Search Results for: sweden

Sweden’s election spells trouble for Muslims, migrants, and minorities

The election in Sweden was of special interest to me since I live next door to the country in Finland. Will the good showing of the far-right Sweden Democrats boost our far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party in the April parliamentary election? While it is fair to predict that the election result in Sweden should not hurt

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

Sweden’s election is now a nail-biter

“The figures show the Moderates, Sweden Democrats, Christian Democrats and Liberals winning 175 seats in the 349-seat parliament against 174 for the center-left,” Reuters reports. The final results are expected by Wednesday.

Social Democrats’ left-green bloc emerge as victors but so did the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats

Sweden’s center-left bloc led by the Social Democratic party is set for a narrow victory over right-wing opponents in today’s parliamentary election, according to Yle. The biggest upset was the dismal showing of the conservative Moderate party, which slipped into third place after the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats. In light of the boycott against the Sweden

Sweden is the pet topic of the Perussuomalaiset, spreading fake news, too

If you didn’t speak out against racism, who would? Sweden is a pet topic of the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. They constantly and obnoxiously remind us what a horrible place Sweden is because there live Muslims and other migrants. PS chairperson, Riikka Purra, continues to push her ethnonationalist and ethnic replacement theory at almost every

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

“It always amazes me to hear Finland’s most xenophobic politicians from the Perussuomalaiset* and National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) pointing the accusing finger at Sweden about how the country has failed because of immigration. Sweden has a more dynamic and competitive economy than Finland’s because of migrants. If there are problems in Sweden, the state is

PS MP Peltokangas wants Finnish-Swedish border shut. Fears crime from Sweden.

Mauri Pelokangas is a hothead Peurussuomalaiset (PS)* MP who has gained notoriety for his Islamophobic statements. He demanded the police to release the identities of two men at large believed by him and the PS to be foreign terrorists. Those two “foreign terrorists” turned out to be Swedish nationals who speak Finnish. Since Peltokangas’ conspiracy

The bad and good news after Sweden’s 2018 parliamentary elections

There is good and bad news after Sunday’s parliamentary elections. The bad news is that the far-right Sweden Democrat saw its support rise by 4.7 percentage points to 17.6% compared with the elections in 2014, according to Svenska Dagbladet. The good news – if it can be considered as such – is that the result was well below expectations. 

(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. 

(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.

More red lights flashing in Sweden after three mosques set ablaze within a week

After one mosque was set ablaze on Christmas Day in Eskiltuna, two others have been targeted by suspected arsonists in the southern town of Esilöv on December 29 and in Uppsala on New Year’s Day, reports Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest daily.  The attacks against three mosques took place within a week. The far right Sweden Democrats caused a

Sweden calls off snap elections in March 2015 after reaching agreement with the opposition

The minority government of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has abandoned plans to hold snap elections in March 2015 after reaching an agreement with the Alliance, comprising of opposition parties like the Moderates, Center Party, Liberal Party and Christian Democrats, according to The Local. The far right Sweden Democrats, which caused a political crisis this month, blasted

Michael McEachrane: Seeing Sweden’s race problem for what it is

Michael McEachrane* Two things seem abundantly clear regarding the rise of ultranationalism in Europe today. First, it is symptomatic of a broader form of nationalism which all European states are steeped in. Second, it is this broader nationalism that ultimately needs to be confronted if equality is ever to become a reality in Europe. Read

The PS has found its political role model in the Sweden Democrats

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Tom Packalén is an example of how the good election result of the Sweden Democrats has invigorated him and the PS to start scapegoating migrants in Finland. Taking into account the poor result of the PS in the last presidential, municipal and EU elections, it’s clear that some PS MPs will do anything to get attention and hopefully votes.

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

Sweden’s white paper on the abuses and rights violations against the Roma will have a positive effect on Finland

Sweden published on March 26 a white paper on abuses and rights violations against the Roma during the last century. The white paper is significant since it is the first time that the Swedish government has published and acknowledged Sweden’s long history of discrimination against the Roma minority. Should Finland follow Sweden’s example? If sociologist

Romany minority discrimination case sparks government outrage in Sweden

The Swedish government has called a crisis meeting due to a discrimination case of a Roma woman at Stockholm’s Sheraton Hotel, reports Helsingin Sanomat. The woman, who was invited by the government to speak at a seminar on discrimination of the Roma in Sweden’s capital, was escorted with her traditional dress out of the hotel’s

Sweden is right, Finland wrong in its strategy against anti-immigration parties

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt reiterated to Helsingin Sanomat the government’s plans to isolate Sweden Democrats despite the latest polls in Sweden, which show the anti-EU and anti-immigration party making gains. Even if the Sweden Democrats have tried break free from their neo-Nazi and racist image, the party led by Jimmie Åkesson has suffered a number

Racism Review: Sweden – No Longer the Exception to Western Racist Rule

Authored by Tobias Hübinette and L. Janelle Dance Since May 20, 2013, mass vandalism, material damage and outbursts of rioting in the poor and non-white suburbs of Greater Stockholm have dominated Swedish and international news media. This civil unrest was sparked when, on May 12, the police shot and killed a 69-year-old man from Husby, one of

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

The long battle for ethnic equality has begun in Sweden and Finland

One wonders how Sweden’s embattled migration minister, Tobias Billström, could make his “blonde, blue-eyed” comment on asylum seekers and get away with it without losing his job.  Here in Finland we give prime television time to representatives of  racist association like Suomen Sisu, whose views on cultural diversity don’t vary greatly from the U.S. American Nazi

Another scandal hits far-right Sweden Democrats

Sweden Democrat (SD) MP Lars Isovaara is resigning his seat after he spat at a parliamentary security guard, reports The Local. The latest scandal to the far-right party follows an earlier one this month after Swedish tabloid Expressen published a video of an SD MP who got rowdy  in public and hurled racist and sexist

Racism scandal rips far-right Sweden Democrats

Here’s an interesting story that took place in June 2010 in Sweden involving a far-right Sweden Democrat (SD) MP, Erik Almqvist, who got rowdy and started hurling racist and sexist insults in public, reports Swedish tabloid Expressen. The MP naturally denied everything until Expressen published today a video confirming what others claimed he said. After repeated denials, Almqvist

Reports: Greatest threat to immigrants are not far-right groups in Sweden

Two reports published on November 9 in Sweden show that the greatest threat to immigrants and visible minorities in that country aren’t far-right groups, but everyday intolerance and racism from white Swedes. What does this report say about Sweden and suggest about how foreigners are treated in Finland? Contrary to our neighbor, Finland’s third-largest party

Sweden convicts Peter Mangs for Malmö immigrant murders

A Malmö District Court convicted Peter Mangs, 40, of two counts of murder and four attempted murders, according to the Guardian. The man, who is a Swede of Finnish descent, killed his first victim in 2003 and terrorized Malmö during 2009-10. All of his victims were immigrants. Mangs will undergo psychiatric evaluation before his sentencing

Media Monitoring Group of Finland [1]: 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

Finland’s lurch to the right and its Islamophobic fuel

Where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also. Heinrich Heine Thanks to Social Democrat Prime Minister Sanna Marin, leaders of the Left Alliance, Green League, and the Swedish People’s Party, there is a public reaction to the radical right and blatantly racist campaign promises by the Perussuomalaiset (PS).* Prime Minister Marin recently slammed the PS as

Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö panders (again) to the racists

“That’s the central issue, people who want to be here need to accept our core values: democracy, equality, human rights and all of that. If they don’t, they can’t stay in Finland.” President Sauli Niinistö in Yle News During the many years I have written about President Sauli Niinistö, he has always disappointed me. For

“Youth gang violence” is a political stunt based on lies

I would go as far as to predict that after the election in April, the youth gang issue will disappear. It was the case in Oulu when Finland became hysterical about sexual assaults committed by migrants. We’re in the same situation today. True, we have to address social problems with good social policy. Fortunately, Finland

A watershed that may impact April’s parliamentary election

Two hard-hitting editorials by Helsingin Sanomat on the mistreatment of labor migrants could indicate how the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset* will do in the parliamentary election. I make such a claim because I am an optimist. We saw something similar in the US Midterm elections, which showed how voters rebuked Donald Trump and his election deniers. Apart

President Sauli Niinistö throws weight behind opposition’s election campaign by citing youth gang “problem”

President Sauli Niinistö, who has a track record of speaking disparagingly about Muslims and asylum seekers, was quoted as saying on Yle’s 8:30 news that he fears Finland “apparently” is “moving a bit” on Sweden’s path concerning youth gang violence. “It’s a very, very unfortunate and dangerous phenomenon, we seem to be following a bit

Twitter (Ville Tavio): Welcome back!

