Living in post-22/7 Europe: The tide has turned

by , under All categories, Enrique

One of the biggest blows to the far right and right-wing populist parties in Europe and the Nordic Region after the horrific events in Norway has been to their provocative anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam discourse.

What was acceptable before, like racist gaffes and jokes by politicians, their aides and common citizens, look terribly embarrassing today in light of Norway. There are a lot of red faces today out there.

In Finland, the biggest loser of post-22/7 are the  so-called anti-Islam Counter-Jihad extremists of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party. They are the MPs who signed the Nuiva manifesto: Jussi Halla-aho, Juho Eerola, James Hirvisaari, Olli Immonen, Vesa-Matti Saarakkala, Maria Lohela and others.

What unites these PS politicians is their extremist views of Islam, immigration that is stuck in a time warp eerily close to how Nazi Germany perceived “racial hygiene,” or that ethnic groups should not mix.

But this is only a small number of the openly anti-immigration PS MPs in parliament. We have all heard of PS MP Teuvo Hakkarainen and some may even know who Reijo Tossavainen is. He said in May that Finland should close its borders to asylum-seekers.

According to researcher Toby Archer of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Counter-Jihad is the new ideology found in the blogshpere, which is not anti-Semitic nor does it associate itself with neo-Nazis. I see it is a sort of modern-day fascism without the heavy ideological baggage of its predecessor.

One of the best-known sites for the Counter-Jihad movement is the Gates of Vienna, where Halla-aho was a regular contributor, translator and correspondent. The website used to be visited frequently as well by Anders Behring Breivik, the mass killer of Norway.

What I find surprising is how a politician like Halla-aho washes his hands of how his extremist views on Islam could have impacted Breivik.  Green Party MP Outi Alanko Kahluoto writes (in Finnish) has a good blog entry about this.

The tide for the Counter-Jihadists has turned especially in Finland after 22/7.  More politicians, the media and common citizens are seriously questioning the PS’ and other people’s anti-immigration and anti-Islam stances today than ever before.

One of these public figures is Social Democrat Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, who said in the Kokoomus-run Verrkouutiset that PS head Timo Soini bore responsibility for the racist language coming out of the party. “There should be zero tolerance (in society) for this type of hate speech (by Halla-aho his followers  and others),” he said.

In order to put a lid on racism on the net, Tuomioja suggested that bloggers should as a general rule publish threads and blog entries with their real names. If this isn’t possible, the real name should be known to the administrator of the blog.

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström said in Spiegel Online International that Europe wants to fight right-wing extremism.

“I have many times expressed my concern over xenophobic parties who build their unfortunately quite successful rhetoric on negative opinions on Islam and other so-called threats against society,” writes Malmström. “This creates a very negative environment, and sadly there are too few leaders today who stand up for diversity and for the importance of having open, democratic and tolerant societies where everybody is welcome.”

  1. William

    “Monet suomalaiset, joilla orgasmi keskeytyi, kun hommalaiset eivät polttaneetkaan tamperelaista pizzeriaa, ottavat nyt hyvitystä korkojen kera. Tiedoksi, että en kadu mitään kirjoittamaani, enkä ota minkäänlaista vastuuta Breivikin teosta, ja aion jatkaa samalla linjalla, koska huono maahanmuutto on huonoa ja monikulttuurisuus hanurista Breivikin teosta riippumatta ja huolimatta. Ei muuta tällä erää”(!/profile.php?id=660619031&sk=wall). Halla-aho

    “Many Finns, whose orgasm was interrupted when members of [Jussi Halla-aho’s racist webforum] Homma failed to burn down [an immigrant owned] pizzeria in Tampere, are now making up for lost time. For your information, I regret nothing I’ve written and refuse to take any kind of responsibility for Breitvik’s actions. Furthermore I intend to continue on my chosen path, because multiculturalism sucks ass, no matter what Breitvik did.” Halla-aho

    • Enrique

      William this is incredible, no? In many respects some of these people remind me of the funny explanations people who are on the run or on the defensive give to play down their roles/crimes or siding with the wrong ideology. In other words, I can get myself out of any bind by making up a counter-argument. The important matter is that the tide has turned after 22/7 and these people are under greater scrutiny.

    • Enrique

      –This status was made 24 July at 22:12, in case you want to check the source.

      When I first read it on another blog I thought it couldn’t be Jussi Halla-aho. It shows a lot about the person.

