Christian Democrat Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen condemned the attack by three suspected neo-Nazi thugs in Jyväskylä as an assault against freedom of speech and the right to assembly, reports YLE. She didn’t consider, however, the far right to be a threat to Finland but said that the authorities aim to do more work to address social marginalization.
Whether the far right is a threat or not to Finland depends on your perspective. If you are a white interior minister and a member of the Christian Democratic Party, maybe the threat of the far right isn’t such a pressing issue.
In many respects, it’s the same question if racism and discrimination are widespread or not in Finland. If you are white it’s more difficult to grasp the problem than if you are a visible minority.
While social marginalization may be one of the culprits that is fueling far right ideology in Europe and Finland, there are others like intolerance and prejudice taught at home.
Challenging far right ideology, and the 98 octane fuel (racism, xenophobia, prejudice, marginalization, among others) that feeds it, must be everyone’s priority.
The first important step is that our reaction to far right violence and its ideology should be first and foremost a reaction.
Räsänen’s views on what happened in Jyväskylä and its causes show a very meek rection.