragility of our democracy. This is also the case in Finland with the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, a pro-Trump radical right party that openly supports Trump. Some factors unite Finland with the United States. Finns have – incorrectly – said in
How far has the PS beachhead spread in twenty-two months?
Migrant Tales wrote the following day after the historic April 17, 2011 election had sent shock waves throughout Finland and Europe: “Far-right populism is an illness inflicting Europe at present and it now has a beachhead in Finland.” Back then, our blog got got cited by Time Magazine. The above quote was a response to
Media Monitoring Group of Finland: Will the Perussuomalaiset’s xenophobic campaign help it win the election?
Finland’s parliamentary election is only 16 days away on April 2, and the question is if the radical-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party will capitalize on its Islamophobic campaign message. The assertion that the PS uses a migrant crime topic to attract voters before an election isn’t far-fetched. One of the most interesting discoveries of our first
Have the Perussuomalaiset succeeded in their quest for a migrant crime story to attract voters?
Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me. The question is neither far-fetched nor provocative: The xenophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party has used and exploited in the past three elections of 2011, 2015, and 2019 the migrant crime theme. Understanding the success that the Sweden Democrats, a party with neo-Nazi roots, and the Moderate Party in
A party that is out of touch with the times
A good editorial by Helsingin Sanomat about how the radical-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is the only party against bringing labor migrants to Finland and the threat such intransigency implies for the country. It writes: “When the PS refuses to accept [hard] facts, it no longer makes sense, even from a purely selfish point of view. And
Finland’s fictitious search for the ideal foreigner
Contrary to the last three parliamentary elections in 2011, 2015, and 2019, the upcoming parliamentary election on April 2 is different for several reasons: war rages in the Ukeraine, Finland has sought Nato membership, economic growth, and chronic labor shortages are just a few. Apart from labeling people from outside the EU as “harmful” migrants,
The Perussuomalaiset could face a counter “jytky” in April
Then Perussuomalaiset (PS)* head Timo Soini celebrated the party’s historic 2011 election victory as a “jytky,” or a loud bang. We may witness in April a counter “jytky.” I live in a small city of about 53,000 people 230km north of Helsinki’s capital. It is a good example of the demographic challenges facing Finland. Occasionally,
Media Monitoring Group of Finland : Finland’s “youth gang problem” is Finland’s denied “racism problem”
The youth gang “problem” in Finland is a knee-jerk racist reaction. On and off, we have read about our youth gang “problem” with sensationalist headlines from newspapers that should know better. Remember back in 2014, when radical-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Tom Packalén created quite a stir when he claimed that a youth gang in East
Riikka Purra and the anti-EU PS may be too radical for Finland’s taste
Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson, Riikka Purra, stuck her mouth in her foot at a debate with National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) head Petteri Orpo, when she said that it is still the radical-right party’s long-range aim to leave the EU. “Finnish citizens are not in favor of leaving the EU,” she was quoted as saying in Helsingin
Media Monitoring Group of Finland : Viimeinen sana program left out some important questions unanswered
THE STORY WAS UPDATED Yle’s Viimienen sana invited three guests to talk about Finland’s alleged youth gang problem and how the media treats the topic. The three guests clearly indicated how the talk show would frame the topic. In the first place, there were no minorities taking part in the debate. All of the guests were white
Sanna Marin: Bravo for stating that the PS is a racist party! Better late than never.
Politicians like Prime Minister Sanna Marin have offered long-overdue leadership when challenging racism in Finnish politics by stating what many know: The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is a racist party. “Looking at the speeches of individual [PS] MPs, these speeches have been racist and genuinely hostile to certain minorities,” said Marin in a debate with Petteri Orpo,
The PS is “offended” because they are not treated as a “normal” party
Bravo, Social Democratic Prime Minister Sanna Marin! Bravo, Green League Minister of the Environment Maria Ohisalo! Bravo, Left Alliance Minister of Education and Culture Li Anderson! Bravo for stating in plain Finnish that your parties would not form part of a new government with the radical right Perussuomalaiset (PS).* When the PS took 39 seats
Finnish voters take stock: The US midterms were a referendum against “the crazies”
There was no red wave, never mind a red tsunami, in the midterm elections in the United States. Defying the precedent of past elections, the Democrats gave the Republicans a beating they will not easily forget. What lessons can Finland learn from the US midterm elections? For one, voters shunned extremist positions on issues like
STATEMENT: Yle should stop picking on minority youths and stick to facts
It was in 2020 when Helsingin Sanomat published a big story about the dangers of youth gang violence in Helsinki. The story received a lot of criticism because it spread the misinformation that youth crime is rising in Helsinki and Greater Helsinki. It isn’t surprising that the state-owned broadcaster, Yle, has spread the issue, especially
Migrant Tales Media Monitoring: An Helsingin Sanomat editorial that boosts xenophobia
There is a lot of talk and unfortunate examples of how the media helps to spread populist parties’ hateful messages about migrants and minorities. An editorial published by Helsingin Sanomat Thursday is a good example of how the media does this. The good showing of the Sweden Democrats in September’s parliamentary election is due to
Sweden’s nasty surprise comes home to roost
THE STORY WAS UPDATED Incumbent Social Democratic Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson conceded defeat in Sweden’s nail-biter election to the rightwing parties led by the far-right Sweden Democrats, reports The Guardian. The rightwing parties received 49.6% of the votes, with the left bloc securing 48.9%. If anything, it was a long overdue nasty surprise that permitted
The election result Sunday will expose nasty things about Sweden and the Nordic region
Sweden will elect 349 MPs of the Riksdag (parliament) today, and the big question is how well the far-right Sweden Democrats will fare. According to various opinion polls, the Sweden Democrats are seen coming second after the Social Democrats. The biggest upset would be the Sweden Democrats doing better than the conservative Moderate party. Just like
Helsingin Sanomat editorial and the real reason why the Perussuomalaiset do well in parliamentary elections
A short editorial by Helsingin Sanomat Thursday warns that the 1.3 percentage point rise in the recent opinion poll of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party may force other parties to latch on to Islamophobic rhetoric. The PS’ pet themes today are high electricity and gas prices at the pumps and others, which it did not specify. Even if
Exposing white privilege in Finland #86: Maryan Abdulkarim and Finland’s amnesia
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
Keep it up, Riikka Purra, don’t stop now. Kick out all the migrants and “let God sort ’em out.”
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
The PS and its enablers are the wrecking balls of Finland’s social welfare democracy
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
Finnish government to ease (alas) strict family reunification law
The Finnish government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin plans to overturn the country tightened immigration law and family reunification requirements, which came into force a year later after a record 32,477 asylum seekers came to Finland in 2015. The then government of Center Party Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party was a
10 years after the 22/7 mass killings in Norway and what it reveals about us
Ten years have passed since 22/7, and some Norwegians are still asking, “why?” I remember that day as if it were yesterday. First, a bomb exploded in downtown Oslo, and what followed then were the cold-blooded murders of young people on Utøya island. A total of 77 people lost their lives on that day. Countless
QUOTE OF THE DAY: The PS is the party of the nativist racists sprinkled with anti-EU soundbites
“No matter what the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party does, no matter who it elects as its next chairperson, the shadow of racism will follow it. Even if people like Timo Soini said that the party’s anti-immigration wing was only a minor factor in the 2011 parliamentary election, nothing could be further from the truth. Like
Is Helsingin Sanomat disingenuous when it calls basketball star Awak Kuier a Finn?
Some Finns will go an exceptionally long way to protect their white nationality and exceptionalism. They even voted in 2011 39 MPs from 5 MPs previously for a party, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, to ensure that Finland remains white. Everyone knows that such an aim by the PS, to keep Finland white, is a political pipedream.
Jussi Halla-aho is a racist, and so is the far-right party he leads
Uusi Suomi, an online publication that played a key role before the 2011 parliamentary elections in giving the racist rhetoric of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party a platform, published today an interview with a cultural researcher, Tuija Saresma, who concluded that Jussi Halla-aho and the PS are racist. While these types of statements are a foregone
Kokoomus’ and Finland’s downward spiral
The last opinion poll published by Helsingin Sanomat doesn’t show us any big surprises. A few percentage-point fractions up or down and, end of story. If, however, we take a longer view, the situation of the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) raises some questions. Just like Jutta Urpilainen and the Social Democrats learned before the 2011
Hall of Shame: Finland’s 2020 Islamophobic and Afrophobic network
Choosing the key figures in the Islamophobic and Afrophobic Hall of Shame wasn’t difficult even during a year ravaged by Covid-19. The task was to choose the most obvious culprits and other ones in the media that fuel and maintain such a toxic environment. In putting together this year’s Hall of Shame, I was quickly
Finland is too white to solve its issues with racism. There must be change.