  2. Mika

    If we are told that we should not label all Muslims as extremists even though both moderate Muslims and extremists Muslims both follow Islam ,
    And even though they share similar views why should we label all populist parties as extremists because of the likes of Anders

    Why should we attack normal people for supporting populists ideas because of some people taking that view to the extreme.
    And if that is justified then surely painting all Muslims with the same brush is .

    Because do the views which populist parties have are they really extreme or are they just reflecting genuine issues which we have with Europe. Should the issue really be on how groups or individuals interpret theses views and to what point is it when they have crossed the line.

    I think this is why the populist parties in the long term wont be effected.The vast majority of people can see that there it is not a critical issue with that the fact that both populist parties and Anders hold similar views. Its more the extreme to what Anders went to is what people have a disgust with.

    • Enrique

      –If we are told that we should not label all Muslims as extremists even though both moderate Muslims and extremists Muslims both follow Islam , And even though they share similar views why should we label all populist parties as extremists because of the likes of Anders.

      I am a bit worried about the “Anders” when you refer to this mass killer. The answer to the question: Of course not. There are all types. Could you please show me a far right or right-wing populist party that doesn’t speak of Muslims and immigrants in a demeaning manner?

  3. William

    All kind of violence, despite the source deserves our rejection. I think the point here is that politicians have the power to affect masses and it can incite people like Anders or as reaction, extremist of other religions to defend themselves. Both extremes are dangerous for a society and that’s what we have to avoid to happen.

    Therefore, if you read well Hallo-aho, he doesn’t need to be labeled by somebody, he is doing it himself.

    • Enrique

      William well said: Hall-aho labels himself with his extreme views.

  4. Mika

    And if we are saying that all populist parties are extremist?

    Then are we saying the millions who support them across Europe are all mirror images of Anders? No
    They are normal people many have a job and a wife and children would they subscribe to party with extremist views ? No
    And if they did subscribe to a party with extreme views then what does that tell you about a ruling governments failure to address’s voter concerns?

    Its already been said that Anders left the progress party because he become disillusioned with mainstream politics which shows him and them had a different agenda on the same views they both shared .So I think your attempt to put populist parties in the same category as the likes of Anders and other extremists does not hold up. Because if they where same why did he not say he did what he did in the name of the progress party?. The reason he did not is because he does not share the same agenda as them

  5. Mika

    There are the likes of Richard Dawkins who make speeches about Islam which are very sensible and thought out, although many do not agree with him he is never called a speaker of hate.

    I do not remember the late Pim Fortyn making any statements that could be called the ramblings of a extremist but unlike Richard Dawkins because Pim Fortyn was in politics he had to endure being called one.

    By the way Pim Fortyn was assassinated by someone who held left wing ideas, did the left suffer because of this murder. Of course since then they they have been losing support because of the populist parties (Which could be the reason for this extreme left wing outcry over Norway) but I don’t think they lost because of Pims murder especially in Holland where he gained so much support

  6. Mika

    (Which could be the reason for this extreme left wing outcry over Norway)

    Not as political extremism but getting as much press time in as possible .

    As the populist parties are the biggest threat to the left you do not think some of this outcry is being used for pure political motivation

    • Enrique

      –Not as political extremism but getting as much press time in as possible .

      Mika, let me tell you about me background and how I have seen terrorism. Terrorism is a term that means to terrorize others. When I used to live briefly in Argentina during the dirty war (1976-83) there were left-wing, right-wing and state terrorism. Each had their enemy. For you to suggest that I play down terrorism from one group is unfair. Now, I could argue that far-right parties that fuel violence encourage terrorism against immigrants, refugees and other minorities. The Nazi regime terrorized Jews. It was state terrorism. The definition of terrorism is up to you and governments. Either way, it should be condemned because its aim is to terrorize innocent victims.

      What kind of terrorism have you experienced close at hand in your life? In many respect it is those that have not been in war who glorify it. Those who have usually won’t.

  7. Mika

    I shall ask you again. How did you get on first name terms with Anders Behring Breivik?

    We where married last in civil partnership lovely reception, it will be difficult for me knowing he is away my only consolation is he is in solidarity confinement he can not get to other men.
    Who have being doing loads of gym time since being put in prison.

    If you throw a stupid question to me I thorough a stupid answer straight back at you

  8. Mika

    I did type it wrong what I meant was not extreme as in violence but the left is trying to get them self’s as much on TV Radio Newspapers etc etc over Norway.
    And I am wondering as the populists are the biggest threat to the left parties is some of this political motivated to stop this political threat.
    As it was PS who destroyed Keskusta in the last election could some form of revenge

  9. Mika

    I shall ask you again. How did you get on first name terms with Anders Behring Breivik?