The far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is the most Trumpian party in Finland’s parliament. Its parliamentary group leader Ville Tavio, who has spoken highly in the past of similar far-right politicians like France’s Marine Le Pen of France, is happy that former President Donald Trump is back on Twitter. Twitter banned Trump after he incited an insurrection

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: Don’t cry Finland if you don’t like migrants

Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest-circulation daily, writes in an editorial about why the country needs labor migrants to secure economic growth and services offered by the welfare state. We are at a critical crossroads: It is the first time in history that more people die than there are newborns. While the editorial invites debate on Finland’s

Trump, Putin and the Perussuomalaiset

Former President Donald Trump is a threat to USAmerican democracy, and Russian President Vladimir Putin a threat to world peace. While these leaders spread their toxicity and hatred on other people and nations for political gain, our Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party has nothing more than praise for them. Well, that was before Trump and Putin became

The PS’ and Kokoomus’ “concern” about Finland’s minority youth gangs is dishonest and a political stunt

Watching weekly Thursday’s question-and-answer session between the opposition and government can cause nausea. With parliamentary elections six months in April, expect opposition parties like the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) to increase their attacks against ALL migrants. The truth about the PS and Kokoomus, the biggest and second-biggest opposition party, respectively, is

Helsinki youth worker Mahad Sheikh Musse’s message from the #authorities to #youth must be clear: Everyone is an individual and responsible for their crimes

Mahad Sheikh Musse* has worked in Helsinki as a youth worker in various roles and with various communities for the past 15 years. If there is somebody who understands minority youth issues, it is him. Migrant Tales had the opportunity to chat with Mahad during his busy schedule.  We all know how the elections in Sweden went.

How the PS and other European far-right leaders celebrate Brothers of Italy victory

Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy election victory received applause from several far-right European leaders and the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. While the PS chairperson Riikka Purra and the former leader of the party, Jussi Halla-aho, allowed MEP Laura Huhtasaari and Olli Immonen to do the talking. As we saw in Sweden on September 11, Sunday’s election

European far-right parties are part of a conspiracy to replace our democracies

A paradox: “Liberal” Nordic countries like Finland have large far-right parties that feed off racism. If I were to use the racist rhetoric of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party to solve social problems, I’d be lost. Solutions, like tougher laws, more restrictions, enforcing marginalization, and strengthening institutional racism, would leave me in a bind. Fearmongering and

European Islamophobia Report 2021: Finland

The recent parliamentary election in Sweden is only one of the worrying signs that Islamophobia is not receding in the EU but gaining strength. Muslims, like other minorities, must work together to challenge Europe’s ever-growing anti-Muslim racism. We must do this not only for ourselves but for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The editors of the

The Nordic region’s slippery Islamophobic slope

The Nordic saw a predictable political earthquake on September 11, when the right-wing bloc led by the far-right Sweden Democrats nudged the right-wing bloc to victory. The election brought Sweden in line with its other Nordic neighbors: all four now have or had large far-right anti-immigration parties. Of the four countries, the entrenchment of the

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

Cold war journalism in Finland: Ghostbusting the past (City in English 3/1990)

Migrant Tales will launch stories about how the cold war, or Finlandization, encouraged self-censorship and censorship. My journalism career began in 1986, when I made a living from writing. As a journalist writing for the Finnish and foreign media, the foreign ministry warned me several times about questioning Finland’s foreign policy and human rights violations

Minority voices in the anti-racism debate

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

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

Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s plans of breathing new life into a second take of the Soviet empire by invading Ukraine have backfired and produced the opposite effect. Far-right parties like the Perussuomnalaiset (PS)* are collateral damage in Putin’s miscalculation.  It’s been a wretched start for Putin: – Plans to carry out a rapid invasion and

Why do some politicians, who know better, spread and feed us racism?

There is an old saying that goes something like this: I was a liberal in youth so I would not be a fascist in old age. What motivates a politician to twist and exaggerate facts to stigmatize migrants? National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Heikki Vestman’s speech in parliament Wednesday is a prime example of how

Unpublished Finland Bridge column: Hold the Fort (Until Sanity Returns)

Migrant Tales insight: After publishing a regular column for Finland Bridge of Finland Society (Suomi-Seura), the column below written in 2015 was the last one. Apparently, the content of the column was too much for the editor of the magazine, who scolded me for being too critical of the Perussuomalaiset (Finns Party). I had to

A-Studio: Riikka Purra wants to tighten Finnish citizenship law, do away with pull factors

Riikka Purra, the favorite to win the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* leadership at the party’s annual meeting over the weekend, said Wednesday at Yle’s A-Studio was one of the many steps she took wants to tighten citizenship laws. This summer, the first vice president of the PS said that the party would not join any government that would not tighten “significantly” immigration

Russian asylum-seeker family’s securty compromised by asylum reception center

A Russian family under serious threat of human rights violations plans to complain to the chancellor of justice against the Imatra asylum reception center, which alleges had endangered the Russian asylum seekers’ security. The family lived in Finland during 2017-2020. They are Ludmila*, her elderly mother, husband, and three other family members, including four cats. A

“The world’s happiest country” and its ever-growing moral conflict

Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987) published his groundbreaking study on the United States’ racism problem in 1944. While Myrdal was a controversial figure and Sweden was into measuring the skulls of the Saami due to a pseudoscience called eugenics, his study leaves us with food for thought. One of these is denial of a serious social problem

My long journey to Finnish citizenship

Like many children of Finnish parents, I, too, spent summers in the countryside with my grandparents. During all of these years, I thought, incorrectly, that I was a Finnish citizen or had a right to citizenship. I was wrong. Until 1984, children of Finnish men had the right to pass on citizenship to their children.

Russian asylum seekers leave Finland and then are eager to return

THE STORY WAS UPDATED For many Russian nationals of diverse backgrounds seeking asylum, the EU can be a house of mirrors, a labyrinth that leads you to dead ends. It isn’t easy to peer too deep into the future since ordinary days appear like years under these circumstances. One such case is of Russian asylum seeker Ludmila’s family that

A Russian asylum seeker’s escape to freedom from Russia and Finland

Migrant Tales insight: Ogneslav Shevchenko, 36, is a Russian national with Ukrainian parents seeking asylum in Europe. Once you get to know him a little, you notice that he has traveled for many years, searching for a country where he is free from persecution. His story is like others seeking asylum and traveling in the

Dr. Gareth Rice: The Finnish happiness myth

When asked about racism towards foreigners in Finland, Finns answer in a culturally approved script: “We Finns are not racist”; “If there is racism in Finland it is not as bad as it is in other countries” and; “Racism is the fault of the foreigners who move to Finland with unrealistic expectations.” Such dismissals require willful ethnic blindness to racism,

PS’ Jyrki Åland wishes Corona to kill migrants in Varisuo, Turku

TOPLINE Jyrki Åland, the chairperson of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chapter of Turku, was quoted as saying that it would be a positive matter if Covid-19 deaths would “would do a lot of good” to Varisuo, a neighborhood of Turku where 48% of its inhabitants don’t speak Finnish or Swedish as their mother tongue. The statement

Sometimes the media, like HS, waters the poisonous flower of xenophobia

The headline of a Helsingin Sanomat article sparked fear on Tuesday: “Over one hundred dangerous youths wander in downtown Helsinki – according to experts, this is a new phenomenon caused by migration.” When the Helsingin Sanomat story was published, it spread fear and with it xenophobia. Is the newspaper article true? In the first place,

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

An incomplete study on the rise of the PS of Finland shrowded in white denial

Yle published Saturday, a study that tells us something we have known: The fear of losing one’s economic status is fuel for the rise of populist parties like the Perussuomnalaiset (PS). Hanna Wss, the researcher, states that the rise of populism in countries like Sweden, the United Kingdom (Brexit), and the election of President Donald

How systematic exploitation of stateless persons also happens in Finland

An article in The Guardian on an asylum seeker who asks, “‘Why can’t I be legal anywhere?’ Exploited and left stateless by Sweden.” His story is not an anomaly but reveals what is happening to stateless persons, even in countries like Finland. Helsingin Sanomat and Migrant Tales published a story about the column. The author,

Cleaning companies exploit migrants and asylum seekers. What else is new?

THE STORY WAS UPDATED Helsingin Sanomat published today an extensive investigative journalism story about the exploitation of foreigners by cleaning companies. Apart from Finnish (paywall), the full story is in English, Farsi, and Arabic as well. The Helsingin Sanomat article writes about cleaning company employers’ false promises, exploitation and long working hours, underpayment of wages,

Some of Ano Turtiainen’s most racist and repugnant posts

Former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party MP Ano Turtiainen suffered some big blows last week: he was expelled from the far-right PS (quite a feat for a person who is multiculturally/interculturally challenged), two powerlifting groups in the United States and Canada terminated their business relationship with his company, Metal Sport & Ger (GoMetal). Let’s not forget all

Who killed the 18-year-old Somali Finn? Was it a hate crime or not?

