European Islamophobia Report: Finland

by , under Migrant Tales

The European Islamophobia Report 2020 was published on December 29. Below is the Finland chapter of the report. The editors for the report are Dr. Enes Bayrakli and Dr. Farid Hafez.

While the government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin has tried to roll back some of the draconian immigration law measures of the previous government, Islamophobia continues to be an obstacle in treating Muslims and other minorities as equal members of society.

The big question will be the 2023 parliamentary elections and if the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), which is flirting with the far-right Finns Party (PS), will emerge – as recent opinion polls suggest – as the winner and form the country’s next government.

The actions and messages of Kokoomus are a cause for genuine concern for Finland’s culturally diverse community, especially Muslims.

In Finland, officials are quick to remind newcomers about gender equality, but too little is mentioned about equity for everyone irrespective of their background. Finding a job is part of the integration program, but too little is mentioned about discrimination at work and in the labor market. Due process still takes too long, and there are big questions about how seriously Finland sees institutional racism, the rise of fascism, and other social ills like hate speech.

Ensuring that Finland is not a hostile place to minorities is paramount and ensures that social ills like Islamophobia will not undermine the country’s democratic institutions.