    I have put a number of blogs on this post you may not agree with them but I think each has thread of debate to them.If you can not take your views being questioned or challenged or in some cases proved wrong why do you not make this blog members only instead of having it open to all. Because some of you seem to have a issue with being challenged let alone being proved wrong if sometimes you are wrong.

  10. JusticeDemon


    So you are here trying to defend the views of a close friend.

    Do you think this close friendship may have influenced your views of Breivik and his opinions?

    As for Richard Dawkins et al., you obviously didn’t get to chapter 6 of TGD, but how hard could it be to find this?

  11. Mika

    I think Richard Dawkins proves the point that once you enter the political game you become a extremist in the eyes of your opponents as a way to try and stop you
    (Not playing by the rules)
    Which means is not my Anders views extreme but his opponents made them so for their own political advantage (The Brutes)
    But not to worry millions have not fallen for the trick they know where the line is and when it is crossed and if they see if crossed in populist parties then they will hope parties will kick out (Those naughty people)
    But theses parties are strong enough not to give in to people outside the party who have made the decisions that one person has adult views and should be removed from that party because they demand it so (Children living in fantasy land point their finger at adult groups for living in the real world naughty naughty no dinner for you)

  12. vincebel

    I know some people who voted for PS just because they want to get out of the EU (inflation, laws, taxes). I guess also that people who voted for the left are not all hippies with flower pants and dreadlocks. The vast majority of the muslim are well integrated and not fanatic and a big part of the christian dont go to church on sundays.

    As for Richard Dawkins i started to read the desilusion of God and so far he is just against every kind of belief without hate speech. I might be wrong i just read a dozen of pages.

    And im sure that all those hate blogs and people like Halla-Alo share a big responsibility in the attack in Norway, same for thoes fanatic imams or anti-Darwinian people. But the biggest reason is for sure that the guy was purely and simply mad and crazy…

  13. Mika

    Richard Dawkins book are not hate speak .But if he was running for parliament would then they start to be hate speech in a way to discredit him as not as a sensible person who is opposed to all forms of beliefs but a man driven buy hate. .

    “But the biggest reason is for sure that the guy was purely and simply mad and crazy”

    Then why should we put all sane people into the same group because they shared similar views ? If not what Anders did was bad enough for political parties to use it to try and stop a political rival is a disgraceful use of Schadenfreude

    Anders was also a Freemason so does that now make them a extremist group?
    Those funny handshakes can be deadly in the “Wrong hands”

  14. Mika

    If you think that all populist parties are extremists then by that logic all supporters of those parties are also extremist and by their vote count which mean we have lets say a million right wing extremists in Europe at this moment. And If all theses people where motivated by rage and hate by that logic we should be seeing on average a “Norway” per week.
    So are also trying to say Pia Kjærsgaard who runs the DPP who is 64 spends her free time going through gun catalogues debating what goes best with her high heels a M16 or AK47?

  15. Mika

    And the simple answer to the question are theses populist parties extremist well if they where why have not governments shut them down for being so ?
    There are groups and parties from both extremes which have been banned by governments or they have been tried to ban over the last decade like Batasuna (Banned) NPD (Not Banned) But so far the parties you have claimed to be a hive of extremism there has been no attempt to try and ban theses parties. And the reason why is there is no legal case the state can bring to show evidence that the party is acting in a undemocratic or the party has a rhetoric which could be classed as illegal under race laws .Had there been then there would be no reason why the sate would not have gone ahead with a legal case many years ago. In regarding PS it would have happened after the local election 2008 when they became more of a mainstream party.So are the likes of PS guilty of racist hate speech as you say
    well they are still a registered party are they not. Which answers your question

  16. boredinfinland

    Well, read the las analysis made by Chris Hedges where he claims that all (fundamentalist ) atheists such as Dawkins have a responsibility in which has happened in Europe: the rise of paramilitarims…I certainly see a lot of hate in their arguments.

  17. vincebel

    ´ll (fundamentalist ) atheists such as Dawkins have a responsibility in which has happened in Europe: the rise of paramilitarims…I certainly see a lot of hate in their arguments.’

    how come a fundamentalist be an atheist? or vice-versa.

    the origin of 99% of the troubles are because some people believe in an unimaginery friend…

    but thats not the right blog to debate this topic

Leave a Reply