There are pictures and names of the two suspects killed by knife stabbing an eighteen-year-old Somali on Sunday. The police are tightlipped and have not given any other information than “the investigation is ongoing.” If, and there is a big if here, the identity of the suspects is correct and have Finnish last names, the

Ahti Tolvanen: coronavirus and us

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED The closure of hundreds of schools, theaters, gymnasiums, and restaurants as well as the closing off of the Province of Uusimaa very much gives the appearance that the government is serious about doing everything it can to protect the country from the COVID-19 epidemic sweeping the world. It seems to show

Let’s have a serious chat about terrorism, National Coalition Party MP Kai Mykkänen

The former interior minister and leader of the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) parliamentary leader, Kai Mykkänen, wants stricter laws to combat terrorism. What re the motives behind the tightening of such laws? Do such laws only to Islam-based terrorism? He writes: “According to the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service (Supo), the threat of terrorism in Finland

What the SAS Airline ad forgot to mention: Racism was also copied

Recently SAS Airline made a video about how everything Scandinavian is copied culturally. What the video forgot to tell us is that even if it copies everything, it is selective about what it copies. Remember the story about a Muslim Swede called Aye Alhassani, who was told flat out that she would have to take

How much gender equality is there in Finland? Is it a myth?

Finland scores poorly in a comparative study on migrant women employment in the Nordic region, according to Yle News. While 72% of migrant men are employed, the corresponding figure for migrant women is 55%, according to the study by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland. If we look at specific groups like

Norway’s anti-immigration party exits government

After the populist anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* was left out in the cold from the government in 2017, the election blow suffered by the Danish People’s Party in 2019, and now the exit of the Progress Party (FrP) from the Norwegian government, the Nordic region is momentarily free of Islamophobic populist parties in government. After six

Global Family Awards 2019

We had a great night at the Global Family Awards in Helsinki on Tuesday at the World Human Rights Day 2019. We heard wonderful music by Liikkukaa – Sports For All chair Mr. Ike Chime and a warm welcome speech by Rasmus Ry chair Dr. Faith Mkwesha, as well as inspiring spoken word performances by

The “migrant problem” shouted in Finland by the PS is a panacea to all of our problems

Every voice raised against racism chips away at its power. Reino Eddo-Lodge Watching last Thursday’s parliamentary question time was a repulsive experience. If the opposition Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is to be believed, all of Finland’s problems hinge on migrants. An article in Verkkouutiset claims that since Prime Minister Antti Rinne’s government began its mandate on

Nordic Council Literature winner Jonas Eika: In Denmark, “racism is both cultural and legal. We have state racism.”

The 2019 recipient of the Nordic Council Literature Prize, Jonas Eika of Denmark, took the opportunity to expose generally the racism and social inequality in the Nordic region and in particular, in his home country of Denmark. Eika, speaking at the Stockholm Concert Hall, blamed Danish Social Democrat Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen for perpetrating state-sponsored

Social Democracy for who?

Finland might be the least welcoming place for people of color Before writing this piece, I want to acknowledge my personal privileges that allow me to write such a critical essay. I am an Iranian-born artist holding a United States passport who is residing in Finland based on an international student residency. By no means,

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

(Racism Review) Swedish racism: Engineering a false image of democratic solidarity

When I, Masoud Kamali, arrived to Sweden as a political refugee from Iran in 1987, I had heard a lot about Sweden. While serving time as a political prisoner in Iran, one of my first images of Sweden came from an article that I had read in the Iranian Iran’s major newspaper, Keyhan. when I was in jail in Iran in late 1970s. It was about the Swedish Sweden’s charismatic Prime Minister Olof Palme. The article contained a picture of Palme walking his bicycle on the grounds of Stockholm’s famous Citadel and gathering money for the Sandinista movement in Nicaragua. As a leftist believing in a socialist revolution at that time, my prison-mates and I were very impressed by a country in which the Prime Minister dared openly support a leftist/Marxist movement.

A letter from a jailed Iraqi asylum seeker in Finland

Instead of making Iraqi Muslims feel at home in Finland, the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä is doing everything possible – in the Timo Soini and Jussi Halla-aho spirit – to give such vulnerable groups the cold shoulder. Sipilä and his government are the enthusiastic planters of the seeds of discrimination and inequality of Finland’s Muslim and visible migrant community. 

Study finds ethnic profiling is a widespread problem in Finland among the police, Finnish Border Guards and security guards

The Stopped research and journalism project, Finland’s first-ever comprehensive study on ethnic profiling, published its finding Tuesday. While there have been scores of stories published about ethnic profiling on publications like Migrant Tales, there is nothing surprising by the study’s findings.  If there is something that surprised us it was that ethnic profiling, despite continuous denials

Finland’s standing in global press freedom ranking likely to suffer another downgrade

Finland’s standing in global press freedom rankings will take another blow this year after the police carried out without a court order a Helsingin Sanomat reporter Laura Halminen’s personal and company phones, computer and iPad, and a large number of USP memory sticks, reports YLE News. The search was carried out after Finland’s largest daily published leaked classified documents from the secretive Defense Forces’ Intelligence Research Center. 

EU-MIDIS II: White Europe’s tacit approval and silence of ethnic discrimination

Should we be surprised by a new EU-MIDIS II report that concludes that discrimination of people of Sub-Sharan African origin suffered the most discrimination in Luxembourg and Finland (50% and 45%, respectively) while those with North African backgrounds endured the most discrimination in the Netherlands (49%); the Roma reported the most discrimination in countries like Greece and Portugal (48% and 47%, respectively).

Exposing white Finnish privilege #41: An Islamophobic politician and gender equality

A campaign for gender equality by Naisjäjestöt NJKL is an excellent example of white privilege and denial. In the tweet below, we know that Elisabeth Rehn and former Helsiniki Bishop Irja Askola have spoken out against racism and hate speech. However, on the top right hand of the picture we find Blue Reform* (New Perussuomalaiset) MP Maria Lohela, who made her political career by spreading Islamophobia and hatred towards migrants.

Defining white Finnish privilege #37: The master of near-everything

What do independent government agencies like the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman, Ombudsman for Equality, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and National Discrimination and Equality Tribunal have in common?  All of them protect and defend the rights of women and minorities in Finland.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The most dangerous racists and bigots of Finland

What is more dangerous, an openly racist party like the Perussuomalaiset* or politicians of mainstream parties who tow the line on structural racism, bigotry and do absolutely nothing to change matters. For me, the most dangerous group are the latter, who state with a poker face that they are against racism and don’t do anything

MTV: Normalizing racism and bigotry in Finland with Jussi Halla-aho’s help

After attending a European Network Against Racism in Brussels that ended Saturday, I discovered on my arrival to Finland that Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Chairman Jussi Halla-aho, who was convicted for ethnic agitation in 2012 and who built his political career on Islamophobia, is now a columnist in MTV, Finland’s largest privately owned television station. 

Migrant Tales insight: Swedish Daily News published an article on legal alternatives for negative asylum decisions in Finland

Anyone who has had a refusal to emigrate from Finland has the problem of not organizing his or her defense at the appeal stage of the Finnish courts. Unfortunately, many are getting their applications for asylum rejected by the court. It is important to obtain support and information on the closure of the asylum case in Finland after all stages of the judicial appeal are exhausted.

Migrants suffer from the Ulysses syndrome, societies from the Cyclopse syndrome

I wrote a story in Migrant Tales nine years ago about the Ulysses syndrome, an illness that affects migrants, which speaks volumes about the lives of asylum seekers in Finland and how officials and the government contribute to their misery. If the Ulysses syndrome explains the suffering of migrants what would we call a society that is indifferent to their suffering?

The Finnish media gives a lot of space to Halla-aho and the PS but none to us

It’s clear that the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is a different party after this weekend, when Jussi Halla-aho, Laura Huhtasaari, Teuvo Hakkarainen and Juho Eerola were elected to lead the anti-immigrant and anti-EU party. Halla-aho spoke of in his policy speech of “nationalistic forces,” which is code for anti-immigration, anti-cultural diversity and anti-EU policies. 

Camtu Suhonen: Finding work and career advancement in Finland is a tall order

Located in the northern part of the European continent is a country that borders Russia, Norway, and Sweden. It is called Finland with the capital city of Helsinki. For many years, it has been included in the list of happiest nations in the world based on various criteria like trust, support, perceived freedom, per capita gross domestic product, health index, and life expectancy, to name a few.

Announcement by Lex Gaudius: Immigration Service, police and government petition

  IMMIGRATION SERVICE, POLICE AND GOVERNMENT PETITION Dossier Faulty decisions made by the Immigration Service to the asylum seekers and actions of the authorities related on them. Underwrites Representatives of the asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iraq; In cooperation with International law firm Lex Gaudius   I. FAULTY DECISIONS MADE BY THE FIINISH IMMIGRATION SERVICE

As deportations start to pick up in Finland since the beginning of the year so has fear among Iraqi and other asylum seekers

The news of the detention on Friday and deportation order on Sunday of two Iraqi asylum seekers, KM and SH, came to a shock to many asylum seekers in Finland. We suspect at Migrant Tales that deporting more people to Iraq this year is a ploy used by the Finnish Immigration Service and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government to instill fear among asylum seekers.

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

Who determines who we are?