After the bombshell news that one of the suspects arrested Friday who brutally attacked Pekka Kataja of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) in July, the new chairperson of the Center Party, Annika Saarikko, said on Ykkösaamu Saturday that she could form a government with the PS. In light of the PS’ links with far-right groups, Saarikko’s response
Another study that sheds light in Finland on disadvantaged migrants and their children
A study by Ognjen Obućina and Ilari Ilmakunnas and cited by Sunday’s Helsingin Sanomat concluded the following: poverty and housing overcrowding was more prevalent among immigrant children compared with white Finnish children. The study showed that 60% of migrant children had experienced poverty for at least a year during the first five years of their lives.
Exposing white Finnish privilege #73: Stoking and exploiting white suspicion
Few of us will forget the 2011 parliamentary election when an Islamophobic and no-holes-barred racist party saw the number of MPs rise to 39 from 5 in 2007. Even if the result was a wake-up call for Finland, the reaction to the rise of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) as a major political force. Some shrugged off
The Norwegian mass murderer, 22/7, and Jussi Halla-aho
Hateful and racist words can turn into bullets. THE STORY WAS UPDATED Two days and nine years had gone by when Norway and Europe witnessed the horrific events of 22/7 that left 77 people dead and many others with physical and psychological injuries for the rest of their lives. One of the matters that we
(Migrant Tales) November 9, 2016: “A date that will live in infamy”
Migrant Tales insight: When I published this story about four years ago, I imagined was certain that his presidency would be a fiasco. It was the same hunch I had in 2011 when the Perussuomalaiset scored their historic parliamentary victory. I wrote: “Far-right populism is an illness inflicting Europe at present and it now has
European Islamophobia Report will publish its 2019 findings in early June
The European Islamophobia Report (EIR) will publish in early June its findings. Should we be surprised that the party that is associated with Islamophobia in Finland is none other than the Perusuomalaiset (PS)*? The forthcoming European Islamophobia Report 2019, which will be published in early June, lists the central figures in Finland’s Islamophobia network. In
Perussuomalaiset support heads south
There was good news if you are against us-and-them rhetoric, Islamophobia, and support for US President Donald Trump’s policies and persona. A poll published Thursday by Yle showed that the southward direction of the Perussuomalaiaset (PS)* party continued to head south. Compared with a similar poll on December 9, 2019-January 8, 2020, support for the
Finland and the police should wake up to the menace of hate speech and hate crime
Helsinki city councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussein received a letter Wednesday with a death threat and a piece of rope tied as a noose. While it is clear why this happens, we should ask why it continues to happen and with such impunity. Having lived in Finland for many years, one matter I learned at an
Thank you, Hussein and Silvenoinen for exposing who the Perussuomalaiset are
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED It’s been a tough bubble-bursting July and August for Finland’s second-biggest party in parliament, the Perussuomalaiset (PS).* Helsinki city Councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussein tweeted that the party and supporters were racists, while history researcher Oula Silvenoinen reminded and called the PS a far-right party on television. Silvenoinen isn’t the only researcher
A Migrant Tales classic from 2012: Don’t trust, don’t give the benefit of the doubt to populist and Islamophobic parties like the PS
The cartoon was originally posted on May 26, 2012. Ever since he 2011 parliamentary elections, when the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party won 39 seats from 5 seats previously, we have never trusted this party even though the Finnish media gave it the benefit of the doubt. Not only did the Finnish media give the PS the
Migrants, minorities, and Others must stand up to Finland’s hostile environment
A poll by Yle shows that the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party enjoys the most support with 19.5%, according to Yle News. Since 2011, when the PS won its historic election victory, we have seen the party come and go in the polls. Of all the Finnish parties in parliament, the PS is the most hostile
Timo Soini to retire from politics
Foreign Minister Timo Soini, 56, who inspired Islamophobes, racists and conservative nationalists to have a political voice and platform to lash out at migrants and minorities, announced that he will not seek a new term in parliament, according to Helsingin Sanomat. Soini, who calls himself a devout Catholic, will be remembered as a conservative populist politician who led the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* to national prominence by capitalizing on populist anti-immigration sentiment.
WARNING: RACIST CONTENT – Halla-aho announces that anti-immigration will be the PS’ main campaign theme
With parliamentary elections a heartbeat away on April 14, the populist far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party announced that anti-immigration will be their main campaign theme. Are we surprised? Not in the bit. PS Chairperson Jussi Halla-aho was quoted as saying in Yle that at the present rate, Finland’s immigration policy will destroy present levels of social welfare, undermine
What political capital will the Finnish far-right Perussuomalaiset party gain from Oulu?
The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is the first modern Finnish party to capitalize politically on Finland’s Islamophobic and anti-immigration sentiment. With parliamentary elections around the corner on April 14, the question is if the PS will get a boost from the sexual assault cases of Oulu?
The wise tales of Uncle Toms and the unbalanced reporting by the Finnish media
Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat, which was complicit in the early 1990s of spreading racism wholesale in Finland, hasn’t yet apologized for its reporting about groups like the Somalis. In an interview with a Kurdish Islamophobe, Sheida Sohrabi, Ilta-Sanomat signals that it will never apologize for its shoddy and one-sided reporting.
The PS and Blue Reform of Finland are an aberration and should be voted out in 2019
I have never believed or trusted the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* even if some were willing to give them the benefit of the doubt after their historic win in the 2011 parliamentary elections. Some claimed that it would only be a matter of time when they imploded. The implosion of the party happened in June 2017, or six
How would we classify Finland’s immigration and asylum policy? Thumbs up, or down?
Just like President Donald Trump has destroyed the US’ standing in the world, what wreckage has Finland’s immigration and asylum policy brought on our society and our country’s name?
(Migrant Tales 12.2.2017): Dear Sweden, don’t play ball with the Sweden Democrats – Finland is the best example of the disaster that awaits you
Dear Sweden, In all of the Nordic region, we have seen far-right populist parties rise in this century with a hostile even vicious anti-immigration and anti-cultural diversity agenda. Of all the Nordic countries, you are the only one in the Nordic region where populist anti-immigration parties have not formed directly or indirectly a part of government.
The Trumpization of Finnish politics
Perussuomalaiset (PS)* vice president Laura Huhtasaari, a vocal Islamophobic anti-immigration politician, has been since January under scrutiny due to the plagiarism found in her Master’s thesis. If you read the reaction of the Finnish media about the latest ruling by the University of Jyväskylä, one common theme is that the plagiarism scandal will not affect
QUOTE OF THE DAY: How anti-diversity and Islamophobic is Finland?
“One of the big denials that one still hears a lot in Finland is its denial of the rise of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, an Islamophobic party that won 39 seats in the parliamentary elections of 2011 from just 5 MPs in previously. There was an ongoing debate after 2011 within the PS on what caused its historic election victory. Then party leader Timo Soini claimed it was anti-EU sentiment while its present leader, Jussi Halla-aho, claimed it was the PS’ Islamophobic stance.
Does data harvesting occur in Finland? Is there a connection beween the PS’ 2011 and Donald Trump’s election of 2016?
In the face of the growing scandal about harvesting our personal data by groups like Cambridge Analytica and others, there is a question that needs investigating and answering: Did the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, particularly Matias Turkkila and his Hommaforum gang, use the same tactics to give the PS its historic victory in 2011?
Exposing white Finnish privilege #44: Defending Nazis’ rights to march is ok as long we agree on the common enemy
Jan Vapaavuori is the mayor of Helsinki who wrote the following on his Facebook wall below about Nazis marching in Helsinki on Independence Day:
Timo Soini’s fall from grace and the legacy of planting the political seeds of bigotry and racism in Finland
One lesson we could learn from former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairman Timo Soini is that the right balance between flattery and speaking in code will get you everywhere, well, almost everywhere. You can win big elections like in 2011 and ride, albeit momentarily, the crest of the popularity wave until you hit the wall in disgrace with your fingers badly burned.
Finland’s PM shows Halla-aho and his “new” far right Perussuomalaiset party the door
It became clear in the afternoon that Halla-aho’s first day as the new chairman of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) ended with Center Party Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and National Coalition Party (NCP) chairperson Petteri Orpo showing the new chairperson the door.
Even if politics makes strange bedfellows, Timo Soini’s bed partners are eerie
Remember the speech below when Timo Soini and the Perussuomalaisiet were riding the crest of a wave after his populist anti-immigration won the parliamentary elections of 2011, when it saw its MPs rise to 39 from 5 in the previous election?
