Is it surprising that whenever President Sauli Niinistö comments on asylum seekers, Muslims, and the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, he sticks his foot in his mouth?
The latest gaffe comes on Wednesday at a new session of parliament, where President Niinistö was quoted as saying about he hasn’t heard similar comments about migrants made by the Islamophobic PS as in 2017.
“At the time in in 2017, the Perussuomalaiset were electing a new chairperson and in the debates on television migrants were not just framed as an aesthetic disadvantage,” he was quoted as saying in Uusi Suomi. “That caught my attention. Now I have not heard any comments of the kind.”
One matter that caught my attention about this story is that it was only reported in Uusi Suomi.
Mr. President, when you make such incredulous claims, aren’t you normalizing racism in this country, which runs contrary to the Finnish values you want migrants to embrace?
Have you heard of the Oulu sexual assault cases and how parties like the PS, and the National Coalition Party with equal gusto, have used it to spread fear and attract voters? Do you remember what you said about these cases in your New Year’s speech?
Does President Niinistö recall a PS campaign video that encourages people to violence against asylum seekers and migrants? Here is the link.
President Niinistö’s prejudices and apparent ignorance about racism is one source that feeds Finland’s hostile environment against migrants and minorities.
Click here if you want to read more gaffes about migrants by President Niinistö.
Tell us which of these gaffes is your “favorite.”
Mine is about the Iraqi inside four walls.
When politicians like President Niinistö speak of “respect for Finnish culture and values” they do so (whether intentional or not) to belittle and incite hostility for other groups living in the country.
* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. 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.