As the media and politicians in Finland attempt to racialize the Islamic State debate (IS), Helsinki Police Chief Inspector Jari Taponen that about 20 ethnic white Finns have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight, reports YLE in English. Of around 50 that have joined IS from Finland, 6-8 have been killed in the fighting, according to Finnish Security Intelligence Service (SUPO).
A good example of how the ongoing debate in Finland is racialized is how the Taponen and YLE journalist define “ethnic Finn,” or a person whose both parents are white Finns. Does race make a person more prone to join a jihadist organization? Certainly other factors are at play such as social class, educational background and social exclusion.
I wonder what Islamophobic politicians like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party think about this news?
Certainly it busts one myth that all IS fighters are Muslims from the Middle East and Africa.
This reveals that the issue is more complex than simply dividing people by race and religion.