How the Finnish government, institutions and President Sauli Niinistö pander to anti-immigration sentiment and groups
Just the way Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government can give a tacit pat on the back to far-right groups like Suomi Ensin (Finland First), the police give the green light to extremist vigilante groups, or President Sauli Niinistö give the thumbs up to the Finnish version of the Okie from Muskogee, all of them if they wanted could land a big blow to such racist groups by stating that they are unacceptable and out of touch with our Nordic values.
Defining white Finnish privilege #35: Case Sampo Terho and the ministry of (dis)culture
Why are you so surprised that Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Sampo Terho will be Finland’s new minister of culture, sport and European issues? The Swedish-language HBL expresses dismay and there are many others among us who appear awestruck by the appointment.
Nativist nationalist anti-cultural diversity politician Sampo Terho named as Finland’s minister of culture, sport and European affairs
What kind of message does the appointment of Perussuomalaiset (PS)* parliamentary group leader Sampo Terho to minster of culture, sport and European issues send? Does it strengthen our Nordic welfare state values or does it drive a wedge between us? We are naming a person who is hostile to cultural diversity and sees the EU as a threat as minister.
UPDATE: National Coalition Party forecast to win municipal elections, PS the biggest losers
YLE forecasts that the National Coalition Party (NCP) will be the winner of the 2017 municipal elections with 20.4% of the votes followed by the Social Democrats (19.2%) and Center Party (17.6%). The biggest winner will be the Greens (13.6%) and the biggest loser the Perussuomalaiset* (8.2%). The PS saw their support nosedive from the last municipal elections
Finland’s deep denial of racism coupled with exceptionalism make it susceptible to right-wing populism and fascism
If the latter claim above is true, it explains and reveals why Helsinki District Court judges agree with most of the decisions by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). The fact that only a very minor amount of decisions by Migri are rejected by the district courts speaks volumes about our country.
The final countdown of the PS’ return to the political minor leagues begins as Timo Soini bows out as chairman in June
Right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairman, Timo Soini, announced Sunday that he wouldn’t seek a new term as party head at the forthcoming party convention in Jyväskylä in early June. He has head the party since 1997.
(Migrant Tales 12.2.2017) Dear Sweden, don’t play ball with the Sweden Democrats – Finland is the best example of the disaster that awaits you
In all of the Nordic region we have seen far-right populist parties rise in this century with a hostile even vicious anti-immigration and anti-cultural diversity agenda. Of all the Nordic countries, you are the only one in the Nordic region where populist anti-immigration parties have not formed directly or indirectly a part of government.
Finns have finally woken up to a lie and bully called the Perussuomalaiset party
After bullying, labeling and scapegoating migrants and minorities for a number of years, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* appear to be returning to the minor one-digit political leagues, if a recent poll by Helsingin Sanomat is true. Those groups that the PS spread lies about will have the last laugh.
Finland, asylum seekers and the media: Moral cowardice and passing the buck
Migrant Tales has written a lot about how the Finnish media writes about migrants, asylum seekers, and our ever-growing culturally diverse society. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, problem of the Finnish media, when it writes about migrants and minorities, is that it gives white Finland the benefit of the doubt. We shouldn’t be
Will Donald Trump breathe new life into a doomed party called the Perussuomalaiset?
Donald Trump’s election victory has emboldened our own group of populists, racists, and bigots in Finland who pray what happened in the United States will breathe new life into a political disaster called the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*. There are many reasons why copying and pasting populist rhetoric in the United States won’t work in Finland.
Finland rolls back the clock and flirts with the cold war when every foreigner was seen as a potential threat
In another move to punish former migrants who are naturalized Finns, the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, which shares power with the National Coalition Party and anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset,* plans to introduce a new law to parliament within weeks that will prohibit dual citizens from holding certain jobs that involve national security, according to Seijnäjoki-based daily Ilkka, which cites Finnish News Agency (STT).
Connect the dots between the Perussuomalaiset, a government party, and Neo-Nazis and other far-right groups
Taking into account all the debate and pouring of outrage, some fake, some honest, at what happened last week, when a Neo-Nazi Kansallinen Vastarinta (SVL) member provoked the death of Jimi Joonas Karttunen, I am a bit worried about how we are taking our eye off the ball.
Are bigotry and racism something “funny” and “eccentric” PS chairman Timo Soini?
Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson and foreign minister, Timo Soini, brushed aside recent xenophobic and homophobic statements by MPs like Leena Meri, Laura Huhtasaari and Mika Raatikainen.
Post-Brexit Europe: There is a connection between scapegoating and hate crime
Is there a connection between scapegoating migrants, minorities as well as Others and hate crime? If you look at what has happened after the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom it’s clear that there is a connection.
Migrant Tales January 20, 2013 and case Terhi Kiemunki: The PS cannot rid itself of its racists because it would commit political hara-kiri
Migrant Tales insight: Are you still wondering why Terhi Kiemunki got off with a light slap on the hand by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party for writing on Facebook that it was unfortunate that she didn’t have any condoms to give Muslim children trick-or-treating? Even if Kiemunki is an Islamophobe that Anders Breivik emailed her before murdering 77 people on July
Are we related as a society to vigilante groups, hate forums, xenophobic parties and publications?
Should we be surprised that vigilante groups like the Soldiers of Odin, hate forums like Hommaforum and anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, racist online publications like MV-lehti have grown and captured our darkest imagination?
Does the Trump phenomenon in Europe reflect that white Europe is being challenged?
If Donald Trump stands a good chance at being nominated as the Republican party’s presidential candidate this year, surely it says a lot about the moral state of USAmerica. Noam Chomsky, the renowned scholar, was quoted as saying in the Huffington Post that the Trump phenomenon revealed that white USAmerica is dying.
Xenophobia is a cancer that spreads in Finland
After years of looking the other way Finland is paying today a high price for its self-inflicted xenophobia. What are the consequences of such a social ill if we continue to permit it to roam freely with the help of urban tales and bigotry?
What has the PS given to Finland apart from destroying our international image, labeling migrants and polarizing society?
The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* are one of the worst surprises that Finland got after 2011. If the latest opinion poll is anything to go by, the nationalist populist party has returned to the minor political leagues, where it was originally from.
The PS of Finland is an amateurish party that wants to normalize ignorance and racism
Finns are nice people in general. Some are patient and like to give kooks an opportunity. They do so because they mistrust the establishment or want to confirm that their trust of the establishment is justified.
YLE A-studio: The PS reveals its anti-democratic credentials and loathing of press freedom
Watching Thursday’s A-Studio talk show gave a very disturbing picture of what the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* think about democracy and the role of the media in society. Researcher Markku Jokisipilä exposed with a diplomatic statement what is wrong with Finland when debating our ever-growing culturally and ethnically diverse society.
The PS of Finland: Can you teach a bigot new tricks?
When the national media gave the racist narrative of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* the benefit of the doubt, Migrant Tales never did and never will.
Open racism in the PS and Finland for ever?
The Green League’s Vihreä Lanka writes that the hardline anti-immigration wing of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* comprises of eight MPs in MEP Jussi Halla-aho’s camp with four more sympathizing with the latter, according to Vihreä Lanka, which cites journalist Marianne Lydén.
A nightmare called the Perussuomalaiset
The populist anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) held over the weekend their party conference in Turku. There were two matters that summarize the conference: the party’s hostility towards migrants and the media.
Finland’s Rosa Parks moment and crossing the line
For those of us who have been anti-racism activists for many years, Tuesday, July 28, offered us something we hadn’t seen before in Finland: A spontaneous 15,000-20.000-strong demonstration against racism and fascism in Helsinki. Was that very important demonstration a Rosa Parks moment and an important watershed to make Finland a more inclusive country?
YouGov poll not only shows how critical Finns are of Greece and Greeks but of the outside world
A YouGov survey shows that 74% of Finns are against debt relief for Greece with the same amount blaming present and past governments for the country’s financial problems, reports the English service of YLE.
Is Finland on the path of becoming an isolationist, nationalistic and xenophobic country?
Finland hasn’t been itself for a number of years, especially after a populist Euro-skeptic and anti-immigration party, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, rose to the political major leagues in the 2011 elections.
Swedish People’s Party Carl Haglund: Who wants to move to Finland knowing that a price tag will be placed on your forehead?
Imagine a country that needs skilled labor due to the rapid graying of its population and whose new government still doesn’t know whether immigration brings benefits or not? Well that country, folks, is none other than Finland. Yes, the country that saw over 1.2 million of its people emigrate between 1860 and 1999 to the world and which saw the rise of an anti-immigration party from the minor political leagues to become the second-biggest party in parliament.
