When I was a young journalist, the editor of the Buenos Aires Herald approached me and gave me some sound advice. “Remember,” I recall him saying to me, “words are like bullets. Fairness in reporting a story is important. You don’t need a bazooka to kill an ant. Following what the media is writing about
Search Results for: hostile environment
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED Finland’s hostile environment against migrants and minorities is relentless, unforgiving, even exceptionally vicious. Matters are in such a dire state in Finland that even the new government fears upsetting racists who hate asylum seekers, especially Muslims, migrants, and minorities. The best example of the latter is the cases of eleven, yes
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
Seeking asylum and/or a better life is not a crime. What is one to think of plans by the new government to use electronic ankle tags to monitor the movements of asylum seekers whose asylum application is rejected. Is it ok? How would you like to wear an electronic ankle tag? Would it enhance your
The small 50-70 strong Iraqi community of the northern Finnish city of Kemi (pop. 21,256 in 2017) is feeling the brunt of the Islamophobic reaction of the highly publicized sexual assault cases of Oulu, located just 106 km from the city.
As the sexual abuse cases in Oulu gather more steam and public outrage, one of the lessons we are overlooking is our reaction and racism. What role do the police, media and politicians play in fostering hostility towards migrants in general and Muslims in particular?
UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s policy nurtured a climate of suspicion called today the “hostile climate” in which people are deemed guilty unless they can prove themselves innocent. Does Finland have a hostile climate against migrants like in the UK? One could answer in the affirmative after listening to a long list of politicians who don’t have anything
While I was not surprised by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s comments about migration and the rise of the far right in YLE’s Ykkösaamu talk show, the interview offers a good example of how his government continues to fuel Finland’s hostile environment for migrants. According to Adrian Berry, a leading UK immigration lawyer, defined in in The Guardian, the
At Migrant Tales, we are hearing more and more stories about the suffering and plight of undocumented migrants and how greedy companies are taking advantage of asylum seekers. Some of these that we have heard are asylum seekers working full time in black for 500 euros a month and a promise that they will be hired as staffers, which would help them to get a residence permit.
Nearly 300 people face criminal charges for aiding refugees in Denmark in September 2015, and the government continues to create a hostile environment by cracking down on migration.
By Don Flynn* The announcement of yet more changes to the immigration rules will cause anxiety to run down the spine of many a legal migrant as they struggle to understand whether it has implications for them. The government has declared that the intention behind the new Immigration Bill currently being considered
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED Helsinki City Councilperson Abdirahim Husu Hussein has been in the eye of a storm over a passenger who harassed him in a racist manner and who he was planning to leave the car at a bus stop but took the person to his final destination. Hussein posted on Facebook on Sunday
A journalist asked me what I thought about the reaction of the politicians to the sexual assault cases in Oulu. Certainly, any sensible person would condemn such acts. But what could we say about the politicians and the media? My answer: The reaction of the politicians and the media is a clear sign of Finland’s ever-worsening
Sunday’s election results should not come to any surprise. Far-right parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and white supremacist groups like Suomen Sisu have worked tirelessly to promote Finland’s hostile environment against migrants and minorities.
The atrocity we witnessed through the media of the cold-blooded and calculated killings that left so far 49 dead and many wounded in New Zealand were not mentioned once by some ministers on Facebook. These ministers are the ones who have fueled and nurtured Finland’s hostile environment against Muslims and migrants. Moreover, how many editorials were written in the Finnish media about what happened and how it is a warning to us too?
After creating a hostile environment against Muslims and migrants in Finland, Blue Reform* Foreign Minister Timo Soini has the audacity to condemn what happened in New Zealand as “cowardly,” according to Yle News. We condemn him and the actions of the Finnish government of cowardice in the face of defending and making every Muslim and migrant feel secure in Finland.
