Search Results for: hostile environment

Finland’s hostile environment against Muslims, people of color and storms in teacups

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

Finnish white privilege #57: Finland’s “hostile environment” against migrants

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

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä fuels Finland’s hostile environment for migrants

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

Finland’s hostile environment for migrants, asylum seekers, and all types of minorities

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. 

Migrants’ Rights Network: What is driving the ‘hostile environment’ idea (in the UK)?

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

Exposing Finnish white privilege #66: Abdirahim Husu Hussein and dealing with racist passengers in a racist environment

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

Oulu has turned Finland into a more hostile place for migrants, especially Muslims 

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

Once again politicians and the media show no leadership about the terrorist attack in New Zealand

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? 

Shed an alligator tear for me: Foreign Minister Timo Soini condemns terrorist attack in New Zealand

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.

Exposing white Finnish privilege #88: A Facebook page that asks white people if they look like a Finn?

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,

When countries become nationalism addicts and junkies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Riikka Purra’s promise of “significantly” tightening immigration policy is nothing more than a snow job

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

Exposing white Finnish privilege #81: Racializing crime, perpetuating stereotypes and racism

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

Exposing white Finnish privilege #80: Violence against you counts but mine doesn’t

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

The Finnish media’s reporting about migrants and minorities is a disappointment

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’s Pylväs cannot resist and swallows the “sweet” pill of racism

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

Riikka Purra’s call to struggle against her ilk

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

PS’ Mika Niikko: Muslims should be prohibited from having a family

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

Riikka Purra is the new leader of xenophobic copycats and plagiarizers

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.

Exposing white Finnish privilege #79: Spreading lies at our economic peril

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 2020/21 report: Shame on Finland

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

Exposing white Finnish privilege #78: the spread and acceptance of white nationalism

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

Populism and lack of leadership under Petteri Orpo fuel Kokoomus’ tailspin

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

Exposing white Finnish privilege #77: The PS are Finnish white supremacists

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

Exposing white Finnish privilege #76: Two news stories that expose entitlement

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

FGC and the PS: Come on! Let’s bash Muslim women and Islam (again)

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

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

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

Exposing white Finnish privilege #72: False police reporting is an example of violence and open hostility

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

Exposing white Finnish privilege #71: Hate speech is an example of white supremacist privilege

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

MP Ano Turtiainen: A shovelful of PS violence and rage

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,” [1] 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

Exposing white Finnish privilege #69: Spreading racism and hatred the Iltalehti and PS way

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

Petteri Orpo’s double hate-crime standards expose political hypocrisy

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

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Racism in Finland? You ain’t seen nothing yet!

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

Exposing white Finnish privilege #68: The party that injects Finland’s Islamophobia with steroids and other hate-enhancing drugs

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

Exposing Finnish white privilege #67: Pirkka-Pekka Petelius’ apology exposes deep-rooted white Finnish supremacy

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

Asylum seekers start indefinite demonstration in front of the Finnish Immigration Service

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

EU Court of Human Rights reinforces Finland’s inhumane asylum policy

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

Kotoutuminen* #4: Amalgamate, assimilate is the rule, two-way adaption is a pipedream

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

Police University College: Hate crimes in Finland in 2018 were down 21.9%. Is it a good sign?

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

Exposing Finnish white privilege #64: The cancer of institutional racism in Finland

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

Study: If you have a “foreign”-sounding name, you will need more than luck to get work

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

Exposing white Finnish privilege #63: Silence and acting dumb are the swords of institutional racism

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

The real MP Jani Mäkelä and how the PS also waters the poisonous fruit of anti-Semitism in Finland

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

Council of Europe: Mayday, Mayday, Finland must get a grip on rising hate speech, racism, and implement trans rights

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

Like Trump, like Halla-aho

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

A white supremacist terrorist strikes again in Norway. White supremacist terrorism is the biggest threat to Europe and Finland.

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

Perussuomalaiset a racist party? You bet!

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

Jussi Halla-aho and his ilk have made it clear: the only “real Finns” are white and Christian

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:

Case Perussuomalaiset Youth: The worst enemy of the far right is the far right

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. 

Part 2: Mental impact and reality of everyday exclusion

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

Actions of the Finnish police and Yle reveal multicultural incompetence in coverage of Oulu sexual assault cases

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!  

Attacks against Soini, Ahmed and the Muslim community of Finland are symptoms of our silence

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. 

NCP’s Petteri Orpo and his infamous xenophobic and anti-immigration statements

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. 

Good riddance to Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government!

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.

Exposing Finnish white privilege #60: Oulu, OULU! Awaken and sniff the racist coffee.

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

European Agency of Fundamental Rights: Finland has the most racial harassment cases against PAD of 12 EU countries surveyed

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).

Finland’s ministry of the interior will (alas) launch an independent inquiry of Migri

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 inhumane and uncaring asylum policy is ever-vigorous. We must change it.

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

Does Finland’s integration plan turn migrants into active or submissive members of society?

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

A food distributor that hires asylum seekers, pays them under the table, to change the sell-by dates of their old products

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. 

Migrants’ Rights Network – Windrush: Where next in whirlwind of national chaos?

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

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Finnish media’s hidden racism

“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.”

Migrants’ Rights Network: Frontier anxiety: Living with the stress of the everyday border

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.

Migrants’ Rights Network: Yes, migrants are net contributors, but they are also our partners in challenging inequality and injustice

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.

Growing up in Finland as an immigrant – a personal story!

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

Alina Tsui: Immigration Reform – The Xenophobic Crisis in Greece

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

What’s at stake for persons of foreign origin in Sunday’s Finnish municipal elections?

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

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

WARNING: XENOPHOBIC CONTENT- “Stripping citizenship from dual citizens” (Yle)

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

(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. 

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Minority representation and trickle-down equality

“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

In Finland the enemy is within and in the structures, not outside threatening us

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.  

(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.

Juha Sipilä’s government is one of the few in the world that still ponders whether immigration is good for the host country

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.

Facebook: Does “Finnish labor” include migrants, naturalized Finns and minorities?

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.

Migrants’ Rights Network: Why we need a new anti-racist movement if we are to secure the rights of migrants

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

Migrants’ Rights Network: Living in an Age of Migration

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

Migrants’ Rights Network: Brokenshire vs. Cable – Is immigration good or bad for the economy?

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

Migrants’ Rights Network: When single markets and the inequalities of global trade provide the basis of a ‘right to migrate’ (Part 3)

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

Migrants’ Rights Network: An atlas of migration that tells the story of globalisation and barriers to freedom

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

Migrants’ Rights Network: Migrants are undermining working conditions? No – blame 30 years of government deregulation for that

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

Is it ok to be a closet fascist, Nazi and racist in the PS after the Hirvisaari scandal?

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

PS party secretary shoots herself in the leg on immigration and chauvinism

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”

How do Finnish schools treat cultural diversity?

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

My naïvity and the Finns

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

The multicultural society of the future

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.