Xenophobia and Islamophobia get to first base in Finland: And now, what?
Living in Finland after the April 19 parliamentary elections is like witnessing a coup where xenophobia and Islamophobia have strengthened their stranglehold on our country with the blessings of the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP). With the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* in government and the election of PS MP Maria Lohela as the new speaker of parliament send a disturbing signal to many Finns and especially to our ever-growing culturally diverse community.
Get ready for even harder times in Finland if you are a migrant or minority
I remember right after the 2011 parliamentary elections, when the Perussuomalaiset (PS) won 39 from 5 MPs previously, that some weren’t worried. “You’ll see,” one person said. “It’s only a matter of time before they implode.”
On Sunday we vote in Finland – future generations will be watching closely the result
Finland will hold parliamentary elections on Sunday. According to the latest polls, the Center Party is well ahead with the National Coalition Party (NCP) and Perussuomalaiset (PS)* trailing in second and third place, respectively. The Social Democrats are in fourth place. Migrant Tales has tirelessly reported on the ongoing anti-immigration debate in Finland daily since 2011. Since Finland is our
Finland goes to the polls Sunday – don’t vote for these anti-immigration candidates
Finland will hold parliamentary elections on Sunday. One of the interesting question marks is who will come in second or third place. One poll predicts the Center Party winning (no surprise) with the National Coalition Party (NCP) and Perussuomalaiset (PS)* coming in second and third, respectively. The Social Democrats are in fourth place. During the last
Amnesty International cites (again) Finland’s human rights violations against refugee, migrant and transgender rights
Amnesty International criticized Finland in a 2014-15 country report on human rights violations for its treatment of asylum seekers, migrants, transgender people and conscientious objectors, according to YLE in English. It said that police inaction agains women and girls was another cause for concern. Should we be surprised? Not really. Finland has had a poor
Former PS councilman Risto Helin is a key suspect in an aggravated pimping case
Does anyone remember councilman Risto Helin of the western Finnish city of Vaasa, who resigned from the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party in August 2013 after he became a suspect in an aggravated pimping case? Remember when the councilman who, among other things likes to wear white power blood & honor t-shirts, gave a Hitler clock to
Migrant Tales (September 14, 2013): The Finnish and European media still have a lot to learn about racism and intolerance
One matter that is interesting to note when looking at the media before the historic victory of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party in April 2011, is the present controversy surrounding the Youth League of the National Coalition Party’s program. Is the media giving racists, radical anti-immigration groups and voices inflated respectability and importance? The whole Susanna
What do Jim Crow, Nuremberg Laws and Finland’s Restricting Act of 1939 have in common?
All forms of intolerance have one factor in common: They are violent ways to disenfranchise and control groups through social exclusion. Jim Crow laws in the United States sought to ensure that blacks remain marginalized in the same way as the Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany took away all power from the Jews. In Finland, foreigners
Arson attack against mosque in Sweden is another red light flashing in the roaring silence
A mosque in Sweden that was hit by arson on Christmas Day is the latest warning that we cannot stand idly to the ever-rising tide of Islamophobia and far-right violence griping Europe these days. Words are not regular bullets that kill instantly but are time bombs that can explode anywhere and anytime. The attack against the
Populist parties of Finland are a direct threat to our prosperity
A recent poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat reveals an important trend: How the National Coalition Party and the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* are in a semi-tailspin mode. The Center Party continues to strengthen its position as the most popular party among voters with the Social Democrats slowly but surely overpassing the National Coalition Party. Certainly this is an
Same-sex marriage bill vote Friday will be a cliff hanger
Finland will vote Friday on the long-overdue bill that would make marriage legal between same-sex couples. A lot rides on tomorrow’s vote. In many respects, the outcome of Friday’s vote shows Finland to be at an important crossroads. Some analysts see the passage of the same-sex marriage bill not only as a victory for gays but for
Homophobic Finland? Thank the Perussuomalaiset
Some weren’t too worried when the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* won their historic parliamentary election victory in 2011 by raising the number of MPs to 39 from 5. “They’ll implode like the Rural Party did in the 1970s,” and “This is only a passing [political] fad” was what one heard. One matter is clear after almost four
Systemic disenfranchisement of migrants and minorities in Europe
One important question that doesn’t appear to bother too many politicians is why migrant voter turnout in Europe is so low. In the 2012 municipal elections of Finland, 20% of eligible migrants voted compared with 18.6% in 2008. This is a far cry from 59.5% and 62.2% of Finnish citizens that voted in such elections,
Do you think David Cameron should be given ‘a medal’ for immigration?
Finnish Prime Minister Alexsander Stubb continues to surprise us. This time he proposed giving the UK, or Prime Minister David Cameron, ‘a medal’ for immigration. Taking into account how Cameron sees himself threatened by the UKIP and how he’s caved in to anti-immigration and anti-EU rhetoric, the distinction proposed by Stubb is odd to say the
PS’ Timo Soini of Finland looks more like a wolf and less like a sheep as April elections near
With the help of one term, “cultural marxist,” Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairman Timo Soini gave us the clearest-yet image of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Soini lashed out on his blog at the same-sex marriage lobby and particularly at Nasima Razmyar as “cultural marxists” after she compared the PS leader and Christian Democrat Päivi Räsänen as “conservative Islamists” for opposing same-sex
Finnish anti-immigration sound bites + near-silence of society = peril
Some soap operas are so sweet and melodramatic that they form cavities in your brain. In the same way, the message of anti-immigration and xenophobic parties is so outrageous that they leave a whole in your head. Timo Soini and the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* which became Finland’s third-largest parliamentary bloc in 2011, are appealing to
The PS of Finland: When a morally bankrupt party crosses the line
The Tom Packalén case is not only a reminder of what Finland can expect if the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* ever get into government, there is the real threat that we are in danger of forfeiting our successful Nordic welfare state for populism, nativist nationalism and xenophobia. In the face of this threat, it is the near-silence
PS MP of Finland ready to patrol streets and take law into his own hands
Remember what people said when the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* won their historic election victory in 2011? ”Nothing is going to happen you’ll see…they’ll soon implode like the Rural Party did in the 1970s…” some said playing down the whole matter. After almost four years, the PS continues to polarize society by instilling fear and fueling racism
The ‘positive’ side of racism and sexism on social media
What do social media sites say about how we socialize and interact with others? What does it say about racism and sexism, which have mushroomed on social media sites? Associate professor of digital journalism and social media at the University of British Columbia, Alfred Hermida, said that the problem of social media is the ‘undetermined’ nature and immediacy
Who spreads hatred in Finland: YLE or the PS?
Attempting to gain the maximum political mileage from the act of vandalism against the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* office in Helsinki on Thursday, party secretary, Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo, is pointing the finger at the “green-left alliance” (a favorite catchword that the party uses to describe its enemies) and YLE for comparing it to the anti-immigration far-right Sweden Democrats.
Will the Sweden Democrat victory give a boost to the PS in Finland?
The Swedish election result not only showed a shift and set for a minority-left government, but historic gains made by the far-right Sweden Democrats. Conservative Moderat Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who conceded defeat late Sunday, said he will hand in his resignation Monday after eight years in power. Just like the anti-immigration Peerussuomalaiset (PS)* in
Perussuomalaiset of Finland: From bashing immigrants and the EU to “not selling one’s ass”
What is wrong with the Perussuomalaiset (PS)?* In order to score their historic election victory in 2011, they went on a rampage and bashed migrants wholesale, especially Muslims. Today, PS head Timo Soini said that the party has its principles and therefore “doesn’t sell its ass [to anyone].” Folks, the person making this statement is
Helsingin Sanomat poll shows the PS heading south
A poll published today by Helsingin Sanomat reveals that the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is at its lowest point (15.9%) in two years. The most popular party in Finland continues to be the National Coalition Party (22.1%) followed by the Center Party (19.9%). The Social Democrats, which are still struggling, are in the mid-teens (14.9%) with
Finlandization was very bad for refugees, especially Soviet asylum seekers
A story in Thursday’s Helsingin Sanomat shows that the shadow of Finlandization continues to hang deep on Finland even if the demise of the former Soviet Union ocurred in 1991. Even if the Helsingin Sanomat story writes about Finland’s first-ever airplane hijacking case in 1977 involving two Soviet citizens on an Aeroflot flight, it sheds an
How the Finnish media gives anti-immigration parties like the PS space, inflated respectability and importance
An article in Sunday’s Helsingin Sanomat about Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Mika Raatikainen, who will replace former PS MP Jussi Halla-aho’s after he was elected to the European parliament in May, reveals once again this country’s media fascination with racist double-talk and rhetoric that just don’t add up never mind make sense. If there is a culprit
Close your eyes and repeat: The PS of Finland isn’t a racist and fascist party…
Harri Tauriainen, a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* councilman of the northern city of Kemi, is a good example of how racism and fascism have found fertile ground in the PS. Taurianen was elected by the region of Lappi as a PS candidate for the April 2015 parliamentary elections, according to Rovaniemi-based daily Lapin Kansa. Tauriainen, a councilman of Kemi, got
Is Finland a good country for migrants and minorities?
