It is odd how little Yle takes the blame for being the facilitator of anti-immigration and anti-Muslim sentiment in regards to the sexual assault cases of Oulu. Migrant Tales documented 77 stories published between November 27 and February 13. On January 14, Yle published in one day 13 stories about the topic!
When compared with a similar sexual abuse case of minors involving white Finns, there was a different reaction. The story about the pedophile ring accused of sexually abusing 6-15-year-old boys lasted only a week in the news with 7 stories published by Yle.
Are attacks against Muslims more common today due to the hostile environment against migrants and minorities? As far as we know, the picture above is of a 10-year-old Muslim girl who was attacked by a classmate. It reads: “What do they teach [children] at Finnish homes? That Muslims are terrorists? The little girl [in the picture above] is spending a normal day at school when four boys [classmates] tried to rip off her hijab from her head and kicked her unconscious. We are not talking now about a migrant but about a victim. @iltalehti [tabloid] I want you to write out loud that racism must stop once for all, this girl is an angel!” Read the full story here.
Typically, the police are tightlipped about giving statements about sexual abuses against minors, but in the case involving people of migrant backgrounds, there is an exception.
Writes Yle: “Police have faced criticism for quickly publicizing the case and other similar ones in Oulu. Their response is that grooming on social media seemed to be a phenomenon at the time, and it was necessary to inform and warn the public. Authorities stress that online grooming cases have included both Finnish and foreign suspects.”
Note the word “seemed” in the story above, which suggests that the police, like Yle and the media, overreacted.
Even if the police and Yle went far and beyond their normal standards to inform the public about these cases, we have the results: Increased hostility towards visible migrants, especially Muslims, and the good showing of the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset* party in the April 14 parliamentary election.
Another news story in Yle Tuesday continues to justify the police’s actions because seemingly racializing the crime would discourage similar crimes from happening.
According to the police, sexual abuse of children is not an isolated matter that only “people of immigrant background” commit. It said that some 1,000 cases were reported nationwide last year.
We still do not have all the facts about the Oulu case. What is laid bare is the overkill and overreaction that such sexual abuse cases provoked among the police, the media and Finnish society.
What do the sexual abuse cases in Oulu, which we must condemn, reveal about our society?
Some words that come to mind are racism, racialization, white Finnish power, white Finnish privilege, and multicultural incompetence.
The mosque in Oulu was vandalized for the nineth time since September 2017 on 26 February. Source: Dr. Abdul Mannan and Migrant Tales. (Access date: 22 April, 2019)
Coverage by Yle of the Oulu sexual assault cases during November to February:
* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.