Despite all the objections to racism and Islamophobia in Finland, the silence and sub-rosa nods why such social ills continue to take root in the country. The chair of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Jussi Halla-aho of the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, explained why Europe should open its arms to Ukrainians and shut the door on refugees from regions like the Middle East.
In light of these racist and preposterous explanations by a high-ranking MP, their context is the hope that such statements will boost the PS’ slump in opinion polls.
Below are the head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee reasoning why Ukrainian refugees are better than others from regions like the Middle East and Africa on a Facebook post:
- “Women and children are fleeing Ukraine. Those very children that are [fleeing] hug teddy bears in their arms, not those who claim they are 17 years old with built bodies. At the same time, when Ukrainian women and children flee the bombing, their husbands remain [in the country] to defend their homeland. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian men abroad return to fight against the [Russian] aggressor. The [Ukrainian refugee crisis] offers an average person what a refugee is and the [original] purpose of international refugee agreements.
- Ukrainian refugees are grateful for having a roof over their heads. Iraqis state that the porridge is bad and why asylum reception centers are located so far from the city.
- Many people already have [direct] experiences and perceptions of Ukrainians. You can see them at construction sites and farms. You can again see Iraqis…Everyone can decide where they’ve seen them.
- Ukraine is a European refugee crisis. Naturally, they flee to the closest regions of Europe. [Ukrainian] refugees don’t demand that they go to the United States or Japan…”