Thanks to a Facebook page and a story in Helsingin Sanomat, I became on Monday, a member of a group called “Do I look Finnish?” Nothing wrong with that, but if the page attempts to reinforce stereotypes about Finns, then something is rotten in Denmark. Understanding how far-right groups like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, Suomen Sisu,
Xenophobia tends to pile up. Like blacks in the United States, Finland’s “black” problem is Russia, and from the 1990s, Muslims. In the 1980s, when I lived permanently in Finland, and about 12,000 foreign nationals were living in the country, the racist undercurrent that flowed like a mighty river was ever-present. It reminded you whenever
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
The Perussuomalaiset (PS) are known to make a lot of promises to their voters and many of these are snow jobs. Tightening Finnish immigration policy will be challenging because it is already quite strict. Purra has said that for her to form a government with another party, the main requirement would be tightening “significantly” immigration
Treat with tweezers whenever percentage figures are used to depict sexual assault cases by migrants. A government-commissioned study published Thursday concluded that migrants are over-represented in suspected sexual assault crimes, perpetuating a toxic narrative. Such generalizations give ammunition to Islamophobes like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party to maintain and reinforce racist stereotypes. To look at how the Finnish
Radical-right Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party MP, Sebastian Tynkkynen, who has two ethnic agitation convictions and a third pending, is trying to get the most political mileage from an incident at an #elokapina demonstration. Some unknown persons at the demonstration allegedly attempted to attack Tynkkynen and shoved him. The police asked if the MP wanted to
It is surprising, even worrying, that outsiders are the ones that help burst the media’s many bubbles. One such OP-ED published Wednesday in Helsingin Sanomat by Antti Kivijärvi, and Martta Myllyä sheds light on the blind spot created by exceptionalism and ethnocentrism. Should it be a surprise that this state of affairs happens whenever migrants
Center Party parliamentary group leader Juha Pylväs went on the rampage Wednesday: “We certainly need in Finland skilled foreigners who can live off their work,” he was quoted as saying in Helsingin Sanomat. “We don’t need surfers and parasites that seek a better standard of living.” While we could consider Pylväs’ statement in foul taste, Center
Silence and complacency are some of the reasons why xenophobia and the rise of an anti-immigration party have been possible in Finland. While there are many common citizens and activists in Finland who have been fighting against parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, chairperson Riikka Purra’s interview on Yle’s Ykkösaamu is a definite reminder that we
Perussuomalaiset MP and chair of the foreign affairs committee, Mika Niikko, said in Helsingin Sanomat that he’d only want to give asylum to Afghan women and girls. Niikko’s and the PS’ xenophobic views of asylum seekers are exposed. “I am not heartless to not help women and children who seek to come and seek shelter from a
The newly elected chairperson of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, Riikka Purra, did not waste any time attacking migrants. Apart from tightening naturalization laws and family reunification, she stated that the PS will not become a member of a new government that doesn’t “significantly” tighten immigration laws. The timing of her hostile and anti-social statements could not have been worse.
The annual of the xenophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* in Seinäjoki will elect Saturday the party’s next chairperson after Jussi Halla-aho announced in June that he would not seek a new term. While it is a foregone conclusion that the PS’ first vice president Riikka Purra will be the party’s new chairperson, it is also clear that
What if most of the anti-immigration talking points spread by politicians like Jussi Halla-aho, Riikka Purra, and most of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party are just outright lies and urban legends? What if those false arguments put Finland in economic and social peril because they are untrue? An interesting paper titled, The 14 Most Common Arguments against
Amnesty International Report 2020/21 cites recurring problems with asylum seekers and children that the Finnish authorities continued to detain unaccompanied children and families. Finland continues to maintain strict rules in its immigration act approved in 2016 by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government (2015-2019). Some observers believe that these restrictions, like shortened appeal times and strict
THE STORY WAS UPDATED Events after the storming of the Capitol building in Washington on January 6 exposed white nationalist terrorism as the biggest threat facing the United States. Since the events that took place at the Capitol did not happen spontaneously, are we going to see something similar in Finland’s ever-hostile far-right groups like
The National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) received a political bomb that exposed the party’s internal strife between its liberal and populist-conservative wing. Kokoomus’ candidate for Helsinki mayor, Kirsi Piha, and Helsinki city councilor Hanna Gullichsen, both party’s liberal wing, announced they would step aside. Piha stated in a blog posting her decision to pull out from
TOPLINE One of the interesting facts about white nationalism is that it is copied from somewhere else. Thus, white supremacist conspiracy views in Finland are nothing more than copy-and-paste jobs from somewhere else. Some may play down the PS as a “light” version of white supremacy. We disagree. The PS under the leadership of Jussi