Finland gets a lot of international recognition for being one of the most competitive countries in the world, for press freedom, women rights, scores high on the good country index, having one of the best educational systems in the world and the likes. The latter raises a question: How inclusive of a country is Finland to
The political record and chicanery of the PS of Finland is what has estranged so many voters from politics
While some are still scratching their heads about the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* joining the European parliament’s European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group this week, it shows why so many voters have become estranged from politics. Read full story here. Before the historic 2011 parliamentary elections for the PS, when 39 of its MPs got elected
Migrant Tales insight on EU elections: Win some, lose some
As the political dust settles after the Euro elections last Sunday, can we claim like the media that the hard right made important gains? How did anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* of Finland fare compared with the previous elections in 2009? Apart from the UKIP and National Front of France’s impressive
Financial Times: MEP Jussi Halla-aho racist track record leaves PS out in the cold
Success comes with a high political price especially if you base that success on spreading racism and prejudice. That is exactly the case of the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* who are hoping to join the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) in Brussels but have been rejected by them because they see PS MEP Jussi Halla-aho as too racist,
Anti-immigration Europe: The fruits you harvest depend on the seed you plant
In many respects, Europe looks like a region that is running scared with a notable part of its population seeking to support populist, anti-immigration and even neo-Nazi parties that offer no credible solutions to issues like rising unemployment, poverty and estrangement from our political institutions. If students from a small town in Eastern Finland did
In the hands of white Finnish privilege, our ever-growing cultural and ethnic diversity is a pathway of good intentions and social exclusion
Or is the saying: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions?” One would think that the great amount of effort put into Finland’s educational system would help it to come to grips with social ills like racism and xenophobia. If we look at the political landscape of Finland, and how hostile this country
Are politicians like Jussi Halla-aho and parties like the PS racist?
Jay Smooth offered in early March some good points on how to spot a racist by sticking to the that-sounded-racist conversation as opposed to they-are-racist conversation. The former conversation allows you to focus on what the person said and why what they said is unacceptable. The other one will take your focus away from the issue. Keeping
Sune Kymäläinen: How some politicians try to capitalize on anti-Russian sentiment in Finland
MPs throughout Europe are opportunistically using the xenophobia card to boost their chances of getting reelected. This is the case of Suna Kymäläinen, a Social Democrat (SDP), who is eyeing the April 2015 parliamentary elections in Finland. Read full story (in Finnish) here. Kymäläinen is a sad example of how politicians who don’t belong to anti-immigration
Finland is not a land of opportunity but a land of poverty for most migrants
According to Statistics Finland’s Working Paper series, Finland is no land of opportunity for migrants, writes Pekka Myrskylä. The Statistics Finland’s development manager claims that the employment level of Estonians and Thai citizens matches that of ethnic Finns. The majority of migrants live in poverty in Finland, according to him. If what Myrskyä writes
How can you, Finland, loathe migrants and refugees if you were one?
How can a country like Finland, which saw over 1.2 million people emigrate during 1860-1999 and resettled 420,000 Karelian refugees after the Continuation War (1941-44) with the former Soviet Union, loathe migrants and speak contemptuously against refugees? How do you explain the rise of an anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) that grew from a mere
Why do we consider Timo Soini to be “a good cop” if he brought all these “bad cops” to power?
Doesn’t Perussuomalaiset (PS) leader Timo Soini bear responsibility for giving people like Jussi Halla-aho, James Hirvisaari, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Olli Immonen and a very long list of others a platform to spread their hatred and intolerance? Why does the media let Soini get off the hook so easily? Is Soini the culprit for anti-immigration sentiment and
Lahtinen and the PS of Espoo don’t like the term racism
Perussuomalaiset (PS) Espoo city councilman, Teemu Lahtinen, said that the anti-immigration and anti-EU party would not vote for the city’s new multicultural program since it states that “Espoo residents don’t tolerate racism.” Lahtinen, who is a member and has been president of the far-right association Suomalaisuuden liitto, said he would like to replace the term
Timo Soini and the PS do it again: usual sound bites and no accountability
Perussuomalaiset (PS)* leader Timo Soini published this week a book about himself and the growth of the anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-Islam party. In the book, Peruspomo, he candidly gives his opinion about the party, of some PS MPs and reveals some of his health issues. In a nutshell, Peruspomo gives us the same message, or lack of
What can the PS mutate to if the political conditions are right?
In order to understand what a party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) are, look at how it rose to become Finland’s third-largest party in parliament in less than ten years. The growth of the anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam PS has been impressive to say the least, rising from 5 MPs in the 2007 parliamentary elections
MPs fear that the Ukrainian crisis could fuel anti-Russian sentiment in Finland
The present crisis between the Ukraine and Russia could fuel anti-Russian sentiment in Finland, according to Social Democrat MP Pauliina Viitamies and MP Lenita Toivakka of the National Coalition Party, reports Mikkeli-based daily Länsi-Savo. Read full story here. “I fear that [the Ukrainian-Russian crisis] could raise anti-Russian sentiment especially in the eastern border area,” said
What’s really being discussed in the ongoing debate about immigration in Finland?
After taking part actively in the ongoing debate about immigration and immigrants, some crucial points always expose themselves in the debate. I personally believe that there is one very important issue that few care to admit: accepting our cultural and ethnic diversity and how some white Finns accept the latter. I’m overjoyed that there are
An opportunist called PS MP Jussi Halla-aho of Finland
If there’s one politician who has successfully made a career by spreading racism and victimizing a group like Somalis in Finland, that politician is Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Jussi Halla-aho, who is running for MEP. Apart from playing on people’s fears about migration and cultural diversity, the PS MP is a very unthankful person. Read full
We can do it and send Halla-aho and the PS to where they came from
I still remember April 2011, when the anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam Perussuomalaiset (PS) party opened a gloomy chapter in Finland’s history by getting 39 MPs elected to parliament. The election was impressive to say the least considering that only 5 PS MPs got elected in 2007. Source: www.youthventure.org While some were surprised by the election
Finland is repeating the mistakes of the past because we deny our history
There’s an interesting question that a YLE journalist asks National Coalition Party minister for European affairs and foreign trade, Aleksander Stubb, on the Ykkösaamu talk show Saturday about why small- and medium-sized companies in Finland prefer to be acquired by foreign companies instead of continue to expand in global markets. National Coalition Party Minister for
FGM or female circumcision: Traveling from culture point a to culture point b without exploding into pieces
Fadumo Dayib, who writes a great blog called Somali Womanhood and is Migrant Tales associate editor, asked me a very good question when I spoke to her about what some call female circumcision and which the critics refer to female genital mutilation (FGM). “What new points of view can you bring to the debate,” she asked. A
Two anti-immigration politicians “doing their hate thing” in Finland: One former, one present PS MP
Has anyone asked what the election in 2011 of 39 MPs of the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) party has done to poison the political atmosphere for immigrants and visible minorities in Finland? To show how much in denial we still are in a country, take a closer look at some former and present PS MPs. Where’s
Finland’s ombudsman for minorities says Helsinki social services and health care employees practice ethnic profiling
Finland’s ombudsman for minorities, Eva Biaudet, accused the Helsinki department of social services and health care of ethnic profiling because it requires its employees to check if “a foreign-looking” person has a residence permit, reports Helsingin Sanomat. The city of Helsinki said in a statement in June that its social services and health care employees
Does intolerance fuel racist harassment and abuse?
We’ve written quite a few stories about racist bullying and the rise of an anti-immigration party, the Perussuomalaiset (PS), after the April 2011 elections. The Independent reports that the number of children seeking help in England for racist bullying “increased sharply” in 2013. One of the reasons for the sharp rise in children seeking help for
Somali Finn Abdulah: Living in a land between Nowhere and Somewhere
Abdulah, whose life as a Somali Finn has appeared in previous stories on Migrant Tales, was especially troubled by a news story published this month about the sharp rise in deportations of convicted and undocumented immigrants. According to YLE, the number of deportations from Finland have risen sharply after the Sello Mall killings of December
Finland & Cultural Diversity 2013
Compared with the previous two years, 2013 will be remembered as business as usual on the intolerance front. A positive sign, however, is the reaction of some of the Finnish media to racism. Even so, the media in this country continues to give some racists inflated respectability and importance by spreading their prejudice. The reaction
How does the PS plan to keep Finland “white?”
