Finnish PS MP Hakkarainen is charged (alas) for ethnic agitation

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Perussuomlaiset (PS)* MP Teuvo Hakkarainen, who has made numerous racist and bigoted statements against Muslims, Somalis and gays, finally got charged for ethnic agitation by the state deputy prosecutor. Hakkarainen isn’t the only PS politician being charged for ethnic agitation. On that shameful list are Mertsu Merivireta, Terhi Kieumunki and Olli Sademies

The deputy state prosecutor was considering charging Hakkarainen with ethnic agitation shortly after he was elected in 2011 after he appeared in a Helsingin Sanomat interview, where he stated that “the country’s borders were awash with “n-words” and went on to mock an Islamic call to prayer.

Hakkarainen recently said that being charged for ethnic agitation was like getting a speeding ticket.

“Bring it on if I get sentenced [for hate speech]. I’ll take care of this in my own way,” he was quoted as saying. “Of course [one should follow the law]. But this [possible sentence for hate speech] is like a speeding ticket. Everything is today seen as hate speech.”

The video below shows the MP’s first day in parliament in 2011. It is a good example of the politician’s acting skills.

Hakkarainen denies any wrongdoing and claims, after insulting near-constantly Muslims, migrants, and minorities such as gays that “everyone is innocent before proven guilty.”

Ironically, if the PS MP would have followed that advice, he wouldn’t be in legal hot water now.

Ethnic agitation charges against Hakkarainen and other PS politicians isn’t a light matter. The PS is a government party and rules Finland together with the Center Party and National Coalition Party.

While it is a good matter that the state reacts and takes action against hate speech, one matter that surprises us is that it took so long?

This is the comment by Hakkarainen that got him in trouble when he wrote on his Facebook wall in mid-July after the Nice killings:

“We’ve got to stop pussyfooting. Muslims out of this country! Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims. We shouldn’t accept Muslims from the Middle East and Africa to our country.”

Read the full story here.

Two PS politicians, who have made a dubious name for themselves for their Islamophobic and xenophobic statements, came to Hakkarainen’s defense.

PS MP Laura Huhtasaari stated that the charge was wrong because she didn’t consider Muslims to be an ethnic group.

The lawmaker, who should know better, doesn’t apparently understand that an ethnic agitation charge can include religious groups as well.

PS MP Juho Eerola, who chairs the administration committee, which also oversees immigration policy, didn’t understand why Hakkarainen was being charged with ethnic agitation.

“…what criminal charges is Teuvo [Hakkarainen] guilty of because I don’t consider him to be guilty of any crime,” he was quoted as saying in tabloid Iltalehti, “but I’m not a lawyer I’m only a lawmaker.”

So what other racist comments has Hakkarainen made during the last years?

Here are just a few stories published in Migrant Tales that show what kind of a politician he is:

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.”