If the story about youth crime committed by so-called people of migrant backgrounds had been published in the United States, many would be considered misleading and racist. One in November about youth crime ended up labeling all youths of migrant origin as dangerous or potential criminals. The other one, published this month, was about the
THE STORY WAS UPDATED If we want to give a massive blow to racism in Finland and parties that promote this social ill, we need to change the language we use when speaking of all those that live here. One label that I have always disliked is “person with migrant or foreign background.” What does
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED I’m not surprised that Riikka Purra, a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP obsessed with slandering Muslims, gives misleading statements about female genital cutting (FGC), also referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM). The term FGC is in my opinion less judgemental and value-laden than FGM. Without offering advice and assistance to women who
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED In a recent debate with Center Party chairperson Annika Saariko, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party head, Jussi Halla-aho, was put on the hot seat after asked about his anti-Semitic blog writings. He denied being an anti-Semite and said that the claim was a popularity stunt by Lauri Nurmi, who recently published an
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
White Finnish privilege is powerful since you can use the police to project the need for defense and protection. In the United States, we saw two viral examples (see below) involving Amy Cooper and Lisa Alexander. For those who don’t remember, Cooper is the “Central Park Karen” for false reporting to the police. She falsely
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED As the troubled dust settles over Friday’s vote in parliament that kept Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Juha Mäenpää’s immunity from persecution, the arguments for or against have little or nothing to do with freedom of speech but expose white supremacist privilege. Even if the Finnish constitution and integration program speak of a two-way
There have been a number of social media posts about how health-care workers assume what is your cultural and linguistic background. Not only do they make the assumption, but label you in such a way. While some of you may say that I am being hypersensative, what would a black USAmerican think if I asked
I doubt that anyone of us wants to see a [civil] war in our country. PS MP Ano Turtiainen The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP with a curious first name, “Ano,”  Turtiainen is another dangerous example of how the Islamophobic party fuels the hostile environment against migrants and minorities like Muslims. Recently we saw a deadly
Any sensible person, irrespective of his cultural and religious background, does not condone sexual harassment. Even so, the police and Iltalehti continue full steam ahead to blame Muslims for these types of crimes. The blame game is so potent that we forget that most of the sexual harassment cases are committed by Finns. It is
National Coalition Party chairperson Petteri Orpo tweets that “I condemn the vandalism against the Turku Synagog and I’m satisfied that the Turku city council signed a motion [condemning] what happened.” Orpo’s support is important, but the question that arises from what happened is if there are different scales of importance when it comes to vandalism
When I came to live permanently in Finland over 40 years ago, people like me were seen as an ethnic anomaly. Sometimes having a different skin color or looking “foreign” meant receiving microaggressions like people shoving your child with a lighted cigarette that burns them, or hearing a perfect stranger saying something racist to you
One matter is clear: Opinion polls, which place the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* as the most popular party, have not only encouraged the party’s far-right stance but given it the hubris to spread and implant with its hatred social ills like racism. Finland is, alas waking up to the threat of the PS. In his New Year’s
Helsingin Sanomat carried out a survey asking if Pirkka-Pekka Petelius did the right thing to apologize to the Saami for mocking them in a racist manner in the Hymyhuulet show (1987-88). The survey showed that 57% thought that Petelius was wrong to apologize, while only 29% said that he did the right thing; 14% had
A group of present and former asylum seekers decided to hold an indefinite demonstration in front of Helsinki’s Finnish Immigration Service’s (Migri) on Thursday for better rights and security in Finland. Walid Sahib, one of the persons taking part in the demonstration, said that the most important matter is to raise awareness for the plight
At present, there are several things that are giving Finland a bad name: Islamophobia, the hostile environment, and hardline asylum policy. The latest setback to Finland’s image was handed down by the European Court of Human Rights for violating Article 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 2 states that everyone
In the ever exposed hypocrisy of Finland’s migrant integration program, it’s clear that two-way adaption is for the gullible. Do you believe in social fairy tales? I don’t. It is surprising why the Finnish school system has apparently done too little to look after children who are not white. As some studies reveal, schools are