Here’s a simple question: By law, a person is a Finn if he or she is a Finnish citizen. Why, then, are some of these Finnish citizens spoken of and near-constantly reminded by society that they are so-called “people with foreign backgrounds?”

Helsingin Sanomat article on the Finnish Immigration Service sheds light on an institution distanced from human rights and Nordic values

It is surprising that whenever a Finnish government tightens immigration policy, it washes its hands by stating that it’s common practice in the EU or Sweden. Is it? If a landmark decision last month by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is anything to go by, the government’s hardline stance on returning asylum seekers to a “safe” country like Iraq is more than questionable.

The Finnish Perussuomalaiset and their poker-face-racist remarks

Why would a television station like MTV3 invite a person like Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Youth leader Sebastian Tynkkynen to a talk show about the racist and bigoted statements he’s made about Muslims and migrants? Why would a journalist, who appears to be in the dark about what racism is, treat such a politician with a degree of understanding?

Thulfiqar Abdulkareem Abdulameer: My story

Last year I was 27 years old, working as a journalist in my hometown Baghdad, where I had studied business administration. I wrote an article about the war, and how the militias were sending young, untrained guys to fight against ISIS who were well equipped with modern weapons. I wrote that it was like sending these young fighters to their deaths.

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

Finland’s xenophobic Denmark slippery slope

Considering that the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is in government and that the two other ruling partners, the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP), need the support of the PS to downsize the welfare state, it’s clear why Finland is tightening its immigration policy.

The Hieno: Finland is not for the ambitious

[Edits: This is a personal blog. A rant post like the following, in all its raw honesty, IS emotionally charged. So here is a non-provocative version. For concrete evidence on why I lack faith in the current Finnish economy for the next 1-5 years, read “Why Finland is not for the ambitious: A Macroeconomic Perspective”.Fundamentally, I am against mediocrity because I know Finns are smart and more of them can become world leaders should the system support and reward ambition–Read My Open Reply: In Praise of Ambition, Slush 2015 and Vision for Finland.

Suomalainen rasistinen vihapuhe – syitä ja ratkaisuja

Suomea vaivaa rasistinen viha ja vihapuhe sekä näiden mukana lisääntynyt rasistinen väkivalta. Väkivalta sinänsä ei ole uusi ilmiö Suomessa, joka on Euroopan neljänneksi väkivaltaisin maa ja lähisuhdeväkivallan osalta Euroopan nelonen. Koulukiusaaminen on iäisyysongelma eikä työpaikoillakaan vallitse kiusaamisvapaus. Henkinen väkivalta ei ole pikku juttu – saattaa olla jopa konkreettista pahoinpitelyä haastavampi asia. Sitä on vaikea toisille

Institute of Race Relations: When solidarity fails

In observations made at a side-meeting of the 87th session of the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD),[1] the IRR’s director warned that Europe’s mishandling of the refugee crisis is fuelling racism.

M. Blanc: My Finnish experience

M. Blanc* I’m a non-muslim Persian student in Finland and this is my story. I was born in Iran but due to the strict islamic rules and the islamic belief I couldn’t fit in from the early ages. I moved to Cyprus as a young teenager and after a while I came to north. I

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.

When does a trickle become a flood when speaking of refugees?

When we speak of refugees, when does a trickle become a flood? Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Olli Immonen, the far right politician who warned us recently about the “nightmare of multiculturalism,” who uses and warns us of “an avalanche” of refugees since 1,000 more refugees came to the country in July versus the same period last year.

Turncoats and the Perussuomalaiset of Finland

Can you trust a party that says one thing and then does the other? If you look at the adamant stand that the the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and its leader, Timo Soini, had against any bailouts for Greece, we have now witnessed one of the biggest turncoat performances in Finnish politics ever. This link in Finnish will

Finnish PS MP Olli Immonen takes swipe at asylum seekers, migrants and minorities

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Olli Immonen is at it again after his xenophobic Facebook posting about “the nightmare of multiculturalism.” This time he is taking a swipe at asylum seekers. He uses terms like “uncontrolled” and “avalanche” to promote his brand of xenophobic and far right hostility not only against asylum seekers, but against Finland’s ever-growing culturally and ethnically diverse community.

Let´s (not) forget 22/7 and Anders Breivik

As we distance ourselves from the horror of July 22, 2011, when a Anders Breivik killed 77 innocent lives, the more our collective memory begins to fail us. Islamophobia, xenophobia and anti-cultural diversity sentiment have strengthened their grip in the Nordic region after 22/7.

Eva Biaudet: Finland’s ever-culturally and ethnically diverse society in the new century (Part I)

Swedish People’s Party (SPP) MP Eva Biaudet has made a name for herself defending those that don’t have a voice in society and those who are most vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation. If there is a person that can give a picture of where Finland is or should be heading in this century as our country becomes ever-culturally and ethnically diverse, that person is certainly Biaudet.

Danish People’s Party Pia Kjærsgaard: Inte min talman, or not my speaker of parliament [1]

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Speaker of Parliament Maria Lohela no longer is alone after Denmark’s new center-right government elected the founder of the xenophobic Danish People’s Party (DPP), Pia Kjærsgaard, as the new speaker of parliament, according to the Copenhagen Post. Like her counterpart in Finland, Kjærsgaard has built her political career on Islamophbobic fear-mongering.

Finland to reduce refugee quota in 2016

In order to accommodate refugees under a European Commision (EC) plan to spread refugees throughout the community, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) understands that Finland’s refugee quota will drop to 750 in 2016. The current quota was raised last year to 1,000 due to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

A letter from a Finn to a Swede

Dear friend, you probably read about the elections in Denmark and how xenophobia raised its head yet again in another Nordic country. The elections in Denmark didn’t surprise me. Two months earlier we had elections in Finland. Here too the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* became the second-biggest party in parliament and are now in government.

Does it pay to be a racist in Finland? You bet your sweet behind it does!

Some may ask why Islamophobia and racism have raised their ugly heads in Finland. Let’s take Persussuomalaiset MP and the recently elected speaker of parliament, Maria Lohela, as an example. By writing Islamophobic and racist opinion pieces Lohela not only ended up being elected twice to parliament but now has as the speaker of parliament at her disposal a 140,000-euro Audi with driver included.

Helsingin Sanomat, PS MP Laura Huhtasaari, populism and Islamophobia

There is one picture (see below) from an article on Helsingin Sanomat about Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Laura Huhtasaari that speaks volumes about not only her ethnocentric views when she visits a mosque for the first time in her life but that of Finland’s leading daily as well.  Huhtasaari, who is convinced that she is on some anti-Islam crusade to

UPDATE (Apr. 22): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link. Apr. 22 Tapanilan joukkoraiskauksesta syytteet viidelle (YLE) What’s wrong with this story? The news story by YLE on sentencing five youths with so-called “foreign backgrounds” is an

Defining white Finnish privilege #21: Who can be a Finn?

A Finn is anyone with Finnish citizenship, right?  Citizenship can be obtained through birth (jus sanguinis) or naturalization. Even if this should be clear as day, certain public services like the police continue to group Finns according to their so-called “foreign” or “immigrant” backgrounds. I don’t have any problems with my foreign background even if

When the term immigrant becomes a red herring

If there is a report, a story or some tale that sounds fishy it may suggest a red herring. One of these types of stories that should have received more scrutiny from the media was a report published Thursday by Perussuomalaiset (PS)* thinktank Suomen Perusta, which attempted to place a price tag on immigration.  There are a lot of

Camilla Edström Ödemark (March 29, 2015): Exposing White Voids

Camilla Edström Ödemark is an artist from Åland who moved from her native Mariehamn to Sweden after she graduated from high school. Her artwork hits a sensitive spot especially if you’re in that sometimes challenging situation of adapting to a new country.  Ödemark says that her work focuses on what or who is “abnormal” or

Using the term “immigrant background” in a bigoted country

In a country like Finland, where even politicians can make political careers with their bigotry, what impact does the label “immigrant background” have in reinforcing intolerance and prejudices?  This question is an important one because, like racism, the label rarely if ever affects white Finns. The tragic rape of a woman this week by a group

The rise and fall of the Perussuomalaiset of Finland

As support for the Perussuomalaiset (PS)[1] wanes with parliamentary elections only a heartbeat away on April 19, we are seeing a very different party  from four years ago. Back then, PS chairman Timo Soini was self-confident and campaigning confidently. He was the darling of the media, the new kid on the block, the underdog, the only

European Network Against Racism: Muslims in Europe – Questions and Answers

European Network Against Racism (ENAR)* As anti-Muslim manifestations increase in Europe, particularly in the aftermath of the Paris and Copenhagen attacks, we clarify some misconceptions and answer some of the most frequent questions about Muslims in Europe. Visit original posting here.   Q: Who are Muslim Europeans? Muslims have been present in Europe since the

Social media Frankensteins

Ever wondered how a wannabe becomes a social media hit by spreading hatred and racism? There are a lot of these types of politicians and characters around who with low budgets become famous and even get elected thanks to social media. They are called #SocialMediaFrankensteins.  With the help of social media and many blind followers, some

Pegida tries to get a foothold in Finland

Pegida, a self-proclaimed “anti-Islamization” movement, which saw its leader Lutz Bachmann bow out after he posted a picture where he impersonated Htiler, is trying to get a foothold in Finland. The movement, which has established a Facebook page in Finland with 1,800 likes, has spread from Germany to other Nordic countries like Denmark, Norway and

UPDATE (December 5): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

How does the Finnish media give politicians that spread xenophobia and racism inflated respectability and importance? How can they  spread their prejudices and lies about immigrants and minorities without the help of the media? Migrant Tales will begin to collect stories from January 7 written by careless journalists that have been taken for a ride by such

MEP Halla-aho wants a tougher PS stance on immigration

The popularity of the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* plummeted to a record low of 13.3% in December and this has caused visible cracks in the party’s leadership. MEP Jussi Halla-aho, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation, blames PS chairman Timo Soini’s too soft stand on immigration for the drop in popularity, according to Oulu-based daily Kaleva. 

