Once again politicians and the media show no leadership about the terrorist attack in New Zealand

by , under Enrique Tessieri


…everything we say to try to tear people apart, demonizing particular groups, set them against each other…that all has consequences.

Waleed, a news presenter from TheProjectTV

The atrocity we witnessed through the media of the cold-blooded and calculated killings that left so far 49 dead and many wounded in New Zealand were not mentioned once by some ministers on Facebook. These ministers are the ones who have fueled and nurtured Finland’s hostile environment against Muslims and migrants. Moreover, how many editorials did you find in the Finnish media about what happened in New Zealand and how it is a warning to us too? 

Certainly, many politicians and government ministers were quick to show their moral outrage at the sexual abuse cases of Oulu by “people of foreign origin,” which is code for asylum seeker, Muslim and non-EU citizen.

The head of the National Coalition Party, Economy Minister Petteri Orpo, and Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen, were quick to pin the blame on the Muslim community for what some 20 suspects did. Mykkänen suggested that nationality laws would change and that a naturalized person’s citizenship could be revoked.

In one ad you can hear the voice of Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sports Sampo Terho, who heads Blue Reform,* one of the three members of the government, stating the “accomplishments” of his party. These are: “residence permits are no longer issued on permanent bases, the asylum process is faster and appeal times shorter for refugees, and tighter family reunification laws.”

Everything that Terho states and which Prime Minister Juha Sipilä approves with his silence, is stoking and fueling the fires of hatred and Islamophobia in Finland.

Last but not least is Foreign Minister Timo Soini, who with his crafty opportunism gave far-right extremist Islamophobes a platform and voice. In the end, Soini got his fingers burned badly because of those forces that h aimed to keep on a short leash. He got bit back by them and brough his political future to tailspin in flames.

Soini’s office did shed a few crocodile tears for the victims in New Zealand by stating that what happened was “a cowardly attack of terrorism.”

Cowardly? I would point to the cowardice of the Sipilä’s government on challenging Islamophobia and anti-migration hatred.

It is clear that National Coalition Party Justice Minister Antti Häkkänen doesn’t like Muslims but is ready to capitalize on such hatred for his political means. He’s all for tougher laws and warns us about Sharia law when that is not even on the table in Finland.

What is lacking in Finland before and today is the moral courage to speak out against racism and fascism.

Disagree? Exaggerating matters?

What about the tweet below by Johannes Sipola, a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Youth leader of the Northern Finnish region of Lapland?

What did Sipola say about the terrorist attack in New Zealand?

“The New Zealand case show ever-convincingly that multicultural society does not work. When other people [of other backgrounds] rape and kill enough [people], it is only a question of time when there will be a reaction from the opposite side. First and foremost, everyone defends their own.

The tweet above and the lack of condemnation [which Sipola would love to get] speaks volumes about the present situation.

I hope that what happened in New Zealand is a wake-up call to all of us and a warning that matters are spinning rapidly out of control. Will the Islamophobic PS, its silent supporters for its anti-Muslim rhetoric in government do well in the April parliamentary elections?

Let’s see what April 14 reveals.

The far-right 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.