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED Suspected hate crimes reported to the police in Finland during 2018 totaled 910 cases, which is a 21.9% fall from 1,165 hate crimes in the previous year, according to the Police University College. As in previous years, the lion’s share (86.8% versus 89% in 2017) of all hate crimes were motivated
What thoughts race in your head whenever a politician, public official, or white Finn rambles on about how social justice is a key value of our society and why racism and discrimination, which are illegal, have no place in Finland? While the latter is important for newcomers to know, the issue is how such topics
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED There are many types of social ills that are cancerous, but the one I want to speak now is about institutional racism in Finland. Institutional racism is a racket, a criminal conspiracy, to exclude people by ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Institutional racism is a racket that maintains a system that
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED A new study published by Akhlaq Ahmad about labor market discrimination in Finland and the results, while not pretty, reinforce what we’ve known all along: ethnic discrimination is commonplace in Finland’s labor markets. On Saturday, Migrant Tales published a news story that showed that the number of work permits granted to
As Finland faces an ever-worsening labor shortage due to the greying of its population, the number of EU nationals that want to work in Finland has taken a nosedive, according to Seura. The number of EU nationals that were granted work permits in 2018 totaled 4,179, which is a 28.1% fall from 5,699 in 2015,
Ovem lupo commitere. The saying in Latin, To set a wolf to guard sheep, raises the right question about a YLE news story on a hate speech study and how it intimidates politicians from expressing their opinions. The study reveals that 75% of the messages come from anti-immigration groups, with the rest coming from left-liberal
There is one matter that makes my blood boil when there is a clear case of racist behavior, but the person hearing it, who can be your boss, remains silent, hoping that the uncomfortable situation passes over and returns to “normal.” “Back to normal” in this case means that nothing has changed and challenged. Matters
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED The snap elections in Austria saw the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) suffer a blistering defeat with the number of MPs plummeting by 37.3% to 32 from 51. Sebastian Kurz of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) was the biggest winner getting 38.4% of the popular vote and gaining 11 MPs to
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED A tweet, which alleges Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Jani Mäkelä, stating that “without SS troops, Finlan would have lost the Continuation War (1941-44), is from a fake account. If this is true, we apologize for the mix-up. I wrote a comment to PS MP Mäkelä below after he asked me to “Stop
THIS STORY WAS UPDATED In the face of rising hate speech, racism and the lack of trans rights, the Council of Europe Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) called today on Finland to tackle such social issues. ECRI added: “[t]o tackle growing racist and intolerant hate speech, better coordinate integration activities for immigrants and review
After the Oulu sexual assault cases came to light at the end of November and rapidly spiralled out of control in the media, is one sad example of Finland’s Islamophobia problem. Not only are politicians from parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* trying to reap the political benefits, but the media, and police, too. All of
The closing of US borders to Latin American asylum seekers, detaining minors, vilifying Latin Americans and Muslims, emboldening white supremacy and relegating and maintaining migrants and minorities as second-class members of society are some of the things that we have seen and read about President Donald Trump’s presidency. One will find many similarities if we
THE STORY WAS UPDATED It is surprising that in Norway, one of Europe’s wealthiest and whitest countries has suffered some of the worst terrorist attacks in Europe. Eight years ago, on 22/7, Anders Breivik emerged and killed 77 people. The most recent terrorist attack by an alleged white supremacist in Norway on Saturday attacked with
A racist is an individual, always an individual, who does not like people based on race – must be conscious – and who intentionally seems to be mean to them. Robin DiAngelo, sociologist THIS STORY WAS UPDATED Using DiAngelo’s definition, the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* their politicians, their voters, and followers are racists because through such a party
Only MP Ozan Yanar, Jani Toivola and for about two years Nasima Razmyar, or 1.5% of all 200 MPs during the 2015-2019 term, were the only visible minorities in parliament. In the present 2019-2021 term, matters aren’t much better: Bella Forsgrén and Hussein al-Taee, who is on sick leave, are the only MPs who are
White Finnish supremacy is not only limited to the Perussuomalaiset (PS).* It is found in other mainstream Finnish parties as well. THIS STORY WAS UPDATED This is how a far-right white supremacist like Jussi Halla-aho attempt, like in a Yle interview in February, argue why people of color and other minorities can never be Finns:
It is amusing to hear how some people, usually white Finnish males, are so concerned about free speech. From rock bands like Eppu Normaali to politicians from the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party and others, the message is clear: the state is undermining our free speech. Really? How can people who grow up with privilege and power
This was sent to us today. It reads in Finnish: “Kontula eilen,” the Helsinki neighborhood of Kontula yesterday.
