I was surprised that Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson Jussi Halla-aho posted on his Facebook page what I consider inciting ethnic hatred against Muslims, which he refers to as “harmful immigration.”
The fact that far-right politicians like Halla-aho feel free to insult and incite hate against Muslims shows that the work of the police on this front is inadiquate.
Let’s see what Halla-aho posted. You can decide whether this posting falls under hate speech.
A very good question that we could ask the police about hate speech is the following: (1) what percentage of all hate speech cases and how long does it take before the suspect is brought before justice? (2) how many get convictions?
The answer to the latter could reveal that hate speech, like hate crime, are not taken seriously enough by the police.
History researcher Oula Silvennoinen sheds light on this problem.
“The problem [concerning hate speech] isn’t due to the lack [of clear] laws, but that too few who break the law face justice,” he wrote on his website, adding that the police should prioritize hate speech by guaranteeing such public services and the judiciary have enough resources to tackle the social ill.
There are too many examples that remind us that the Finnish police is not impartial when it comes to migrants and minorities. Close to 50% of the police surveyed in 2016 said they voted either for the National Coalition Party, NCP, (25.1%) and the PS (24.4%).
Both the NCP and PS are the most anti-immigration parties in Finland.
There are many other examples like a secret Facebook page in 2017 that was rife with racist comments against asylum seekers, migrants and members of our culturally diverse community.
* 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. In the last parliamentary election, Blue Reform has wiped off the Finnish political map when they saw their numbers in parliament plummet from 18 MPs to none. 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.