“On the path of Sweden” and other deceptive claims by the Perussuomalaiset and Finnish media

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Ever wonder why the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party gets so excited about so-called failed immigration and riots in Sweden? Is it because there isn’t enough news in Finland to spike and spread their Islamophobic message and perpetuate their deceptive claims?

The PS is a case in point to study how fake news about migrants is planted and watered in Finland. You only need two things: fake claims and silent media.

A lot of fake news about migrants is perpetuated by the PS. One of these is that Finland is “on the path of Sweden” when it comes to brown migrants.

Some of the toxic assumptions that such a claim makes are that certain groups of migrants, namely Muslims and people of color, are prone to violence and anti-social behavior because of their cultural background.

Such claims or news stories dig deeper into why there is social unrest in Sweden and its causes. Ever heard of institutional racism? Discrimination? Lack of social mobility?

Placing the blame on migrants and minorities won’t solve matters but perpetuate the problem.

A PS tweet: “Finland should not take the same path as Sweden. We don’t want burning police cars. A policy shift is needed.” Ville Tavio is the chairperson of the PS parliamentary group. Source: Twitter

Apart from the lack of news in Finland and crystal ball predictions about our cultural diversity in Finland, why do the PS rarely state that they are targeting Muslims, people of color or brown and black people?

Is it because their racist rhetoric is so immersed in code words like “asylum seeker” and “people of foreign background” mean groups like Muslims? Are they fearful of being charged for ethnic agitation?

Considering that 17% of Helsinki’s population speaks another mother tongue other than Finnish, Swedish, and Saami, it is surprising how slowly the newsroom of Finland’s biggest daily, Helsingin Sanomat, is still so white.

Why does the media not challenge fake news about migrants?

Is it because the media is part of Finland’s racism problem?