The scandal that blew up in FPÖ leader’s Heinz-Christian Strache’s face and which brought down a government in Austria, Perussuomalaiset (PS)*Vice President Laura Huhtasaari’s participation in a meeting organized by Salvini in Milano with far-right leader Matteo Salvini, and the racist tweet below by the PS Youth are just one of many political setbacks.
Where is Finland heading and why is the media silent to the new attack of racism by the Perussuomalaiset (PS) Youth?
In a Migrant Tales’ recent article based on a Maailman Kuvalehti report about the mental suffering of daily racism, we promised some “no filtered” outtakes from interviews with those affected. You can read the first piece, Part I: Racism causes trauma and mental suffering,here. Eight cases, eight migrants, eight stories, about life in Finland: “You
What are we to think about the event late-Friday when two unidentified Finns threw a firecracker, according to the police, outside a mosque where people were celebrating the holy month of Ramadan?
Is it surprising that whenever President Sauli Niinistö comments on asylum seekers, Muslims, and the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, he sticks his foot in his mouth?
It is odd how little Yle takes the blame for being the facilitator of anti-immigration and anti-Muslim sentiment in regards to the sexual assault cases of Oulu. Migrant Tales documented 77 stories published between November 27 and February 13. On January 14, Yle published in one day 13 stories about the topic!
A new case of a 10-year-old girl being beaten allegedly because of her Muslim background reported today by the police and television station MTV. The last case, which also involved a 10-year-old Muslim girl, happened just before Christmas in the suburb of Espoo.
Should we be surprised by the results of a recent opinion poll, which showed the rise of an Islamophobic populist party to third place after the Social Democrats and National Coalition Party? As Léo Custódio put it: “Racist party 3rd in polls in world’s happiest country.”
What do the attacks against Blue Reform Foreign Minister Timo Soini in Vantaa Sunday and today against Left Alliance MP candidate Suldaan Said Ahmed tell us about today’s Finland? They tell us of a country that has been asleep to the threat of far-right extremism, Islamophobia and other forms of racism and hate speech.
Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Teuvo Hakkarainen, convicted for ethnic agitation and sexual harassment, is on the roll with the media again. This time, the PS MP has taped on his car anti-immigration slogans like “stop refugee terrorism – out of this country every [asylum seeker] man.”
The fact that a group of black researchers headed by Dr Faith Mkwesha are challenging institutional racism at Åbo Akademi reveals a lot about the nature of the beast and how too little is done today to tackle racism. Dr Mkwesha is a researcher at Helsinki University and Åbo Akademi.
Economy Minister Petteri Orpo, who is also the chairperson of the National Coalition Party (NCP), was and is instrumental for having tightened Finland’s immigration policy when he was the interior minister (2015-2016). As a minister in Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, he was instrumental in undermining the rights of asylum seekers and migrant community.