Defining Swedish white privilege #1: Case Björn Söder

Sensible people in the Nordic region and elsewhere understand the threat of far right nativist rhetoric through mouthpiece parties like the Sweden Democrats, Danish People’s Party, Progress Party of Norway and Finland’s Perussuomalaiset (PS)* that parrot their “us” and “them” racism. Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder offers us a good example of how Swedish

Jallow Momodou: Invisible ‘visible’ minority on the European political agenda

Jallow Momodou* ‘Numbers count’ is a statement we often hear, especially when speaking of democratic weight and power as a means to influence a group’s socio-economic conditions. So far, however, people of African descent and Black European are the most invisible ‘visible’ minority on the European political agenda. This despite the fact that there are

ENAR*: Open letter to Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of The Netherlands , Ivo Opstelten , Ministry for Security and Justice and Fred Teeven , State Secretary for Security and Justice

 Brussels, 24 November 2014 Dear Prime Minister, Dear Ministers, We, the undersigned, are writing to express our concern regarding the conduct of Dutch authorities and law enforcement officials on the day of the ‘arrival’ of Saint Nicholas in Gouda, the Netherlands on 15 November 2014. First hand evidences show clear violations of the freedom of

Finland: A nation of emigrants

While some heads of state like Barack Obama speak of the United States as a nation of immigrants, Finland has historically been a nation of emigrants. How does being a nation of emigrants differ from being a nation of immigrants? There is a big difference and reveals in part why some Finns are so hostile

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,

Institute of Race Relations: Roma – fascism’s first victims, again

Liz Fekete Anti-Roma violence draws strength from fascist ideas that linger on in mainstream European thought. On 15 September, a Roma man from Romania, homeless in Sweden, died of injuries sustained on 31 August, when a fire broke out at a Roma temporary tent camp in Högdalen, southern Stockholm. We will probably never know whether

Migrant Tales (July 3, 2014): Is ‘Heikki the drunk’ Finnish or Swedish?

Migrants’ Tales insight: This story is interesting when looking at the Fazer gigolo tv commercial in Finland, which reinforces stereotypes about certain migrants and minorities in this country. An all-white board of the Council of Ethics in Advertising, which gets all of its funding from the private sector, will have a difficult time understanding what

Response to Fazer’s gigolo says a lot about Finland today

The decision by the Council of Ethics in Advertising of Finland that there was nothing wrong with Fazer’s gigolo television commercial says a lot about why there is so little respect towards minorities in this country. For those who lived in Finland in the 1970s, Fazer’s gigolo was the typical stereotype of the southern European

Turning a blind eye to racism is feeding Finland to the dogs

Do you want the secret to tame dog, destroy anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and challenge the deep prejudices in other political parties and society? The answer is to bust wide open the urban tales that are living off the fat of our prejudices.  Apart from being illegal, a social ill like racism is destroying

How to tell a Finnish politician that he or she sounds racist

The atmosphere for migrants and minorities in Finland is going to get worse as parliamentary elections near in April 2015. Two recent cases, Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Tom Packalén and National Coalition Party MP Pia Kauma, reinforce that matters are going to get worse before they improve. A good way to uncover these opportunistic politicians’ motives

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.

PS claims it has sacked all of its racists and fascists from the party (sic!)

Matti Putkonen said at a press conference Friday that comparing the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* to the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats was spreading hatred against the party. He went as far as to suggest that the attack against its office in Helsinki had something to do with such stories, reports tabloid Ilta-Sanomat.  Putkonen, who was convicted for rape about

Finland President Niinistö’s “information-gathering exercise” about dual citizenship should worry us a lot

President Sauli Niinistö has asked Christian Democrat Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen, an anti-gay an anti-immigration politician, to look into the possibility of tightening Finland’s dual citizenship laws or ending the practice altogether, according to YLE in English.  Prime Minister Alexander Stubb was, however, quoted as saying on YLE in English that plans to end dual citizenship are not

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

Racism tells you over and over again: don’t bite the hand that feeds you

Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts. E.B. White (1899-1985), USAmerican writer Being an immigrant and Other all my life, researching and especially writing about racism regularly, or daily for the past three-and-a-half years, have taught me a thing or two about this social ill. Some may ask why

Finland’s interior minister wants more quota refugees in 2015

Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen of Finland, who considers homosexuality to be a sin and wants to tighten immigration laws, said on YLE that she would like to raise the number of quota refugees next year by 300 to 1,050 from 750. While this is welcome news, especially for the few hundred refugees that will get a new

Is Heikki the drunk Finnish or Swedish?

Some Swedish Finns are up in arms about a children’s book published in Sweden that pictures a wino called Heikki, according to YLE in English.  The character in the book, who is lying in a bush next to a plastic bag full of beer, was too much for Swedish Finn Sirpa Lamminpää, who filed a

Four in five Swedes express concern over xenophobia

Swedes are more worried about the rise of xenophobia in their country than the ever-growing number of immigrants, according to The Local, citing a study by the SOM Institute of Gothenburg University. The survey revealed that while 49% expressed concern over immigration levels, 78% were worried about the rise of xenophobia.  Read full story here.

Marine Le Pen fails to form the far-right European Alliance for Freedom

There was great news today when we read that far-right Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders failed to form a European Parliamentary group called the European Alliance for Freedom (EAF)., reports the euobserver. After the gains that the far-right made in the Euro elections of May, Migrant Tales welcomes Le Pen’s and Wilders’ failure to form

Interior minister’s plan to close legal “loophole” would increase the number of undocumented migrants in Finland

Christian Democrat Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen has a dubious reputation in Finland for her homophobic and conservative religious views. In her latest attack against refugees, Räsänen writes that when an asylum-seeker gets a negative decision and doesn’t want to leave the country, the Finnish Immigration Service is required to give a residence permit if the person

Jussi Halla-aho: “Do not tolerate the intolerant one”

  Migrant Tales insight: We get a lot of email and tip-offs from our readers. The latest one we got is of three blog entry translations in English of Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MEP Jussi Halla-aho, who was convicted for ethnic agitation. This last one, Do not tolerate the intolerant one, was published in Scripta on December 20, 2007.  Apart

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

Selective hatred and racism know no master

Migrant Tales has written on a number of occasions about how intolerance and discrimination are a direct threat to our society since such social ills eat away at our values and thereby undermine who we are. We have demonstrated how anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) use selective hatred to ensure their followers that they are

Why are Europe’s Islamophobic politicians and parties so “pro-Israel?”

Are you sometimes surprised to read about how many far-right anti-immigration groups are so pro-Israel? Some, like anti-Islam Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Juho Eerola of Finland, may go as far as to draft a written question to parliament demanding that Muslims renounce publicly their hatred of gays and Jews. A posting by Migrant Tales reposted on

Finland had 3,238 asylum seekers in 2013

A total of 3,238 people applied for asylum in Finland compared with 3,129 people in the previous year, according to the Finnish Immigration Service. The largest single group of asylum seekers was Iraqis (819) followed by Russians (226) and Somalis (217). The number of asylum seekers coming to Finland oscillated between 1,500 and 6,000 over the

Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen is on the anti-immigration warpath again

Anti-immigration and anti-gay hardliner Christian Democrat interior minister, Päivi Räsänen, said on YLE in English that she’s in favor of tightening immigration policy further by closing a “loophole” for asylum seekers. Under the present law, those asylum seekers whose application has been turned down, can get temporary residence for two years before acquiring a permanent

Finland’s distorted immigration debate is damaging our country

My son asked me Friday an interesting question that revealed what is wrong concerning the present debate on immigration and immigrants in Finland. He asked me to show how does immigration fuel economic growth. His question, which is a valid one, reveals some of the perceptions that some have about immigration.  Due to the attention

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 Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) empower us?

