Sorry Seida Sohrabi, not all of us want to adapt to your myopic little world

by , under Enrique Tessieri


Bewilderment emerges whenever Seida Sohrabi, who identifies herself as an expert on Kurdish affairs and elementary school teacher, comments on her narrow views of how migrants should adapt in Finland.

Having read her opinion pieces, I feel sorry for her Muslim students at the school she teaches. I hope their parents denounce her if she prohibits their daughters to wear the hijab or give them water-downed teachings of their religion by white Finns who are prejudiced.

Read the full column (in Finnish) here.

Sohrabi is playing the “foreigner” and the media – and herself as well – loves it. Have you ever wondered how such eternal “foreigners” of our society speak perfect Finnish without any accent?

The reason for the latter is that they are Finns with non-white backgrounds but play the role of the “eternal foreigner” because it suits them, the media, and their peers.

They claim to represent other migrants but in fact, all they represent is their own unique group.

There are many others in the same league as her. Some of these are Morocco-born Junnes Lokka, Marco de Wit, who is of Dutch background, Miki Sileoni, whose father is Argentinean, and Gleb Simanov.

While Sohrabi and the people above come from different backgrounds, all of them hate one religious group: Muslims.

In the United States and according to the Urban Dictionary definition, an Uncle Tom “is a black man who will do anything to stay in good standing with the white man including betray his own people.”

In Migrant Tales, we have translated Uncle Tom to “Tuomo-setä,” “setä Tuomo” and “mamu-setä.”

Like in the United States, an Uncle Tom in Finland is a non-white Finn who will do anything to suck up to white Finnish culture even if it means sticking a knife in the back of his or her own people.

Sohraibi’s recent column in Ilta-Sanomat, a tabloid with a long history of racist journalism, attempts to tell us why intersectional feminism is malarkey.

In the simplest terms, intersectional feminism is a tool to gain a broader view of how gender discrimination works. When studying gender discrimination, intersectionality enables us to take other factors as opposed to just one into consideration, like ethnic background, sex, disability, and sexual orientation.

One of the most preposterous affirmations Sohrabi makes is that new terms like intersectional feminism are not needed because social equality, gender equality, and fairness have characterized Finnish culture.


How do you then explain high unemployment among some ethnic groups in Finland? Remember in October when they published a study by Akhlaq Ahmad about labor market discrimination in Finland? The study reinforced what we’ve known all along: ethnic discrimination is commonplace in Finland’s labor markets.

How come people of color or non-white Finns are underrepresented in almost in the media, politics, and policymakers? How come do people with foreign-sounding names earn smaller salaries and get less social security than white Finns?

How do we explain, Sohrabi, that Muslims and Middle Easterners continue to receive the brunt of hate crimes in this country? Why is anti-Muslim racism in vogue in Finland today, and why is the country’s biggest opposition party, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, outright Islamophobic? Why does your party, the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), flirt with the PS?

Were you, Sohraibi, immune from all of the above because you became a convenient mouthpiece for white Finland and for those who loathe Muslims, people of color, and cultural diversity?

In your OP-ED piece, you criticize people who want Muslim women to have the right to wear burkinis. You also criticize Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo because she may, like in the UK, Scotland, US state of Minnesota, and Canada, allow future police recruits to wear hijabs.

By making the above affirmations, you show us your ignorance of our constitution, our laws, our culture, and your understanding of social equality, which you claim to champion. What shows in your most recent column is your contempt for one of the most precious values of our Nordic state, which is respect for difference.

When we live in a culturally and ethnically diverse society we don’t have to be like you and neither do you have the right to impose your views on us.

Your simplistic and myopic worldview of how our diversity should work and be respected in our society is flawed.