THIS STORY WAS UPDATED
In a bid to gain voters, the National Coalition Party’s (Kokoomus) MP Antti Häkkänen and possibly the next chairperson of the conservative party spreads his anti-Islamic rhetoric, again.
For those who don’t know Häkkänen, he comes from a small town called Mäntyharju in Eastern Finland and has expressed before his extreme distaste for non-white migration and especially Islam.
During 2011-2013, he was president of the Youth League of the National Coalition Party, which idolizes US capitalism and the Republican Party. His predecessor was Wille Rydman, a well-known anti-immigration hardliner, and his successor was Susanna Koski. Under Koski’s leadership, the Youth League of the National Coalition Party aimed at doing away with legislation that prohibited hate speech and that would make redundant the then Ombudsman for Minorities Office.
As councilperson for Mäntyharju, a small town in Eastern Finland, he is reported to have declined to offer, as a show of solidarity, his small meeting fee to newly-arrived quota refugees.
His tweet below of the horrific deaths in France is no surprise.
He tweets: “The enemies of an open society try to change Europe’s way of life and destroy our values. We should not bow to such pressure. Neither bowing to Islamic terrorism nor to that of an authoritarian state. Human rights and freedom must be defended by a united Europe.”
I’m certain that such a statement gave Häkkänen and Kokoomus a lot of brownie points with voters and, possibly, their future partners in government, the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS).*
Here are some questions that I’d ask Häkkänen about his pugnacious tweet:
- Do you believe it is appropriate to label all European Muslims, which have been here since the eight century, as people who are against our values?
- Do you actually believe that all European Muslims support what happened in France?
- Don’t you think that it is odd that two deranged persons spark hysteria in political circles, the media, and society, which is taking is being fueled by those sectors?
- What concretely have you done and your conservative party does to make Finland a more inclusive country to Muslims?
- Do Muslims and other minorities have equity in Finland?
- When you label, I suspect for political aims, that all Muslims are against European values, are you assuming that all Europeans are white or that people of color must become Uncle Toms to adapt?
- Why did you claim in 2018 that there is no room for Sharia law if there was no Sharia law or plans to legalize it?
- Do you believe that your blanket labeling of all Muslims is helpful?
- Human Rights are values that unite all of us in Europe, irrespective of your background.
- What do you think of Article 18 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
- Do you remember why the UN Declaration of Human Rights was drafted and approved in 1948? Read your history, learn about the Holocaust and other forms of racism promoted by state terrorism.
- You have spoken about “parallel societies.” Do they exist in Finland?
- By vilifying all Muslims for what happened in France, do you agree that you are on the same slippery slope?