Finland immigration debate: The reponse is the problem

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

The problem is never the problem. The response to the problem is always the problem.

I read this neat quote at a conference I am attending in Ireland. In my opinion, it could apply perfectly to what is happening in Finland concerning the debate of its ever-growing and present cultural diversity.

The greatest weakness of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party is none other than itself. The recent statement by a PS councilman from Kotka concerning Muslim women reveals that some in this party live in a an opinion bubble that bursts every time they test their views in public.

Quite a few PS party members have ended up with red faces while others have claimed amnesia for their opinions they published many years ago on their blogs. Some of their views on immigration have been so outrageous that they have even had to erase them from their blogs.

One of the great things about democracy is that you have to debate and present your ideas to others. As some anti-immigration PS members have shown, it has been a painful process where they have got their fingers burned.

When it comes to Finland’s cultural diversity and the rights of minorities, some in the PS have proven without a doubt that “the response to the problem is always the problem.

  1. Niko

    Off-topic: what is the difference between “anti-immigrant” and “immigration critical” or do they mean the same thing to you? You use quite often the first word, but at least for mean they mean different things. But you are right, some of the PS members are anti-immigrant.

    • Enrique

      Niko, “immigration critical” is political correctness that means in most cases “anti-immigration.” One can use different name constructs to make a message more acceptable to the public. However, the job of an expert and journalist is to figure out what they are really saying. What is the agenda behind quaint PC words, for example.

  2. Hannu

    The recent statement by a PS councilman from Kotka concerning Muslim women was exactly that cultural relativism you vowed at. In their culture its OK so its OK to you too and if someone finds something positive at it then better! 🙂
    You know that in cultural relativism there is no good or bad just stuff what happens?

    • Enrique

      Hannu, where have I ever stated that cultural relativism is ok when looking at matters that are in conflict with the UN Declaration of Human Rights. For your information the concept, cultural relativism, was made by anthropologist Fraz Boas in the early 20th century. It was an anthropological method used in field study to help the researcher investigate a culture without bias. Cultural relativism does not mean accepting genocide, murder or other forms of inhumane treatment.

  3. Niko

    So, if a person doesn’t agree with all immigration policies, he is an anti-immigrant? At least I would call him immigration critical, if his argument makes sense and is based on facts. Of course, there are people like, Hakkarainen, who are anti-immigrants who oppose immigration just because they are immigrants.

    • Enrique

      Niko, I am going to throw the question back to you: what is in your opinion the difference between both terms?

      When ou answer this question ask yourself I’d a person or group that doesn’t. Want Finns to mix with foreigners is only critical or what? What are they critical of? I still have no idea what their criticisms are except for the use of adjectives as failed immigration policy, mass immigration etc which, as you know, isn’t the case.

  4. JusticeDemon


    Let’s try again. Do you recognise epåhiket viinanystävät more clearly? Think about the people who share your views.

    Sweaty with hiccoughs sounds like a fair description, though…

  5. JusticeDemon


    Was that the statement that your daughter’s death would at least stop her perpetuating the family heritage by spawning another racist bigot?

  6. Niko

    My definition for these words are:

    Anti-immigrant: A person who is against immigration in all forms. The arguments toward immigration are not based on facts.
    Immigration critical: A person who does not oppose immigration, but has criticism parts of it or how it is handled (positive or negative things).

  7. Hannu

    Justicedemon of course i would feel insulted and hurt but that wouldnt change facts, by cultural relativism they can do what they want and enrique can stop cherry picking and if something positive has to be found then…
    Enrique there is no general right or general good, live with your relativism and dont chance it to suit your feelings.

    • Enrique

      –Enrique there is no general right or general good, live with your relativism and dont chance it to suit your feelings.

      So what you are saying is that it is acceptable to bash and insult other groups because there isn’t any “right” or “wrong?” Wrong. Values glue a society together. Fortunately, we have striven for positive ones that include as opposed to exclude people.

      Hannu, cultural relativism is an anthropoligical term used coined by Fraz Boas to study indigenous groups. He did not mean to apply them to our society. Of all the people, I think you would be the last to fully accept what cultural relativism is. It’s like when people who want to exclude Muslims hide their prejudice by sating they are concerned about Muslim women rights. This may be but it is a huge red herring. On Migrant Tales we call it baloney.

  8. Hannu

    Enrique do you have short memory or something? It was YOU who claimed that since cultural relativism what so many scientist accept (you forgot part that where its used only when studying culture) we cant judge or value other cultures so stop it. By YOU there is no right or wrong just different cultures and everything is ok as long we just accept all. Kumbayaaa…..