Migrant Tales (June 23, 2012): What is the fine line that separates Anders Breivik and PS MP Olli Immonen?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

This week we heard Anders Breivik’s closing statements in his defense for killing 77 innocent victims. In his final tirade of how multiculturalism is responsible for fuelling the Islamization of Europe, the mass killer showed no remorse.

“The attacks on July 22 were preventive attacks to defend the indigenous Norwegian people,” he said. “I therefore demand to be acquitted.”

In a recent column, Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party MP Olli Immonen writes at the same time as the Breivik trial is ongoing:  “…it is clear that current developments [concerning Islamization] will lead to a situation where our Western way of life in Finland and elsewhere in Europe will be threatened. The confrontation between Islamic and Western culture is one of the megatrends of this century.”

Shivers went up my spine when I read both quotes. While they convey the same message, there is a  difference: Breivik went on a killing rampage while Immonen didn’t.

The Norwegian mass killer uses Islamization to justify what he did; Immonen uses the same arguments but to attract media attention and, crucial to his political career, future votes. One is being tried in a courtroom for mass murder while the other is in parliament spreading Breivik’s Counter-Jihadist views.

In many respects, the debate revolving around whether Breivik is insane or not when he carried out the killings speaks volumes about how we want to continue seeing ourselves as a people and society irrespective of 22/7.

The question is an exceptionally tough one: Are Breivik’s thoughts “sane” but what he did “insane?” In other words, is it ok to spread hatred, racism and prejudice of other groups as long as you don’t take the law in your hands and start killing people?

If Breivik were Immonen and Immonen, Breivik, the verdict would be clear: Breivik would be “sane” and Immonen “insane.”

In light of what happened, we should ask some serious questions. One of these is what kind of society do we want to live in. Is it one where we consider racism “sane” but becomes “insane” if you are a racist that murders other people? Or one where all forms of racism and prejudice by anyone or any group are unacceptable?

Shouldn’t both cases, the sane and the insane racist, be equally condemned by society?

The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names 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.