Downplaying and whitewashing the far-right threat in Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri

It is disappointing to note that it took Finland’s largest daily, Helsingin Sanomat, five days to write an editorial on the threat posed by the far-right after the detention of five white Finns on Friday. Considering the media attention and general outrage in general that Abderrahman Mechkah knife attack caused in Turku in 2017, a question emerges: were the suspects in Kakaanpää the wrong type of terrorists?

Pictures apprehended of the terrorist suspects. Source: Police

Moreover, the suggestion that the Kankaanpää suspects were some isolated splinter group detached from society is an example of how the problem is being whitewashed. As Mihai Varga stated: “The main agents of ideological violence are not isolated ‘lone wolves’ but are usually interconnected with communities, non-violent agents and legal entities, at times even including connections to law enforcement personnel.”

The reaction and silence after the arrests reveal how the police, media and the public in general whitewash not only the far-right threat in Finland, but how racism and nationalism offer growth to such social ills.

While the Helsingin Sanomat editorial correctly states that far-right violence poses a severe threat to Finland, it fails to see that the problem lies under our noses.

How can we not openly condemn an association like Suomen Sisu, which is believed to have at least five members of the Nazi-spirited association, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, in parliament? Suomen Sisu used to openly recommend the writings of David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, and Alfred Rosenberg, a Nazi war criminal hanged in Nuremberg in 1946.

Rosenberg’s writings helped to spread so much hatred across Europe and poison the public’s minds through his racist ideas, and anti-Semitism.

Even if we could mention neo-Nazi groups like the Nordic Resistance Movement (PVL), which a Pirkanmaa court banned in 2017, websites like Ylilauta, MV, and others, how do you challenge a threat if the PS is one of the biggest parties in parliament?

While far-right terrorism poses a serious threat to Finland’s democracy and Nordic way of life, it is our lack of attention to the problem that should be seen as a serious problem as well.

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