Even if an anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) is trying its hardest to look as mainstream as possible with the Euro MP and parliamentary elections of 2014 and 2015 approaching, respectively, a crucial question is being left out of the picture: How do they plan keep Finland white and undermine our ever-growing
The shadow of the former USSR and its spell on Finland and source of xenophobia
In the spring 1989 I was planning to travel to the Western African countries of Mali and Niger. Mali was cut out of my journey thanks to the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo), which revealed to the honorary consul of Mali in Helsinki, Karl Jalkanen, what was written on my secret Interpol file. Here’s an
When will we pass to anti-racism phase two in Finland?
Some will agree that Finland is decades behind other countries when it comes to challenging racism. But there is good news: The rise of an anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam party in 2011, the Perussuomalaiset (PS), is a sign that we’re moving forward to phase two. Phase one is when most of the efforts of a
Isolationism, petty provincialism and nationalism: social ills with far-reaching consequences
In the backdrop of Finland’s independence day celebrations Friday and as the world mourns Nelson Mandela’s death yesterday, our country is at a major crossroads contesting whether it wants to be a closed or open society. The historic victory of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party in 2011 is one example how this country has taken a perilous
Henrik Dettmann: Finland is an “extremely intolerant” country
Is Finland a racist country? Henrik Dettmann, head coach of the Finnish national basketball team, agrees and claims that Finland is an ”extremely intolerant” country that isn’t a favorable place for foreigners. Read full story here. “Yes [Finland is a racist country],” Dettmann is quoted as saying on Verkkouutiset. “If I compare what I have
Time has shown us that our anti-racism efforts in Finland haven’t been in vain
It was only a few years ago when Migrant Tales was openly challenged by some for speaking out against racism in Finland. According to the more hostile commentators that posted on our site back then, racism didn’t exist in this country. If it existed, it was minor and exceptional. Even after the anti-immigration and anti-EU
Are you a perpetrator or victim of white Finnish privilege?
One matter about intolerance is that it is universal. The social ill can manifest itself in different ways by speaking different languages and historical context but don’t be fooled by these deceptions: Intolerance is the same ogre. White privilege is one of the many faces of racism and means automatic access or exclusion to the
The ogre of racism in Finland is learning how to wear a three-piece suit and tie
Matters appear to have changed after the April 2011 election, when the Perussuomalaiset (PS) rose from relative obscurity to become the third-largest party in parliament. The well-known scandals and publicized vicious attacks by the racists of the PS against immigrants and visible minorities appear to have changed their tune. Apart from the row that
Pressiklubi exposes MP James Hirvisaari’s fabricated lies and ignorance of immigrants and minorities
MP James Hirvisaari, who got expelled from the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party last week, appeared on Ruben Stiller’s Pressiklubi Friday. Compared with his appearance on Enbuske & Linnanahde Crew’s talk show the previous day, the new Muutos 2011 MP’s fabricated lies and ignorance were exposed in the raw. See full program (in Finnish) here. Just like the
Abde Hussein shows there is more than one way to put racism on the defensive
There’s more than one way to put intolerance on the defensive. Abde Hussein wrote on Thursday an encounter he had with a young unemployed white Finn, who said in public that he was a “monkey” and “living off welfare.” A discussion ensued but to make a long story short, the young white Finn turned out
The Finnish and European media still have a lot to learn about racism and intolerance
One matter that is interesting to note when looking at the media before the historic victory of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party in April 2011, is the present controversy surrounding the Youth League of the National Coalition Party’s program. Is the media giving racists, radical anti-immigration groups and voices inflated respectability and importance? The whole Susanna
Are Finns conservatives by nature?
Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman Timo Soini was interviewed on YLE Saturday morning. Commenting on a recent opinion poll commissioned by YLE, Soini claimed that the good showing of the PS and Center Party proved that Finns are by nature conservatives. The YLE poll, which was published Friday, showed big gains by the opposition Center Party (23.8%)
Racism in Finland: The media is part of the problem
A party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS), which has capitalized politically on xenophobia and racism, claims that the Finnish media picks on it unfairly. The fact is, however, that the PS could have never achieved what it did in the April 2011 election without the help of the media, which gave its racists inflated respectability and
PS MP Hakkarainen of Finland launches new attack against immigrants and Muslims
Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Teuvo Hakkarainen, who suggested two years ago that homosexuals, lesbians and Somalians should be relocated to the Åland Islands, has launched a fresh attack against immigrants and Muslims on a blog entry. Sensible people understand that generalizing about different groups, like Hakkarainen does, is not only wrong but racist. Migrant Tales strongly condemns
Victimizing and labeling immigrants for political profit
UK’s David Cameron is one European PM who is using immigration to bolster his Conservative Party’s poll ratings. It’s a recurring and worrisome political story across Europe: let’s get tough on immigration so we can gain a few percentage points in the polls. This type of campaigning is not only cowardly, but racist and disgraceful.
Why aren’t we outraged enough by intolerance?
Finnish department store J. Kärkkäinen’s Magneettimedia writings are a disturbing sign of how anti-Semitism, like anti-immigration and anti-Islam sentiment, have gained a foothold in Finland. And why shouldn’t it find fertile ground to grow in this country? During the past years, the genie of intolerance has been let out of the bottle and it shows. We’re
Migrant Tales (July 22, 2012): What have we learned after Norway’s 22/7
What goes around comes around. Exactly a year ago (2012) Anders Breivik carried out his mass killings, which ended up causing the death of 77 innocent victims. Have we learned anything from that tragic Saturday that shook the Nordic region and changed it permanently? In order to answer that question, we’d have to travel back in
Finland’s anti-immigration sentiment surprised a lot of people
Finland is a country that is graying at a rapid pace and needs to bring skilled labor. Some parties, like the Perussuomalaiset (PS), believe that immigration especially from outside the EU should be stopped at all costs. Others don’t mind as long as immigrants bring skills and contribute to society by paying taxes. In the
What does the PS’ new party secretary mean by “tightening [Finnish] immigration policy?”
Left Alliance MP Risto Kalliorinne asks Perussuomalaiset (PS) new party secretary Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo to elaborate what she means by ”tightening immigration policy?” Apart from labeling herself a chauvinist, Slunga-Poutsalo “demanded” that Finland should tighten immigration policy. Read original story here. While Left Alliance MP Kalliorinne poses an important question, we all know the answer that Slunga-Poutsalo
UK study links hate crime with far right EDL
A study in the UK finds that members of the far right English Defense League (EDL) were linked to a third of the abuses against Muslims last year. Almost two in every three cases of anti-Muslim incidents go unreported in the UK, according to Teesside University’s Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies. Read full report
Edward Snowden would help to put to rest Finland’s Cold War legacy
Wikileaks said in a statement that whistleblower Edward Snowden had asked for political asylum in twenty-one countries, one of which included Finland. Understanding Finland’s history and its historic suspicion of foreigners, granting a high-profile asylum seeker like Snowden asylum in Finland would not only help to put to rest for good our poor record but have
Let’s challenge Finland’s disgraceful family reunification obstacles
Migrants’ Rights Network (MRN) of Britain shows how organizations can do valuable work in lobbying for change against unfair family reunification laws (see Migrant Tales 28.6.13). Politicians, who have tightened such laws, are short-sighted and have created a tragedy for those who live separated from their loved ones. The same suffering that separated families suffer in Finland
Dissecting Finnish racism and bigotry
“Racism is like a Cadillac, they bring out a new model every year.” Malcolm X (1925-65) The quote by one of the most powerful voices to emerge from the U.S. Civil Rights Movements, reveals how racism survived in the 1960s to see another day. Even though the quote by Malcolm X was made about a
When Timo Soini and the PS cross the political point of no return
When do you know when Timo Soini and the Perussuomalaiset (PS) have crossed the line and passed a political point of no return? The 50,000-euro ad on the front page of Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest-circulation daily, blasting the government’s euro bailout policy is one of many examples. While more voters are turning their backs to the
Sweden and Woolwich reveal the eager face of intolerance
Be it the riots in Sweden or the tragic murder of a British solider in Woolwich last week, it’s always the eager face of intolerance that is ready to expose itself. The knee-jerk reaction to these events reveals something disturbing about us: our prejudice, intolerance and near-clueless answers on how to move forward in a
Sweden riots: People cannot live off football, crumbs and destitute pity
In the face of the riots in Huusby, Sweden, which have now spread outside the northern Stockholm suburb, there’s one culprit we should pay close attention to especially here in Finland: The erosion of Sweden’s comprehensive welfare state system. Faced with a seven-billion-euro budget deficit, it isn’t surprising that few if any politicians in this
Statement by the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner: “Europe must combat racist extremism and uphold human rights”
Migrant Tales comment: This statement by the the Council of Europe’s Human Rights commissioner, Nils Muižnieks, is a good example of how racist anti-immigration groups are gaining more power in Europe. In Finland we saw the spectacular rise of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party in 2011. Finland’s anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-Islam voice got stronger in parliament. Matters
DNA, Saunalahti, IF, Nordea: “Backward-looking” rules and laws mirror Finland’s anti-foreign sentiment
A comment on Migrant Tales by Chef summed up pretty well how “several backward-looking” rules used arbitrarily by mobile phone and insurance companies continue to discriminate and make life difficult for immigrants. Why does this still happen in Finland, a Nordic welfare state country that promotes and bases its values on social equality (tasa-arvo)? The suspicion that
How ideologically alike is the PS with the UKIP and BNP?