The downfall of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government on International Women’s Day Friday was not only good news for social equality in Finland. Apart from impoverishing the country’s most vulnerable classes like single mothers, women, the unemployed, migrants, minorities and others, it is an end to right-wing party politics so obvious in the failed health care reform.
As a sociologist and anti-racism activist, I was not surprised by the banality of Finance Minister Petteri Orpo’s and Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen’s model to better integrate migrants and do away with migrant crime. The answer? A test!
Apart from the minors who were the victims of Oulu, other casualties are Finland’s migrant community and especially Muslim asylum seekers and refugees. Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland If the structure does not permit dialogue the structure must be changed. Paulo Freire THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED The hysteria generated by the sexual assault cases of
Ratcheting up suspicion and polarization in Finland against asylum seekers and migrants, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said over the weekend that he favors giving refugees should take an entrance exam on Finnish values like bodily integrity before getting residence permits, according to Yle.
Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen and the government are using the same tactics as the Nazis in World War 2 but in a different context. The government is not rounding up people and killing them in cold blood but punishing them severely for the crimes others did. Imagine the migrant community of Finland, especially Muslims and
Journalists and newspapers in Finland, especially tabloids like Iltalehti, Ilta-Sanomat and state broadcaster YLE, are prime examples of not only white Finnish privilege but of white Finnish overkill and rage.
This week Finland got cold water thrown at it from two reports that reveal hate crime and Afrophobia are serious problems. One may rightfully ask how a country like Finland, which claims to have one of the best education systems in the world, can do so little to stop such hatred.
A new study by the European Agency of Fundamental Rights (FRA) reveals that a third of people of African descent (PAD) surveyed have experienced racial harassment in the last five years. That’s not all: Perceived racist harassment was highest in Finland (63%) and least prevalent in Malta 20% (see chart below).
Conservative National Coalition Party Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkänen announced Friday that an independent inquiry of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) will be launched, according to YLE. The minister said, however, that the independent inquiry should not be seen as a lack of trust in Migri’s work, which has had to process some 45,000
Finland’s immigration policy is inhumane If this is the case, what does it say about its integration program? A family of five minors and adults including both parents from Afghanistan left Finland most likely on Thursday after they found out this week that their appeal for asylum was rejected by the supreme administrative court. The family
We hear near-constantly from the police in cities like Varissuo and journalists warning us about the dangers of “multiculturalism” in Sweden and how it may spread and wreak havoc in Finland. This type of reporting is unfortunate because it not only reinforces stereotypes about migrants but their exclusion from society. As long as Finland’s official
The IRR welcomes Amnesty International and The Monitoring Group’s recent reports on the racially discriminatory nature of the Metropolitan Police Service’s Gangs Matrix intelligence database.
One picture on the left shows how migrant children in the United States are being separated and incarcerated. On the right, is a picture taken in Finland last year of a minor looking out the window at the Joutseno immigration removal center.
An Espoo-Helsinki-based ethnic-food distributor, which allegedly hires asylum seekers and pays them near-starvation salaries under the table, uses such victims to repackage and change the sell-by dates of food products that should not be sold. Some of these products are allegedly five years old and their sell-by dates have changed twice, according to an asylum seeker, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Migrant Tales will publish and expose this week a foods distributor that pays asylum seekers under the table to change the sell-by dates of their products. We have a written statement and many pictures sent to us by one former employee that show how easy it is to change sell-by dates of products.
By Rita Chahda We all thought Windrush was a moment in British immigration history that would not be forgotten. In the last weeks we have seen its legacy degraded by heartless immigration bureaucracy, with many people’s agony prolonged – for years, as we know – by the usual ministerial evasion of awkward questions. Read the original
“The fascination of the Finnish media for racist statements by politicians like Laura Huhtasaari is the real culprit behind the spread and normalization of racism in this country. If I had to give a grade to the Finnish media on how it handles stories about diversity and racism, I would give it a fail.”
There is overwhelming evidence that Finnish labor markets suffer from racialization and outright discrimination, especially against migrant women, according to numerous studies on the topic. How does racialization and discrimination play out at some Finnish workplaces?