The death of Nelson Mandela, who was branded a terrorist by countries like the U.S. and Great Britain, is a sad day full of mourning but full of hope as well. His struggle and triumph over apartheid, a toxic offshoot of white European colonialism, proves that no matter how oppressive a government is, change is

Finland’s Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen’s blog entry on the Roma reveals why Europe has done so little to help this minority

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read Christian Democrat Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen’s opinion piece on Uusi Suomi about the hardships that the Romany minority face in Europe today. As she expressed concern about their plight, I could not forget her intolerant views of gays, non-Christian refugees and her silence in the face of strict

Reija Härkönen: Jussi Halla-aho’s actions in parliament

Reija Härkönen When Jussi Halla-aho was getting prepared for the parliamentary elections, on the last day before the election day on April 16, 2011, he once again urged the anti-immigrant voters to act, thanked his own people (meaning the anti-immigrant circle) for their good work and the True Finns (Perussuomalaiset) of Helsinki and the neighborhood

How Syrian refugees fleeing war show how the Finnish media gives (again) racists inflated respectability and importance

Migrant Tales published a while back a story about how the media gives racists and radical anti-immigration groups inflated respectability and importance. Why should we care what a Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP like Jussi Halla-aho, who was on top of it convicted for ethnic agitation, thinks about giving asylum to Syrian refugees?  Verkkouutiset is run by the

Government talks in Norway are a preview of what may happen in Finland in 2015 with the PS

Take a close look at Norway if you want to see what may happen in Finland after the 2015 parliamentary elections, when the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS) may be in government.The populist anti-immigration Progress party (FrP) of Norway will form part of a coalition government with the Conservative Party (Høyre), Christian Democrats and Liberals. If the Conservative Party

The shadow of Anders Breivik’s mass killings hang over coalition talks after Norway elections

The landslide victory of Norway’s opposition Conservatives  (Høyre) on Monday was short-lived after the country’s next prime minister, Erna Solberg, faced tough coalition talks with the anti-immigration and populist Progress party (Fremskrittspartiet) of which Anders Breivik was a member and whose cold-blooded killings continue to haunt the country, reports Reuters. Visit Wikipedia site here. Outgoing Labor Party

Why is the immigration debate in Finland so distorted?

Here’s a question that needs serious debating in Finland: If refugees account for a minority of all immigrants, why do they get so much attention in the media? Why do anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) constantly speak of them and give us the impression that all of Finland’s immigrants are mostly refugees and Muslims

Fifty years from Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech

Today marks the 50th anniversary when Martin Luther King Jr.(1929-68) gave his historic “I have a dream” speech. When he gave the speech in Washington on August 28,1963, I was eight years old. Even if I knew nothing  about MLK at the time never mind anything about his famous speech, his words would have a

The Jews of Finland

The Jewish side of our family was never discussed openly when I was young. If it was, the matter appeared as a fleeting question: Is it true that part of our family is Jewish? Read full column here on page 14. Silence always followed that question. In retrospect, our silence and answer revealed a lot about

National Coalition Party of Finland to spearhead ban on begging

Matters are getting tougher in Finland if you are a minority belongs to an affluent group like the Swedish-speaking Finns or a poor one like the Romany minority. What do both initiatives, to demote Swedish to elective status at schools and ban begging, tell about Finland today?  One way to answer the latter question is

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

Why we must challenge anti-immigration parties across Europe

A political party that bases its popularity on anti-immigration and populist rhetoric is like playing a risky political game of Russian roulette. The game continues until the only bullet in the revolver goes off in your head. Higher bets are placed each time that the revolver doesn’t fire: more xenophobia, more hate speech, more racist

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

PS’ Slunga-Poutsalo is “extremely concerned” about Finnish immigration policy

In a short interview on A-Studio Monday, the new party secretary of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) reinforced her anti-immigration stance. “I’m not annoyed by anything concerning immigration,” said PS secretary Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo, “but extremely concerned about the immigration policy we pursue in Finland.”  Don’t be fooled, the PS’ new party secretary, Riikka SLunga-Poutsalo, is in the

OECD study states that immigration boosted Finnish economy

An OECD study claims that immigration boosted the Finnish economy by 0.16% in 2011 including pensions. This revelation is a blow to anti-immigration pundits, who commonly claim that immigration drains social welfare resources and offers no economic benefits. As Migrant Tales has shown over and over again the red herrings, urban tales and outright racism

Aspergers and Ableism Part 1: Introductions

The following is part of a personal statement I originally wrote to apply for the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) last year, before I came to study in Finland and eventually settle in the Nordic countries. I plan to discuss the culture and challenges of the Autism/Asperger’s community, and how I believe the issue of

The biggest threat to Europe are those who claim to be afraid on our behalf

I’m neither afraid of cultural diversity nor terrorism. Being against different cultures in a globalized world is like being against sex. Cultural diversity, interculturalism and sex are part of the human condition. You cannot make them illegal in any way, shape or form.    If we’d embrace far right and mainstream anti-immigration ideologies so common in today’s

The riots in Stockholm could happen in Finland sooner rather than later

Center Party municipal politician Abdirahim “Husu” Hussein told the Finnish media that the riots we are seeing in the Stockholm suburb of Husby could well happen in Finland in 10-15 years if we commit the same mistakes. The ugly face of intolerance, which is raising its head in Finland conspicuously, reinforces Hussein’s claim.  By “mistakes” I mean

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

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

It’s the cultural diversity, stupid!

Would it be fair to say that the biggest challenge facing Finland during this century is accepting its cultural diversity and deconstructing our white national identity in order to make our society more inclusive? Will this happen easily?  The central issue being debated in Finland today about immigrants boils down to one question: How much

Bachmannstein: or, The Modern Icarus

A Finnish friend recently asked me why I chose to take an American angle with my inaugural post here on Migrant Tales, “Of Birds and Feathers: The PS, the Sweden Democrats, and Their American Bedfellows. What could political trends in America tell us what we don’t already know about the phenomenon of the PS and

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

Max Jakobson dies but his legacy and the cold war linger on

This blog entry is dedicated to the late Donald Fields, Helsinki correspondent of the BBC, The Guardian and Politiken to 1988.   I read with mixed thoughts about the death of Max Jakobson (1923-2013),  a diplomat who shaped Finland’s policy of neutrality during the cold war. While I am certain that he was an able

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. 

Sport is one of your best passports to acceptance in a new country

Since sports can be your passport to acceptance in a new country, its role should never be underetimated never mind undermined. It’s clear that we need to do more work in Finland to promote sports in order to include more immigrants and their children in this activity. In the United States I played basketball, track

How minority athletes rise to victory – Interview with Star Athletics Winner Nooralotta Neziri

Çelen Oben and Sheila Riikonen  In Finland where finance and politics are no longer barriers to achieve star status in sports, what challenges do minorities face? Do female athletes, persons with disabilities, or those coming from immigrant backgrounds have equal opportunities in Finnish society? You can visit Nooralotta Neziri official website here. Nooralotta Neziri just won

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

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

Institute for Strategic Studies: Preventing and Countering Far-Right Extremism – European Cooperation

Here’s a good country-by-country report on the history and modern growth of right-wing extremism in ten European Union countries  (Sweden, UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the Slovak Republic).   Read full report here. As Migrant Tales has correctly reported time and again, the biggest sources of right-wing extremism in Finland are the

Turun Sanomat: Finland Democrats eye PS’ anti-immigration vote

The Finland Democrats, which bases its political agenda on the far-right Sweden Democrats, aims to become a new party and compete for the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party’s anti-immigration vote, reports Turun Sanomat. The creation of a new anti-immigration party reveals the ever-negative debate in Finland surrounding immigrants and immigration.   The PS is the only party that

Swedish immigrant killer is sentenced to life in prison

Peter Mangs, the Swedish gunman convicted of two murders and five attempted murders, was sentenced Friday by the Mälmö District Court to life in prison, reports ABC News, citing AP.   The court found Mangs guilty in July  but his sentence was delayed pending a psychiatric evaluation that found him to be sane. The forty-year-old man, who

Two-way integration still has a long way to go in Finland

What is the aim of Finland’s new integration law, which came into force in September 2011? While the law talks about two-way integration, what does it mean and how is it promoted?    Finland’s integration program is like an old abandoned Cadillac. It awakens our optimism but discourages us from acting because it is too costly to

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

The SD (and PS) are far-right anti-immigration parties

There’s an interesting opinion piece on Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter about the Swedish Democrats (SD) and the spread of fascism or neofascism in the Scandinavian country.  While classifying a party as “fascist” may be problematic, there are certain ideological characteristics that expose its true political colors.  Historian and journalist Henrik Arnstad writes: “Fascism is a deeply

Joseph: What being Finnish means to me (Part I)

By Joseph* I came to Finland at the age of three. I spoke only English and understood Spanish since my mother was a Finn who lived many years in Venezuela.  We moved to a small city called Lappeenranta in eastern Finland. It is a beautiful city and the current unofficial capital of Karelia after Finland ceded

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

“After the immigrants, you’re next”

This chilling phrase that was written on flyers in a gay clubbing district of Athens, Greece, is only the tip of the iceberg concerning the ever-growing violence and intolerance spreading throughout Europe. Writes the “Masked men on motorbikes patrol the streets of Greece’s streets, attacking immigrants and driving off. Mobs armed with improvised weapons

When will parties like the PS start banning Islam in Finland?

