Finland’s lurch to the right and its Islamophobic fuel

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also.

Heinrich Heine

Thanks to Social Democrat Prime Minister Sanna Marin, leaders of the Left Alliance, Green League, and the Swedish People’s Party, there is a public reaction to the radical right and blatantly racist campaign promises by the Perussuomalaiset (PS).* Prime Minister Marin recently slammed the PS as a racist party and said that it would not be part of a government with it.  

In the face of the rise of Islamophobia in Europe, Finland is at the forefront depending on the election success of the PS, our version of the Sweden Democrats, a highly Islamophobic party with roots in Nazism.

The PS, too, has links with far-right and neo-Nazi groups that are also violent.


PS MP Sanna Antikainen tweeted: “Rasmus Palaudan burned the Koran. According to the authorities, it is a so-
called
a hate crime, but the death threats that Palaudan receives aren’t [a hate crime].”

How many Finnish politicians, never mind members of the PS, have condemned what Palaudan did?

Silence.

It is how researcher Farid Hafez wrote in a Haaretz column: “What is worse, while these anti-Muslim rallies were intensely debated in Swedish media, it happened for the wrong reason. The debates did not focus on the racist dimensions of the Koran burning. Rather, they focused on the importance of protecting free speech and, even more problematically, how to maintain law and order.”

Indeed, denial and amnesic memory are one underlying factor of the Koran book burning and Finland’s lurch toward the radical right The fact that Finland’s conservative party Kokoomus is ready to go to bed with the PS speaks volumes about Finland’s social ill.

Matters have reached such a retched level in Finland that President Sauli Niinistö has tarred and feathered minority youths by pandering to the racist.

The PS, for example, want to exclude non-Finnish citizens from getting social welfare, ban asylum seekers from developing countries and Muslims, among other measures.

Finland is on a perilous path, and we should be highly concerned about were we are heading.