Integration is a two-way process. Simply blaming migrants for failing to integrate or learn English isn’t a viable way forward. So it’s vital that migrant communities are involved in any discussion and development of a UK-wide integration strategy argues MRN Director, Fizza Qureshi.
MRN’s new Director, Fizza Qureshi, welcomes the New Year and the major challenges it brings. The picture may look bleak, but that’s no reason for pessimism. It’s a spur to building alliances and campaigning harder for a rights-based approach to migration.
Below we interview members of a new campaign, Schools Against Borders for Children (ABC), set up to resist the encroachment of border controls in schools.
A new report by social media activists on the spike of hate crimes immediately after the referendum on EU membership should prove uncomfortable reading for the Home Office.
What happens when we bring the anxieties of life at the border into the heart of our all our communities? How can we contend with life in a space where identity is constantly checked and people subjected to the question: Why are you really here? MRN director Don Flynn asks this in an article published this month in Soundings, a journal of cultural politics and simultaneously on the website of Eurozine. The full article can be accessed here.
The shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday has shaken the country, leaving many reflecting on the state of race relations in the United States.
Migrant Tales’ insight: Another fine essay by Don Flynn, which brings to mind recent claims by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party that migration costs the country up to 2 billion euros. The estimation is only a guess by the PS and which forget to calculate that the majority of migrants in Finland work, pay taxes and consume.
D4R is a regular poster in the comments on Migrant Tales. We are very grateful that he has shared some of his experiences of growing up and dealing with discrimination in Finland. Here is the first part of a long comment he made on one post, which deserves to be read by as many people
By Alina Tsui Illegal immigrants are tearing apart the social fabric of Greek society. They’ve been blamed for the spike in crimes and the cause of Greece’s economic woes. At least this is the narrative that’s repeated by the far-right and accepted by most Greeks. With no end in sight of the economic crisis
The Foreign Scholars Forum, a forum for foreign scholars of all disciplines living and working in Finland, convened a Zoom panel discussion June 5th to which members of all the main political parties and groups were invited. The keynote topics for the event were immigration and climate change. Next to the debate, a fascinating and
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
In Finland, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is an extremist far-right party that fear-mongers about Muslims and migrants. For many PS politicians, the Oulu sexual abuse cases came as an election lifesaver until Friday, when an Australian white supremacist murdered in cold blood 49 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Finance Minister Petteri Orpo and Interior Minister kai Mykkänen reiterated calls for asylum seekers to “integrate” and embrace Finnish values. Mykkänen was quoted as saying in Helsingin Sanomat that there are plans to offer asylum seekers at reception centers courses on Finnish society.
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?
WHY? The story by Yle flirting with xenophobia or xenophobic? A good news story is one that has different opinions. Certainly, if Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen suggests that naturalization laws should change in light of what happened in Oulu, there are other opinions on the negative impact of such a change in the law. One matter that
Recently we have seen the consequences of hatred towards minorities in the United States: The cold-blooded shooting of an alt-right suspect that attacked a synagogue killing 11 people in Pittsburgh, the killing of two African Americans in Louisville, and mail bombs sent to Democrats and liberals who oppose President Donald Trump.
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.
“There are two lessons to learn from Mr. [Sajid] Javid’s appointment: The fight against an unjust immigration system [in the UK] does not change with a new home secretary, and if we remain satisfied with representation as the sole means of progress, diversity becomes a shield for a government’s institutionally racist policies.” “If we get more
If I had to choose who discriminates and defends structural racism in Finland, I’d come to the following conclusion: Many of those who claim to be for social equality are the worst enemies of our culturally and ethnically diverse community. Their silence is one matter that exposes them but also their defensive stands whenever they feel threatened.
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 Finnish government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä must be one of the few if not the only one in the world that is still pondering whether immigration is good or bad for the country. Even if the new government decided to carry out such an assessment by an independent body, thanks to pressure by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, it’s universally accepted by economists that immigration is good for the host country.