Pär Norling, a leader of  the populist radical right Sweden Democrats of Bolnäs, located about 250km north of Stockholm,  demanded the following on Sveriges Teleivision (SVT): ”Ban Islam in Sweden and deport those who persist in believing in the religion.” When will we start to hear similar demands from politicians in Finland? One matter that

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

Migrant Tales (July 25, 2011): Living in post-22/7 Europe

It is ironic that those right-wing populist and far-right parties that have gone out of their way to warn us about the threat of multiculturalism and religions like Islam have become the threat and Trojan Horses in our societies. In one horrific blow, Anders Behring Breivik did not only strike at Norway’s liberal democracy, but

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

Migrant Tales Literary: Summer blooms in Finland*

Growing up and being a Finn in the last century was especially tough. If wars and conflicts didn’t do you in, it was the option of being an immigrant and living with that near-constant yearning and separation in faraway lands. Between 1860 and1999, over 1.2 million Finns emigrated mainly to North America and Sweden. I

Anti-immigration groups in Finland care less about immigrants and visible minorities

Behind all the rhetoric spread by anti-immigration groups in Finland and elsewhere a fact emerges:they are out to destroy the lives of as many immigrants as possible with their prejudice and racism. When a justice ministry official hands over rape statistics of different immigrant groups he gives a power weapon to slander and victimize people from different countries.

YLE poll: The Perussuomalaiset party suffers a new blow in the polls

The many problems of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party deepened today after a poll published by YLE showed the popularity of the party slipped further by 1.7 percentage points to 14.1%. The biggest party was Kokoomus (22.6%), followed by the Social Democrats (up 1.8% to 19.1%) and the Center Party (16.4%).

Halla-aho says ghettoization spreading in Finland’s major cities

Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Jussi Halla-aho said on a popular talk show that he stands by everything he said and doesn’t regret anything. He does, however, admit that sometimes the timing of what he said was wrong. He then tells us that ghettoization is taking place ” full steam ahead” in Finland’s biggest cities.

The Eronen “armband” scandal reveals healthy accountability by the media

The Helena Eronen scandal exposes an important watershed in Finland. It is a similar turning point we saw on July 22 with the mass killings in Norway and in February when Tommi Rautio suggested decoarating a white Finn for killing a Muslim in February in Oulu. The latest scandal reveals that those who bashed and spread racism and Nazi-spirited writings freely are now held accountable for what they write.

Eronen strikes back in order not to strike out

The Helena Eronen scandal, Perussuomalaiset (PS) party MP James Hirvisaari’s aide who suggested with bad satire that foreigners should start wearing armbands, struck back today with a new column in order not to strike out.

Eronen asked for trouble when she wrote her column about armbands

Finland has been inflicted for a number of years by people who think they can say and write anything they please about immigrants and visible minorities in Finland. It’s only natural that when you let out racism and prejudice to roam freely in society unchecked, things will eventually snap as we saw in Norway in July. What did Helena Eronen, Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP James Hirvisaari’s aide, do wrong?

Ilta-Sanomat tabloid ad (lööppi) from April 20, 1993

Migrant Tales publishes on and off Finnish tabloid ads* (lööppi in Finnish) from the 1990s. Taking into account that Finland’s immigrant population started to grow during that decade, it is easy at least through some of the main stories of tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti to see how some of them reflected our xenophobic, prejudiced, racist or anti-Russian views.

Monitori: Maahanmuuttajista vain viidennes löytää vaaliuurnille

Maahanmuuttajien äänestysaktiivisuus on pysynyt Suomessa alhaisena siitä asti, kun ulkomaan kansalaiset saivat ensimmäisen kerran äänestää kunnallisvaaleissa vuonna 1992. ”On huolestuttavaa, jos äänestämättä jättäminen ei perustu päätökseen vaan tiedonpuutteeseen tai syrjäytymiseen”, toteaa oikeusministeriön erikoissuunnittelija Niklas Wilhelmsson.

Finland & Cultural Diversity 2011

In many respects 2011 was a watershed year for Finland and Europe concerning the rise of anti-immigration parties and xenophobia. The biggest news to hit Finland this year was without a doubt the April 17 election, which saw the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) party win 39 seats compared with only 5 in 2007. On July 22 Anders Breivik gunned down most of his 77 victims in Norway.

Migrant integration: Can we learn from European experiences?

A new UK government policy on migrant integration is expected to be announced any day now. To date migrant community organisations have had no input into the way this has been developed by the government departments. But may be a new toolkit on migrant integration, just published by the European Network Against Racism, will give us some pointers on how groups working at the local level can regain some control over migrant integration projects.

When racism attacks its eager keeper in Finland

Racism is a serious social ill that festers in all societies. Some parties, like the Persussuomalaiset (PS), appear to be dazzled by the political opportunities it offers in the way of votes and public attention. What they forget, however, is that racism has no master and can attack its supposed keepers. Far-right Finnish politician Timo Soini bids for presidency

Timo Soini is excited about Italian bond yields. “I just heard that the interest on Italian 10-year loans is now over 7.3%,” he whispers as a cast-iron lift hoists us from the ground floor of the monumental Finnish parliament to his office above. “This is a horrendous situation.” But it’s clear that, from his political standpoint, it’s actually quite good news.

HS in English: Europe’s true populists

The True Finns’ victory in Finland’s general elections gives Sweden and the entire European Union a lot to digest, says journalist Lisa Bjurwald from Stockholm, who watches the populist far-right parties.

Karjalainen: Kuinka valheesta vähitellen tulee totuus

Viime viikonvaihteessa kokoomusnuoret valitsivat uuden puheenjohtajan. Maahanmuuttokriitikkona profiloitunut puheenjohtaja Wille Rydmania seurasi toinen maahanmuuttokriitikko eli Antti Häkkänen. Rydmanilla ei näyttänyt olevan mitään tätä leimaa vastaan.

How to confront anti-immigration parties in the Nordic region

The societies of the Nordic countries are still models for the rest of Europe and the world when it comes to social justice, equality, and inclusion. Slower economic growth is not the only threat that they face today, but an ever-growing minority that believes that exclusion of certain groups is acceptable.

Helsingin Sanomat’s mea culpa on immigration issues

Is lack of knowledge about living in a society with a small foreign population an excuse for poor and deficient coverage of Finland’s ever-growing immigrant population? The editor of Finland’s leading daily, Helsingin Sanomat, told Lahti-based Etelä-Suomen Sanomat that it has aimed to raise immigrant issues, racism and tolerance issues since society is changing and because of the political atmosphere has changed.

SVT: Arjen rasismi on lisääntynyt Suomessa

Maahanmuuttoa ja monikulttuurisuutta vastustetaan Suomessa yhä avoimemmin. Helsingissä järjestetyssä seminaarissa todettiin, että asenneilmapiiri on koventunut ja maahanmuuttajat kokevat arjessaan suvaitsemattomuutta entistä enemmän. Vihapuheet kohdistuvat myös maahanmuuttajataustaisiin lapsiin ja nuoriin.

Myths help cover up an injustice or crime

Just like the light from distant suns allow us to peek deep into time many billions years before present, history has the same function. Our problems today are the result of convulsions and events that took place a long time ago in history.

Ten matters that ignite the debating spirit of Migrant Tales

Migrant Tales will never censor opinions that aren’t racist. One of the strengths of this blog has been its diversity of opinions on immigration, Finnish identity and other topics. Even so, some matters get our adrenalin circulating faster than others. Here are the top 10:

AFP: ‘Tintin in the Congo’ racism trial opens

A Congolese man pleaded with a Belgian court on Friday to remove “Tintin in the Congo” from bookshelves, arguing that the comic book is littered with racist stereotypes about Africans. “It is a racist comic book that celebrates colonialism and the supremacy of the white race over the black race,” Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo said as he arrived for the opening of the civil trial in Brussels.

Elections in Nordic Region send clear message to Finland’s PS

Anti-immigration populist parties in Norway and Denmark have suffered defeats in recent elections after mass-killer Anders Breivik went on the rampage on July 22. Both blows came this month. The first one was in the Norwegian municipal election, where the Progress Party (FrP) saw its support plunge by 6.1 percentage points to 11.5%. The second one happened Thursday in Denmark.

Der Spiegel International: Right-Wing Populists Face Test in Denmark

Just two months after the politically inspired massacre in Norway, a right-wing populist party, one of Europe’s most influential, will face a test of voter sentiment at the ballot box. The Danish People’s Party has been instrumental in tightening at least 20 laws pertaining to immigration and migration.

Ten steps to tame the beast of racism and prejudice in Finland

Like alcoholism, racism is a social ill that exists but is rarely recognized as a problem. In countries like Finland we are still debating whether racism and prejudice is a problem or not. How much must racism grow for us to accept it as a serious problem that threatens our present Nordic way of life?

