As Finland heals from Friday it must address homegrown extremism and violence against migrants and minorities

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Today more than ever Finland needs leadership to heal from what happened on Friday but also condemn openly all forms of violence in this country. The greatest fear that some migrants and minorities have n Finland after the terrorist attack in Turku are reprisals against Muslims and migrants.

We already saw three business establishments run by foreigners being attacked over the weekend. In one of them, there is a man giving a Nazi salute from the shattered window. A business establishment selling Arabic pastries and a barbershop in Helsinki were attacked as well.

Instead of just speaking about terrorism, politicians must show leadership and condemn as well all forms of violence, especially against the migrant community that is as grieved as the rest of the country after the terrorist attack.

The fear that some migrants and minorities feel in Finland is very real.

“What scares me the most is that Turku will be a platform for Islamophobic groups [in Finland and elsewhere],” said Roxana Crisólogo Correa Saturday, a Peruvian poet who has lived a number of years in Finland. “Moreover it will encourage us as a society to find simple solutions to complex problems and be reinforcing and dividing more our society by stressing ‘us’ and ‘them.’”


Read the full story (in Finnish) here. A man giving a Nazi salute on Friday.

Below is another business that sells baklava in Itäkeskus in Helsinki was attacked as well.

 Another business establishment’s window is smashed in Itäkeskus, Helsinki.

A barber shop in Helsinki suffered a similar fate on Friday. The owner of the barbershop is a naturalized Finn who moved from Iraq in 2009.

The owner of the barbershop fears that he’ll lose all his customers due to the terrorist attack in Turku.

Politicians should not only talk about foreign terrorism but also about the extremism that is homegrown.

After Friday, categorizing the debate about racism and bigotry in this country as “two extremes” is counterproductive and won’t help to quell the violence that our culturally diverse community is suffering today.