Finland: Retreating into a shell and fuelling xenophobia and racism

by , under Enrique Tessieri

As Finland retreats deeper into its shell and ethnocentrism, it feeds the beast of xenophobia and racism. Apart from Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Laura Huhtasaari, who openly encourages direct violence and hatred against migrants and minorities, there are others that are just as guilty. 

Who are they?

Interior Minister Paula Risikko and former Interior Ministry official Päivi Nerg have warned us over and over how undocumented migrants threaten our security. If Risikko and Nerg told us with gusto about the threats, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government has done little to nothing to challenge such xenophobic statements.

See the full tweet here.

Volker Türk, UNHCR assistant high commissioner for refugees, said last year that labelling refugees as security threats “risks opening the door to xenophobic and racist rhetoric and can even lead to physical attacks directed against refugees.”

Don’t ask why we are seeing a more hostility towards refugees and migrants because the answer is right under our noses in the form the xenophobic and opportunistic attitudes of our politicians and public servants.

As long as we continue to see asylum seekers, migrants, and minorities as a threat to this country, the more we will fuel xenophobia and racism to new heights. Those levels mean ever-growing physical and social violence, social exclusion, even death.

Finland needs migrants and new blood to make sure that we continue being a dynamic and vibrant country in this century. Giving into hate speech, xenophobia and racism are like shooting oneself in the foot at the cost of providing populist and weak politicians a comfortable career.

Thank you, Ambrosius Wollstén for the heads-up. 

* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13 into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity. One is more open about it while the other is more diplomatic.

A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.