One of the members of the new government, the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, said that jobs will be created for Finnish labor. In the present anti-immigration environment in Finland, such statements have a hostile ring to migrants, naturalized Finns and minorities since they don’t promote inclusion and fair hiring practices.
By Don Flynn* There’s no point hiding the fact that the right wing party made effective use of public anxieties about immigration to build its position. But all the evidence on how the argument is running shows that it can still be turned round. But we’ll need a new upsurge of activism in support
Don Flynn* The new report on free movement in the EU from IPPR argues that pro-migration groups have to triangulate their advocacy with the antagonistic moods that currently hold sway. But do they need to go quite so stridently in the direction of arguing that they dictate the need for a ‘new
Don Flynn* Anti-racism and the battle for the rights of migrant seem to have moved some distance apart in recent years. It is time to reverse that, and re-forge a unity between the two that will be able to take on the challenges that come from growing xenophobic moods. The coalition of groups supporting the
Don Flynn* Immigration studies has emerged as an important discipline in colleges and universities across the world, with scores of research centres being established in the UK alone over the last decade or so. Contributions have come from sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, political scientist, economists and philosophers over this time, giving anyone who
Don Flynn* Is immigration just an accident, prompted by the selfish behaviour of the metropolitan elite, or a vital component in the functioning of a globalised economy? That was the issue at the heart of the spat between two government ministers last week. Decision on who is right will decide the future direction of immigration
Don Flynn* This is the final blog in a three part series which sets the reasons why we need a clearer and more precise idea of the rights which migrants need if they are to prosper in the modern world. Here we argue that the assertion of a ‘right to migrate’ is
MT comment: Is it a coincidence that the same issues but in a different context are taking place in Finland and elsewhere in Europe? Even if elections are supposed to be a time when we celebrate our democratic rights, for some, like migrants and minorities, it has come to represent a day of uncertainty, even
Don Flynn* David Cameron’s intervention during the EU leaders’ summit meeting in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius last week has made it clear enough that the issues of immigration and Europe are going to be heavily intertwined during the political debates of the coming period. Read full story here. Cameron’s claims that the
By Don Flynn* There’s a lot more discussion nowadays about the exploitation and rock bottom standards in the way the British labour market operates. But it looks like we’ve needed the presence of migrants to show us all just how bad things have become. Read full blog entry here. The Institute
In an A-studio talk show Monday, Perussuomalaiset (PS) third vice-president, Juho Eerola, was asked what was the underlying message of MP James Hirvisaari’s expulsion to members of the party. The PS MP said that “playing with issues like National Socialism and misanthropy” are unacceptable in the PS. The person making such a claim, Eerola, wrote
It’s pretty clear from an interview that new party secretary of the Perussuomalaiset (PS), Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo, gave to newsmagazine Suomen Kuvalehti that she has shot herself so badly in the foot that she’ll never recover. Not only does her murky far right anti-immigration opinions follow her as a shadow, but affirmations like ”I’m a chauvinist”
In theory, the answer is straightforward: Finnish schools should respect cultural diversity but a lot depends on the school and the principle. If we compare how elementary and middle schools treated visible minority students in the 1990s, we hope that matters have improved since then. But have they? Cultural diversity in Finland up to the
When I moved to Finland in December 1978, I wasn’t naïve about Finland, but super naïve. I was so confiding that I actually believed all Finns were honest. If happiness were a spider, it would spin a web to catch our good thoughts. Apart from a strong admiration for the forests and people who inhabited
Apart from the usual social-media lynch mobs on the net, we have seen since the April 17 election a rise in hate crimes in Finland. The issue has escalated to such proportions that President Tarja Halonen has expressed concern over this problem.
It seems odd that in today’s technilogically advanced societies in Europe and elsewhere our views of other groups continues to pose major challenges. If I had to picture the sitaution in a cartoon, I would draw a picture of one of our first primates, Australopithecus africanus, which existed 2-3 million years before present sitting in front of a computer and speaking to the future with a Skype time machine.