The recent local election victory of the anti-EU and anti-immigration UKIP of Britain is a good example of what Finland experienced with the rise of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) in April 2011. While the United Kingdom and Finland are vastly different countries, the knee-jerk reaction of the ruling parties to right-wing populism and rhetoric is strikingly
Migrant Tales (July 22, 2012): What have we learned after Norway’s 22/7 and the Boston bombings?
Comment: As the manhunt for one of the two suspects continues in Boston, what should our reaction be to the two Chechen killers? This blog entry written on the first anniversary of the horrific killings in Norway by Anders Breivik could shed light on that question. ____________________ What goes around comes around. Exactly a year
Margaret Thatcher’s New Right and Finland’s Perussuomalaiset party
As Perussuomalaiset (PS) leader Timo Soini promises that his party will become the biggest party in next year’s European parliamentary elections, which would give him a spring-board to score a similar election victory as in 2011, it’s still too early for the party to reveal how it would deal with its usual enemies like the
Finland’s tolerance for cultural diversity is being tested to the limit these days
Finland’s tolerance to Otherness is being tested to the limit these days. If we look at it from a political perspective, the knee-jerk reaction is clear. Denying that there isn’t a connection between the stellar rise of an anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-Islam party and our ever-growing cultural diversity is understanding a little or erroneously the
Maaseudun Tulevaisuus: Soini sees himself forming government after the 2015 elections
What are we to think and believe about Timo Soini’s opinion piece on Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, where he claims that the next government formed after the 2015 parliamentary elections will comprise of three major parties? Certainly Soini sees his party emerging as the victor and Finland’s next prime minister. Read Maaseudun Tulevaisuus news story on Timo
Could Finland and the Nordic region see Golden Dawn-like fanatics in the future?
The news from Greece is getting more distressing as Golden Dawn neo-Nazi thugs continue to terrorize sensible Greeks, immigrants and other minorities with the collusion of the police. An investigative report by The Guardian exposes how bad things are in Greece at present and why matters will get far worse. Could we see something similar happening in
It’s official: The PS doesn’t mind racists, Nazis and neo-Nazis among its ranks
A Perussuomalaiset (PS) party statement, giving Vaasa councilman Risto Helin a warning about a Hitler clock he gave to a neo-Nazi club in Vaasa, is a good example of political deception. If you read the statement carefully, it says that the party doesn’t mind racists, Nazis and neo-Nazis among its ranks as long as you do
Finland’s and the PS’ three mentors: See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil
The latest scandal in the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party concerning a councilmen who gave a clock with Hitler and swastikas to a neo-Nazi club in Vaasa, is another worrying example of how low we have stooped as a nation since the April 2011 election. Contrary to what some populist anti-immigration politicians may claim, we are not
YLE ensures that opinion pieces and news will be easily identifiable in the future
YLE emailed a Migrant Tales reader, who expressed concern Friday about an opinion piece written as news by Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Olli Immonen. It was an odd coincidence that Immonen’s opinion piece was published in such a manner, considering that the PS MP is the new chairman of Suomen Sisu, a far right anti-immigration association.
What Finland can learn from countries like the U.K. about racism
We can learn a lot from countries like the United Kingdom, where multiculturalism is an official social policy. Few won’t deny that the U.K. as well as other European countries don’t know what racism is if we look at their direct involvement in the slave trade and in the systematic genocide of indigenous peoples outside Europe.
What will happen to Finland if the PS matches its parliamentary election result in 2015?
Should we be worried by the latest polls, which show the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party vying for second place? What does the rise of the PS say about the present state of Finland? What will happen if the party matches its 2011 election result in 2015? Right after the disappointing municipal election, PS head Timo Soini promised that
If you loathe cultural diversity you most likely are suspicious of wolves and biodiversity
A news story on Green Party’s Vihreä Lanka asks if the wolf population of Finland has fallen to under 120 from an estimated 120-135 by Game and Fisheries Research. How many and what threat do they pose to people is part of an ongoing debate in Finland that is very similar to how some Finns
Is the far right a threat to Finland?
Pia Growchoski asks an important question on her recent blog entry on Migrant Tales: Why is the national media so interested in far right groups and their resentful rhetoric? Why do we give space to Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman Timo Soini’s blatant incompetence on our Facebook pages? Are we in denial about what these groups represent
Finland’s biggest threat is itself
As Finland awakens to the reality that it is a culturally diverse society, one of the biggest threats and challenges we face doesn’t come from abroad but from our backyard. When the Civil Rights Movement ended in the United States in 1968, the first matter that we learned we should stop doing is generalizing about blacks
BBC’s HARDtalk: Soini defends decision to not sack Halla-aho
Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman, Timo Soini, said on BBC’s HARDTalk that the five-year ordeal that lead to a Supreme Court ruling against PS MP Jussi Halla-aho for inciting ethnic hatred was enough punishment, according to YLE. Soini had promised previously to sack any member of the party if they were sentenced by a court for hate speech.
Our Finnish modern-day eugenicists are no different from the past
Who are those modern-day eugenicists breathing life back into this disgraced pseudo-science whose aim was to create a master white race by wiping out other ones? If we look at Europe and the Nordic region today, we can find many politicians with the same nineteenth-century agenda but in a different context.
Julian Abagond: What they do not teach you about anti-racism at American high school
The reason why I reposted this blog entry By Julian Abagond is to show how a country can down play the role of racism in its history. History erases history, right? Now consider a country like Finland, which doesn’t have such a terrible legacy. It must be pretty easy then to minimize the existence and
Post-Jyväskylä: Where do we go from here?
Considering how the media treated before the April 2011 election racism and far right ideology and how social media sites were teeming with racist online lynch mobs, we are today waking up from the hangover of our state of social inebriation. The aftereffect will not go away in a day, week, or month but will
Jyväskylä is (another) wakeup call to growing far right violence and intimidation
Wednesday’s attack by neo-Nazi thugs at a book presentation in Jyväskylä is a wakeup call to the growing menace of far right violence in Finland. Was what happened in the central Finnish city a surprise? The answer is no if you ask researcher Vesa Puuronen of the University of Eastern Finland. ”When we consider recent
The PS cannot rid itself of its racists because it would commit political hara-kiri
It’s been interesting to read how some Perussuomalaiset (PS) party members suddenly feel overwhelmed by the most recent racism scandal to rock the party. PS MP Tom Packalén asks in tabloid Iltalehti what should be done? Answer: For a start, why not sack them? The other option is to defect from the PS like Kontiolahti councilwoman
Racism is alive and well in the PS as well as in other parties
Husein Mohammed raised an important point on a recent blog entry where he reviewed Umayya Abu-Hanna’s latest book, Multikulti. He asks if the Perussuomalaiset (PS) is the only intolerant party in Finland. He writes: “The term racism is used quite a lot in [Abu-Hanna’s] book but there’s no mention of violence, visible or about racism in [other Finnish] political
Promoting tolerance now and tomorrow
In Migrant Tales’ Finland & Cultural Diversity 2012 review, it’s clear that a lot more work needs to be done to promote tolerance. Thanks to Umayya Abu-Hanna’s column on Sunday’s Helsingin Sanomat,* our collective complacency was once again shamefully revealed. Racism, or the lack of acceptance of other ethnic groups as equals in our society,
Finland & Cultural Diversity 2012*
If 2011 was a watershed year for Finland with the historic rise of a hostile party against immigrants and visible minorities in last year’s parliamentary elections, 2012 will be seen as a bittersweet turning point for the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The year will be remembered as a very violent one for immigrants as well. During “Black
What are immigrants supposed to adapt to?