Migration patters among Jews – Finland

Finland’s Jewish community is small, but active. Its small size and unique characteristics allow us to understand the migratory patterns of this community and to use the data to extrapolate the migration patterns in Finland to larger Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. Finland aligned itself with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union 1941-1944. Finnish Jews fought in the Finnish army, occasionally side by side with the Germans.

Kansan Uutiset Verkkolehti: Tiukkaa faktaa siirtolaisuudesta demonisoinnin sijaan

Mervi Leppäkorven Asiaton oleskelu kielletty kertoo paperittomien siirtolaisten arjesta ja asemasta. Sosiologi Mervi Leppäkorpi on asunut aikuisiällään paitsi Suomessa, myös Saksassa ja Boliviassa. Euroopassa arkensa paperittomien kanssa jakanut Leppäkorpi ehti tottua siihen, että paperiton on ennen kaikkea oman elämänsä toimija ja yksilö. Siirtolaisuuden demonisointi synnytti tietopaketin.

Living in post-22/7 Europe

It is ironic that those right-wing populist and far-right parties that have gone out of their way to warn us about the threat of multiculturalism and religions like Islam have become the threat and Trojan Horses in our societies. In one horrific blow, Anders Behring Breivik did not only strike at Norway’s liberal democracy, but tore a hole in the argument of the anti-immigrant populists and fanatics.

New World Finn: How many Finnish Canadians and USAmericans?

During the late-19th century and early 20th century, over 300,000 people from Finland migrated to the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada. While there had been a sporadic flow of immigration before the mid-19th century, the bulk of the migration did not start until about 1870.

Leave my multicultural Finnish identity alone!

Many of the arguments used by the anti-immigration camp in this country is based on myths from nineteenth century Finnish history. When these groups declare war on multiculturalism what they are revealing is their denial of our cultural diversity.

The New York Review of Books: A New Approach to the Holocaust

It is fruitless to reduce the manifold evil of the Holocaust to a single cause. Ideology, charisma, conformism, hatred, greed, and war were all very important, but each was related to the others and all mattered within rapidly changing historical circumstances. In his profound study Holocaust, Peter Longerich puts forward an analysis that includes all these factors and shows how politics or, as he puts it, Politik, set them all in motion. In this amplified English edition of his Politik der Vernichtung (1998), Longerich preserves the German term Judenpolitik, and with good reason. In German Politik means both “politics” and “policy,” and the compound noun (Juden + Politik) gives a sense of a joining of concepts that English cannot quite convey.

Helsingin Yliopisto: Populismin juuret ovat kaukana historiassa

“On selvää, että äärioikeiston kannatuksen kasvu on yleiseurooppalainen ilmiö”, sanoo Suomen Akatemian tuore tutkijatohtori Inari Sakki. Monien muiden Euroopan maiden tavoin populistipuolueet ovat moninkertaistaneet kannatuksensa viime vuoden aikana myös Suomessa ja Ruotsissa. Vaikka ilmiö on näkyvä, Inari Sakin mielestä uutta tietoa aiheeseen tuo sosiaalipsykologinen näkökulma.

Ten fallacies of the PS’ anti-immigration arguments

When I was a kid growing up in California we used to say phony baloney when a fellow classmate exaggerated or lied. If we look at the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party’s mindset and claims on immigration, I would certainly be one of the first to let out a vociferous cry: “Phony baloney!”

El País: El ocaso de la tolerancia nórdica

La victoria electoral de los Auténticos Finlandeses ha supuesto una pequeña revolución en el país nórdico, pero sobre todo ha hecho saltar todas las alarmas en una región en la que hasta hace bien poco era casi impensable escuchar argumentos tan extremistas como los que ahora circulan por los Parlamentos nacionales de la zona. Los partidos de extrema derecha y populistas nórdicos ya no pueden ser ignorados porque les respalda una parte del electorado nada despreciable. En Finlandia y en Dinamarca han sido la tercera fuerza más votada. En Suecia han aflorado de la semioscuridad y han entrado en la cámara parlamentaria.

HS: Halla-aho refuses to comment on controversial blog entries

Blog article from 2005 questions notion of human equality

Jussi Halla-aho, a nationalist politician from Helsinki, got 14,884 votes in Sunday’s Parliamentary elections, winning him a seat in Parliament on the True Finns party ticket. Halla-aho had established a reputation with his writings on the Internet.

Finland 2011 election: A perilous watershed

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.

Finland election: Flirting with isolationism and xenophobia

In our neck of the woods in the Nordic region, ultra-nationalistic and xenophobic parties have made their mark in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and most likely now in Finland on Sunday when the True Finns are expected to score a historic victory. Will the election embolden other xenophobic parties in this region and Europe? Will it send shock ripples in the EU?

HS: Soini antoi tukensa hallituksen ulkomaalaispolitiikalle

Jaakko Hautamäki

Perussuomalaisten puheenjohtaja Timo Soini ei nähnyt mitään ongelmaa Suomen hallituksen ulkomaalaispolitiikassa, kun hän antoi haastattelun saksalaisille toimittajille Sanomatalossa tiistaina. Soini antoi täyden tukensa hallituksen ulkomaalaispolitiikalle ja puolittain suutahti, kun toimittajat kyselivät hänen mahdollisesta muukalaisvihamielisyydestään.

Iltalehti: Perussuomalaisten ehdokas: Holokaustia on liioiteltu

Eduskuntaan pyrkii holokaustin kyseenalaistaja ja rotujen sekoittumista vastustava. Kansanedustajuutta tavoittelee useita perussuomalaisia ehdokkaita, jotka ovat allekirjoittaneet maahanmuuttovastaisen ns. nuivan manifestin. Osalla ehdokkaista on läheiset suhteet äärikansalliseen Suomen Sisuun.

Helsingin Sanomat: Rotuajattelu elää täälläkin

Tutkija Vesa Puurosen johtopäätös on karu: “Suomalaisessa yhteiskunnassa vallitsee rotujärjestelmä, ja rasismi tarkoittaa rotujärjestelmän ylläpitämistä”. Kirjassaan Rasistinen Suomi Puuronen etsii suomalaisen rasismin juuria ja tämän ajan rasismia.

Magma Media: Populismin nousu Euroopassa

Ääriliikkeet ja poliittinen populismi ovat lisänneet kannatustaan eri maissa. Kyse on rajat ylittävästä ilmiöstä. Populismin alla on selvästi toisistaan poikkeavia liikkeitä ja puolueita. Ideologioissa, tavoitteissa, toimintatavoissa ja ääriliikkeiden esittämissä uhkakuvissa on eroja, mutta myös yhtäläisyyksiä.

Suomen Kuvalehti: Totuuspuntari: Onko turvapaikanhakijoiden määrä nelinkertaistunut nykyisen hallituksen aikana?


Turvapaikanhakijoiden määrä on nelinkertaistunut nykyisen hallituksen aikana.

Perussuomalaisten helsinkiläinen kansanedustajaehdokas Jussi Halla-aho on väittänyt blogissaan otsikolla Tiedote eduskuntavaaleihin 2011 liittyen, että turvapaikanhakijoiden määrä on nelinkertaistunut vuodesta 2007, jolloin nykyinen hallitus aloitti toimintansa.

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IOM: World Migration Report 2010

The World Migration Report 2010 (WMR 2010) will be the fifth in IOM’s series of biennial reports on international migration. Like the World Migration Reports that have preceded it, it is intended to contribute to the mission of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) to promote ‘humane and orderly policies in the movement of persons across borders’. Specifically, its aim is to promote a focus on building capacities to enable states and other stakeholders to respond to and plan for migration effectively and in a sustainable way.

Finnishness is taboo to the Swedes

By JusticeDemon* Dr Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki Department of Geography, had the following letter printed in the Opinions column of Finland’s leading national daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday 23 August 2009. The sub-editor chose to print this letter under the heading Finnishness is taboo to the Swedes. The

A disgraceful era we should never repeat in Finland

If there was a disgraceful period on how Finland treated foreigners, that period would be the cold war era. Even though Russian troops never took control of Finland such as countries like Poland, Hungary and others, the shadow of the for former Soviet Union hung deep in Finland. This period, 1945 to the early or mid-1990s, should never be allowed to happen again.

Finland’s difficult quest for foreign laborers

In a recent article in the London Financial Times. there is an article about how Finland is aiming to become a magnet for foreign laborers. While this is understandable, taking into account Finland’s aging population and the shortage of workers in some sectors of the economy, the country’s policy makers still have a lot of

Does Finland and Europe need more nuke capacity?

The creation of Fennovoima, a new consortium comprising of Boliden , E.ON, Katternö, Outokumpu, and Rauma Energia, aims to build within ten years a 1-1.8GW nuclear plant that would produce cheap power mainly for industry. Being a hydrocarbons poor country, it’s understandable that Finland wants to lessen as much dependence as possible on foreign energy