The former interior minister and leader of the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) parliamentary leader, Kai Mykkänen, wants stricter laws to combat terrorism. What re the motives behind the tightening of such laws? Do such laws only to Islam-based terrorism?
He writes: “According to the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service (Supo), the threat of terrorism in Finland continues to be individual actors or small groups that get their motivation from radical Islamist propaganda or encouragement from terrorist organizations. Marginalization and loneliness are the fuel that feeds radicalization.”
Looking at Mykkäenen’s text, there is nothing mentioned about what could be seen as far-right terrorism from 2015 in Finland when asylum reception centers were vandalized in cities like Pori, Rauma, Kankaanpää, Siilijärvi, and others.
And what does Mykkänen have to say about far-right vigilante groups like the Soldiers of Odin?
When these far-right groups appeared, and which have close ties with neo-Nazi groups, they were treated with kid’s gloves by the police and too many politicians.
National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen stated in 2016 that vigilante gangs are fine as long as they didn’t break the law.
“It’s a positive matter that [Finnish] citizens [note: not migrants] are interested in their neighborhood’s security and take part and debate in such matters,” he was quoted as saying in Helsingin Sanomat.
The leader of the Soldiers of Odin, Mika Ranta, has threatened in a statement below that the vigilante group will go to the border and defend Finland if asylum seekers started coming as in 2015.
“If a 2015 invasion takes place and the defense forces are at the border [helping asylum seekers] to carry their baggage inside [as in 2015], we will with other nationalists [code for far-right and Islamophobic groups] close [by force] the Tornio border checkpoint. Finland must not make the same mistake that Sweden and our defense forces made and for this reason obliges us to take action!”
Fear-mongering with the help of disingenuous terrorist laws that apply to only one group but are blind to other forms of terrorism is a blow to the credibility of such legislation, and to the political party drafting them.
As in the past, Mykkänen and Kokoomus are eager to score political brownie points with voters and continue flirting with the Perussuomalaiset party.*
This is a dangerous political gamble.
In the meantime, let’s not racialize terrorism.