One of the biggest questions when speaking of the integration of immigrants and visible minorities in Europe and Finland is what are they supposed to adapt to. In theory everything sounds perfect in our law books. What happens on the ground, however, is a totally different story. This abandoned Cadillac reveals the crude face of
The Finnish media and their PS darling
Did anyone watch Thursday’s Pressiklubi show with Li Andersson of the Left Wing Alliance, Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman Timo Soini and Helsingin Sanomat politics and business editor, Marko Junkkari? Apart from Soini’s usual political blah-blah (sound colorful but don’t say anything), Junkkari’s comment about how the Finnish media saw the PS as their darling before the
Taming the beast of right-wing extremism in the EU and Finland
Our reaction to racism should be first and foremost a reaction. A comprehensive report published recently by the Institute for Strategic Studies in Sweden not only exposes far-right or right-wing extremism in ten European Union countries, but its historical roots as well. While these extremist groups may have different names in different countries, they are all
Social inclusion is never voluntary in a land where racism is king
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Martin Luther King Jr. Even if the late King Jr. was gunned down in 1968, that quote is still valid today. In Finland it would read in the following manner: “Social equality is never voluntarily given by the majority; it must
The PS’ anti-immigration message suffers a hard blow
Despite the fact that the debate in Finland on immigrants and immigration has taken a turn for the worse in some respects, it’s not as bad as it used to be before the April 2011 parliamentary elections and when Anders Breivik went on his murderous rampage on July 22, 2011. While anti-immigration politicians still want
Is Timo Soini losing his grip of the PS?
For those who haven’t noticed, Perussuomalaiset (PS) anti-immigration hardliners like MP Jussi Halla-aho and James Hirvisaari have tried to show their human side to the media. Halla-aho was recently interviewed with his wife Hilla on Me Naiset, while Hirvisaari writes on a blog entry hitherto-unheard empathy and understanding for his archenemy, the media. Some of Finland’s
The true face of the PS is being exposed by its poor election results
There’s an interesting editoral on Saturdary’s Helsingin Sanomat (HS) that shows how close Nordic anti-immigration are when it comes to the support they received in recent elections and poll standings. Migrant Tales wrote six days after Anders Breivik murdered in cold blood 77 people on July 22, 2011 that the tide had turned for far right anti-immigration parties
MP Hirvisaari claims PS anti-immigration message not strong enough
Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP James (Erkki Kalevi) Hirvisaari claims that his party did poorly in the municipal elections because it wasn’t as outspoken on immigration issues as before the 2011 parliamentary elections, according to YLE. Migrant Tales disagrees. The PS did poorly in the municipal elections because of the crackpot stuff they say and do to
Finland’s problem that is correcting itself: lack of cultural diversity
Finland hasn’t been the same since the April 2011 elections, when the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party won its historic victory and became Finland’s third-largest party with 39 seats versus 5 seats in 2007. The PS’ latest election flop is another indication that the vast majority of Finns and immigrants are giving the thumbs down to anti-almost-everything populism. The
PS anti-immigration candidates did well in the Finnish municipal elections
What do Sunday’s municipal elections tell us about where Finland is heading politically? Even if the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) party won 12.3% of the votes, which was a disappointment for Timo Soini, it reinforces Finland’s anti-EU and anti-immigration stance. The biggest winner of the election was the Center Party (18.7%), which had lost a lot
Finland’s present demographic challenges are a threat to its prosperity
Finland will see dramatic changes to its population age structure in the next four decades, when the number of over-64-year-olds will soar by 941,000 to 1.639 million people, according to MTV3, citing Statistics Finland. Likewise, our labor force will shrink by an estimated 600,000 people in about 25 years. It is surprising, if not worrying, that the majority
The lack of cultural diversity is impoverishing Finland
Jussi Jalonen, a Tampere University history researcher, asked recently why a populist party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) continues to grow in popularity despite the numerous scandals that have riddled the group. There is an answer: Finland’s lack of cultural diversity. How is it possible that a party like the PS can win 39 seats in
The Netherlands gives Geert Wilders the thumbs down
Voters in the Netherlands did not back Geert Wilders’ calls for the country to ditch the European Union, reports the BBC. Wilders, who has dominated Dutch politics for years, is known for his tough anti-Islam and now anti-EU stance. Among many of his provocative statements, the Dutch politician has equated the Koran with Hitler’s Mein
What kind of a threat do Finland’s Counterjihadists pose?
It’s pretty clear that what goes up politically must eventually come down. Some groups, which have recently surged in popularity like the Perussuomalaiset (PS), could see their bubble burst quickly. While I wouldn’t count on anything like that happening anytime soon, it could be a totally different story for the hardline Counterjihadists of the party. The
PS Counterjihadists: Live and die politically by the sword
The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party is at a crucial juncture concerning its strange-bedfellow relationship with Counterjihadist and populist radical right members. What kind of links do some members of the PS have with far-right groups like the Finnish Defense League (FDL)? The FDL is nothing more than a mouthpiece of the English Defense League, a violent
The PS and the roosting chickens of intolerance
The fact that 19.1% of Finnish voters gave their support to an anti-immigration and anti-EU party in April 2011 speaks volumes about who we are as a society. Many things can be said about the Perussuomalaiset (PS) and their election victory, but one matter stands out for me: The chickens of intolerance have come home to
Those who loathe you are your supporters
The biggest supporters of immigrants and visible minorities in Finland aren’t groups lobbying for their rights per se, but their enemies. Instead of tapping ourselves on the back for challenging a social ill like racism, we should thank Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman Timo Soini for exposing in this country bigotry and isolationism in the raw.
What have we learned after Norway’s 22/7?
What goes around comes around. Exactly a year ago Anders Breivik carried out his mass killings, which ended up causing the death of 77 innocent victims. Have we learned anything from that tragic Saturday that shook the Nordic region and changed it permanently? In order to answer that question, we’d have to travel back in time
A question begs an answer: Who are the Perussuomalaiset?
The million-dollar question after the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party’s historic election victory was what kind of party had entered the Finnish political stage. After over a year in parliament and numerous scandals that have rocked the PS, a question still begs an answer: Who are they? If you seek an answer directly from the party, the response
Business Insider: Timo Soini’s “threat” to the world economy
Not only must have Perussuomalaiset (PS) party chairman Timo Soini been swept off his feet with delight for being named by Business Insider as the seventh-most dangerous person to the global economy, but Finland as well for such a dubious recognition. Who ever heard of Business Insider anyway? For starters, somebody could inform the online publication that the official
How to challenge a social ill like racism in Finland
The rise of an anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) in last year’s elections is not the most incriminating proof that racism is an issue in this country, but official denials that such a problem exists at all in Finland. What must we do as a society to effectively challenge such a social ill? Denials
Have the PS and MP Tossavainen of Finland ever heard of the Non-Discrimination Act?
If the future of Finland were ever left to the populist Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, it’s quite certain that this country would be doomed. The ones that would suffer the most would be immigrants and visible minorities. Outright discrimination would be the rule. The PS, who should know better, sent a formal request to the council
The wrong Finnish identity for all the wrong reasons
In many respects, Finland is a fortunate country when it comes to a social construct like national identity. We are still a young nation actively searching for our roots. We have learned many things about ourselves as a society thanks to the rise of an anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS). One of the matters
Cultural diversity in Finland: The high price of being too alike
As a writer and person with a multicultural background, I have been seeking to narrate a more inclusive and accurate history of Finland. Taking into account that over 1.2 million people emigrated from this country between 1860 and 1999 and our ever-growing immigrant population, aren’t both of these facts enough proof of our cultural diversity?
The Halla-aho scandal raises disturbing questions
Disquieting questions emerge in light of the Jussi Halla-aho scandal: Is pressure on the Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP to resign as chairman of the administration committee due to his dismissive reaction to the Supreme Court sentence or because of what he wrote about Muslims and Somalis, which got him in trouble in the first place? When
Halla-aho gets convicted for defamation and inciting ethnic hatred
Perussuomalaiset (PS) party MP Jussi Halla-aho was convicted today by the Finnish Supreme Court (KKO) for defaming a religion and inciting ethnic hatred. Halla-aho, who was fined in 2009 for defaming religion, was now criminally charged as well for inciting ethnic hatred. The sentence dates back to Halla-aho’s blog writings of 2008, when he claimed
Greed, narcissism, apathy and fascism are the greatest threats to Finland today
One of the matters I have admired most about Finland is its underdog spirit. When I grew up part of the year as a child and adolescent in Finland with my grandparents, that fighting spirit was ever-present. It was the fuel that led the country forward and turned it into a model society today. Despite our