One step forward for Islamophobes and two steps back for the Finnish media

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Teuvo Hakkarainen, convicted for ethnic agitation and sexual harassment, is on the roll with the media again. This time, the PS MP has taped on his car anti-immigration slogans like “stop refugee terrorism – out of this country every [asylum seeker] man.” 

These type of racist slogans are in special bad taste after what happened in New Zealand, where a white supremacist murdered in cold blood 50 Muslims.

While Hakkarainen is getting free advertisement and laughing all the way to the bank, few if any media is openly condemning this type of Islamophobia. At least not Helsingin Sanomat..

The Helsingin Sanomat article makes no mention about Hakkarainen’s criminal record or even questions his claim that asylum seekers cost Finland 3.2 billion euros a year. Hakkarainen’s source is a tabloid, Iltalehti, of a blogger that belongs to the same party as the PS MP and who is staunchly Islamophobic.

Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

Considering that the PS was in government (2015-2017) and that its chairperson, Jussi Halla-aho played down what happened in New Zealand and that one of its youth leaders condoned what happened by blaming it on “multiculturalism,” it is clear why there is a hostile environment in Finland against Muslims and migrants.

Such type of weak reporting happens a lot because the media somehow agrees with politicians like Hakkarainen.

The media is one clear culprit in Finland’s hostile environment.

So what do the story and theatrical “outrage” of the media tell us about how Islamophobes like Hakkarainen get free ad space and advance their toxic racist message in Finland?

It shows complacency to Islamophobes and a total disregard for Muslims, migrants and minorities in Finland. It is a deep denial that Finland is culturally and ethnically diverse. But what can you expect? Most or all of the Finnish media is white and has issues with racism and still has its head stuck deep in the 1980s.

Instead of just writing about characters like Hakkarainen, the media should show leadership and strongly denounce such politicians in editorials.

Why don’t they every do?

Thank you, Sonia Maria Koo, for the heads-up.

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.