The theory that immigration is responsible for crime, that the most recent “wave of immigration,” whatever the nationality, is less desirable than the old ones, that all newcomers should be regarded with an attitude of suspicion, is a theory that is almost as old as the colonies planted by Englishmen on the New England coast.
—Edith Abbott in the report of the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement (1931:23)
A-Studio hosts Markus Liimatainen and Annika Damström invited Sadak Elwan, Kadar Gelle and Maryan Askar to give “their views” on the Tapanila gang-rape case. While this wasn’t the worst example of opinionated and prejudiced journalism, it shows the epic failure of the Finnish media in reporting the impact of the Tapanila sexual assault case.
Liimatainen cites a National Research Institute of Legal Policy (Optula) study published in 2014, “Immigrants as crime victims and offenders in Finland,” which claims that sexual assaults committed by those born in Africa and the Middle East were 17 times higher than those by native Finns.
Damström, who takes this study as the “ultimate truth” about sexual assault and migrants, asks the guests how they explain such a high statistic.
It’s clear that Damström and Liimatainen didn’t do their homework as journalists but apparently allowed themselves to be carried away by tidbits of information that were unreliable to begin in the Optula study.
Even the study that they cite claims that since the statistical information was only provided by the police, we don’t know what the real figures are. Hence, the study is unreliable and cannot be used to give any type of “ultimate truth.”
The reporter doesn’t mention these issues about the study but prefers instead to treat its conclusions as the “ultimate truth.” Anti-immigration groups are making the same conclusions as she.
Watch full talk show (in Finnish) here.
Professor Vesa Puuronen of Oulu University spoke to Migrant Tales and said that since the statistical information is only from one source, it has therefore a lot of holes.
“We don’t know how many unreported rape cases there are in this country because many of the rapes committed by Finnish men are against women they know,” he said. “The rape case may never get reported for fear of getting her acquaintance in trouble. How many of these cases are there? We simply don’t know.”
Puuronen said that if anti-immigration groups are using the Optula study to “prove” that certain ethnic groups are rapists, it’s clear that they have a political agenda.
“If journalists use the findings of the Optula study to draw conclusions,” he added, “then that is an example of uncritical journalism and that the journalist hasn’t done his or her job well.”
Puuronen agreed that since the Optula study is unreliable and since it is being used to label and victimize migrants, the researchers of that study should step forward and tell the public that such conclusions cannot be drawn from it.