Finland election: Flirting with isolationism and xenophobia

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

In our neck of the woods in the Nordic region, ultra-nationalistic and xenophobic parties have made their mark in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and most likely now in Finland on Sunday when the True Finns are expected to score a historic victory. Will the election embolden other xenophobic parties in this region and Europe? Will it send shock ripples in the EU?

It’s pretty doubtful that parties like the True Finns have any answer to those questions because they base much of their rhetoric on populism and denial. Since Finns are the biggest per-capita coffee drinkers in the world, a good example of our populism would be adding salt to sour coffee in order to make it taste better.

Instead of solving our problems, a large group of voters have preferred to sprinkle the salt of isolationism and xenophobia on our reality.

Depending on the scale of the True Finns’ victory, the next thing we may see after Sunday’s election will be a stream of far-right party leaders flocking to Finland from the Danish People’s Party, Sweden Democrats, British National Party, Jobbik of Hungary and none other than Geert Wilders of the Isalmophobic Dutch People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy.

Are we afraid of these twenty-first century fanatics? Not at all because their example have shown us that xenophobia and racism have not been nipped in the bud in Europe.

Even though the True Finns may score a big victory on Sunday, they will not be a majority. That majority comprises of sensible Finns who are not lured by xenophobia, isolationism and corny political soundbites from True Finns’ chairman Timo Soini.

Xenophobia and ignorance are curable social diseases.

The original link was taken down.


However, here’s the latest one:

I apologize for the racist and provocative content of this campaign ad by Jussi Halla-aho and Teemu Lahtinen, both of which are running for the True Finns and are members of the far-right Suomen Sisu association. Apart from being xenophobic, the turban worn by the potato appears to be Indian. Is this against Indian IT-immigrants or some legal loophole? Both Halla-aho and Lahtinen reveal their shameful ignorance on a grand scale. Here is a video showing Lahtinen at a far-right march in France.

  1. JusticeDemon

    I wonder if the people who made that campaign ad video understand the famous words of Qur’anic Arabic that we hear at the beginning?

    lā ʾilāha ʾillallāh,
    Muḥammadur rasūlu-llāh

    Perhaps a similar campaign ad could have been made when Finns were emigrating to Sweden back in the 1950s. It would start with the following mumbojumbo:

    Minä uskon Jumalaan,
    Isään, Kaikkivaltiaaseen,
    taivaan ja maan Luojaan,
    ja Jeesukseen Kristukseen,
    Jumalan ainoaan Poikaan,
    meidän Herraamme,

    • Enrique

      JusticeDemon I really like your sense of humor. I can see it now: Finns sailing to Sweden and chanting “minä uskon Jumalaan…” Too much!

      But looking at this video, one matter is for certain: its outright racism and ignorance. I never knew some Middle Easterners use Indian turbans.

  2. JusticeDemon

    I do wonder whether there was intention to offend the people who can understand the tahlîl.

    Any competent advertising agency that produced such material and any media channel that broadcast it would have a due diligence obligation to be aware of the spoken content. We can only conclude that the tahlîl was used deliberately. This is not a randomly selected sound clip.

    The context of the soundtrack is also unclear. For example a gang of railway navigators might well co-ordinate their hammering by chanting this deeply religious couplet.

    For a comparable effect, we might suppose that Animalia added the following sound clip to one of their vivisection videos:

    Herramme Jeesuksen Kristuksen veri, sinun puolestasi vuodatettu.

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