Hate crimes* in Finland during 2017 rose by 7.97% to 1,165 cases compared with 1,079 the previous year, according to the Finnish Police University College.
One of the most worrying matters that the report revealed was the 58% rise in attacks due to religion. The lion’s share of hate crimes (69.8%/813 cases) were due to ethnic or national background while 20.2% (235) were motivated by the person’s religion.
According to the report, Muslims were the most common hate crime targets.
A person’s disability was the cause for 4.9% percent of the cases as well as in 4.9% of cases due to sexual orientation. Twelve hate crimes, or 1%, were based on the victim’s transgender identity or appearance.
“In relation to the number of foreign citizens resident in Finland, the citizens of Afghanistan experienced the highest frequency of crimes motived by ethnic or national origin in 2017,” said the report.
According to the European Islamophobic Report (EIR) 2017, hate crime and speech against Muslims was caused by the tragic events of a knife attack by a young Moroccan asylum seeker in the summer of 2017. “The incident also sparked tensions among the public which resulted in experiences of increased harassment and attacks against Muslim citizens,” reported EIR.
Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland stated that apart from the stabbing that took place last year in Turku, lack of leadership to speak out against hate crime and racism is one factor that it fuelling the problem.
A report published this week by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) showed that racist harassment of people of African descent was highest in Finland (63%). The hate crime report by the Police University College and the one by FRA are related and show a disturbing social ill in Finland that appears to be gaining ground.
Suspected hate crime cases rose by 8.07% last year o 1,165 compared with 1,079 cases. Source: Police University College
he highest amount of hate crimes were reported by Finnish citizens  (655 cases/65%) followed by Somalis (45/4%), Iraqis (82/8%), Afghans (42/4%), Russians (22/2%), and Estonians (17/2%).
The cities with the highest incidents of per-capita hate crime were: Parainen (10 cases/65 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), Lieksa (7/62), Helsinki (364/57), Jämsä (12/57), Turku (99/52), Kokkola (22/46), Hyvinkää (20/43), Kajaani (16/43), Vantaa (93/42) and Vaasa (28/42).
* The report defines hate crime as “a crime against a person, group, somebody’s property, institution, or a representative of these, motivated by prejudice or hostility towards the victim’s real or perceived ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, transgender identity or appearance, or disability.”
 Finland classifies the background of the person by nationality, mother tongue and place of birth. An undisclosed number of Finnish citizens in the report could be people who are not white Finns.