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

by , under Enrique Tessieri

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 that label and victimize migrants and minorities, Lohela not only ended up getting elected twice to parliament but now as the new speaker of parliament has at her disposal a 140,000-euro Audi with driver included.

Somebody who knew Lohela told Migrant Tales that she appears to be a sensible person until you slip the term Muslim or Islam in the conversation. She then turns into a Ms Hyde.

Lohela got her anti-immigration and Islamophobic credentials through places like the Nuiva Manifesto, which relies heavily on one-way adaption, or assimilation. She was opposed to same-sex marriage as well.

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Read full story here.

Just like many politicians who base their support on anti-immigration rhetoric and Islamophobia, Lohela is too much of a coward to stand by her writings. She will, however, give you wishy-washy statements why she doesn’t regret what she wrote.

Lohela and the PS are unfortunate examples of how one can become (in)famous in Finland and Europe with the help of Islamophobia and racism. They reveal as well how much structural racism there is in this country and how little we have done to challenge such social ills.

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The famous saying, Inte min talman, or you’re not my speaker of parliament, comes from Swedish MP Rossana Dinamarca of the Left Party. Dinamarca addressed the Swedish Riksdag (parliament) and when Sweden Democrat speaker of parliament Björn Söder tells her to address  him as “honorable speaker” she refuses and states, Inte min talman.

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.