THIS COLUMN WAS UPDATED
As a sociologist and anti-racism activist, I was not surprised by the banality of Finance Minister Petteri Orpo’s and Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen’s model to better integrate and do away with migrant crime. The answer? A test!
Even if this is not mentioned by these National Coalition Party (NCP) ministers, Finns also commit sexual assault crimes. Many of them brought up in the Finnish education system but some still commit sexual crimes.
Kokoomus, or the National Coalition Party, is the second-most anti-immigration party in Finland after the Perussuomalaiset-Blue Reform* parties.
Aren’t these types of statements “about informing asylum seekers about our values” a bit fishy with parliamentary elections just around the corner in April? These types of catchphrases are only another chapter in the language used by politicians to support and fuel Finland’s hostile environment against migrants and minorities.
I sent Tuesday an email to the Police University College, which forwarded it to the Oulu police.
My question was simple and one that nobody appears to care to ask: Why is it important for the police to mention that the suspects of sexual assault are “persons of foreign origin?”
As we all know, “a person of foreign origin” is code for a non-EU citizen, Muslim and/or asylum seeker.
While society rightfully condemns sexual assault it does too little to challenge it. The police, media and politicians believe that the best way of nipping such an illness in the bud is by labelling whole groups and telling them that they are not welcome even if they are law-abiding.
What is odd about the Oulu cases is that the police, media and politicians are under the false perception that asylum seekers cannot commit sexual assault. Unfortunately, they do and such people should pay for their crimes if found guilty as anyone else irrespective of their background.
Apart from educating people and looking at the issue intersectionally, the police and social workers have to do a better job. All of these sexual assault cases happened under their noses and watch. Is it easier for them to pin the blame on “barbarian” asylum seekers when similar crimes are committed by Finns in this country and abroad?
Why do politicians like Orpo and Mykkänen label and bully migrants and Muslims?
The answer is clear: They have issues with their racism and are clueless about how migrants are supposed to adapt in Finland. Their recipe for adaption is a cocktail of hostility and coercion in the form of assimilation or one-way adaption. Adapt to my rules or suffer the consequences.
But let’s go back to Orpo’s and Mykkänen’s “grand” contribution to integration.
A question to Mykkänen: What about if a person fails the test on Finnish values and fails to understand gender equality like you fail to migrants and cultural diversity?
Let me save you time and the Finnish state money. The result of these “tests” will end up in failure because they fail to address two key issues: lack of inclusion and being a welcoming and open society to newcomers.
* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity never mind Muslims and other visible minorities. One is more open about it while the other says it in a different way.
A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.