Two matters bothered me the most about the A2 Islam debate Tuesday night: how the cards were deliberately stacked against cultural diversity, and how Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Olli Immonen and PS Espoo city councilman Simon Elo did their utmost to spread fear-mongering of Muslims.
You can watch the full debate here until the end of November.
Wille Rydman, former chairman of the Youth League of the National Coalition Party, showed as well that he’s still pretty much in the dark about cultural diversity.
Rydman, who has been christened by some as the Halla-aho of the Naitonal Coalition Party, tried to tell the audience that the best way to adapt to Finland is to become culturally invisible. Who you were and are isn’t important. Therefore, throw away your identity and lets forget all this multicultural nonsense.
Just like far-right anti-immigration politicians in Finland and in Europe, Rydman criticized immigration policy as the culprit.
It there was something positive about the debate, it was Abdirahim Hussein, Mohammad Azizi, Sahra Ali and Seida Sohrabi, who held their own and didn’t allow Immonen and Elo to steal the show.
While it’s a positive matter that we can debate about religions like Islam on a television program, it revealed our deep-rooted prejudices of Muslims and of other minorities living in this country.
The program was heavily into underscoring problems instead of finding solutions and ways to further acceptance and respect in our ever-growing culturally diverse society.
The A2 Islam debate revealed:
- That we still don’t understand Muslims never mind cultural diversity
- We still see immigrants, especially Muslims, as a threat
- We expect Muslims to pretty much assimilate (one-way adaption)
- The program used maassa maan tavalla, or in Rome do as the Romans do saying, which could be summed up in the cartoon below: