Posts Tagged: Far-right parties

Twitter (Ville Tavio): Welcome back!

The far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is the most Trumpian party in Finland’s parliament. Its parliamentary group leader Ville Tavio, who has spoken highly in the past of similar far-right politicians like France’s Marine Le Pen of France, is happy that former President Donald Trump is back on Twitter. Twitter banned Trump after he incited an insurrection

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Migrant Tales Media Monitoring: Don’t cry Finland if you don’t like migrants

Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest-circulation daily, writes in an editorial about why the country needs labor migrants to secure economic growth and services offered by the welfare state. We are at a critical crossroads: It is the first time in history that more people die than there are newborns. While the editorial invites debate on Finland’s

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Migrant Tales Media Monitoring: An example of Yle zzz journalism

Journalism is a tough job that forces one to stay on its toes. On Thursday on A-Talk we heard the opinions of four MPs of the Left Alliance, Social Democrats, National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), and the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* if Finland was heading towards a debt crisis and spending cutbacks. There was nothing new from PS

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The PS and Riikka Purra pile it high and deep

Here is an example of a discriminatory and spiteful message by the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party head, Riikka Purra. With parliamentary elections in April, she and the PS are ratcheting up their xenophobic message. “A foreigner is entitled to social welfare when making 716 euros a month. Such a [benchmark] was given the green light

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Francis Fukuyama on Putin and Europe’s far right

In an interview with the Washington Post, political scientist Francis Fukuyama, who authored The End of History and the Last Man (1992), gives his views on the Ukraine War and what it may imply for Russia and Vladimir Putin. He argues that the rise of far-right parties in Europe and Donald Trump in the United States

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MT Media Monitoring: HS interview with Riikka Purra and the PS’ pet topic, migration

Helsingin Sanomat published (paywall) Sunday an interview with Riikka Purra, the chairperson of the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. Helsingin Sanomat‘s veteran reporter, Marko Junkkari, did the interview. In general, Junkkari did a good job in handling Purra’s comments with facts and in no place in the interview did the PS chairperson dominate the interview with

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Donald Trump called Vladimir Putin’s invasion “genius and savvy.” Why are the Perussuomalaiset hiding their faces in shame?

While the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* are scrambling to prop up their dismal poll numbers, they are also changing their tune on Vladimir Putin and Russia. One of the best ways to understand the PS’ admiration of Putin and the tragedy in Ukraine is through former President Donald Trump. We can cite Jussi Halla-aho’s praise of

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Russian aggression against Ukraine threatens Finland and exposes hypocrisy

It finally happened. Russia launched a full-scale invasion of a sovereign country like Ukraine. Apart from former President Donald Trump, who admires Vladimir Putin like many of the far-right Republicans, in Europe, we have racists and populists who are rooting for Russian aggression openly and silently. Caught with their hypocrisy and political pants down, populist

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The far-right PS 1984 logic: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

Riikka Purra, the chairperson of the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, defended Jussi Halla-aho’s blog writings that are full of racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and anti-democratic worldviews. In one of Halla-aho’s writings, he hopes foreigners rape MPs like Eva Biaudet and Tarja Filatov. The former PS chairperson’s blog writings were under scrutiny again after he was named

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Keep it up, Riikka Purra, don’t stop now. Kick out all the migrants and “let God sort ’em out.”

There are a lot of baffled faces at the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. “Did you see our regional election result?!” one asks while the other states: “A Yle poll saw us nosedive by 3.3 percentage points to 15%. and now Helsingin Sanomat reinforces the latter.” In our opinion, the PS is a far-right party that

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Convicted PS MP of ethnic agitation voted to chair parliament’s foreign affairs committee

THE STORY WAS UPDATED The new chairperson of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Jussi Halla-aho, did not get such a warm reception. In a highly unprecedented move by the committee members, 11 voted in a secret ballot in favor of Halla-aho while six abstained. Halla-aho took over the committee’s chair Mika Niikko, its former chairperson,

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The far-right Perussuomalaiset head south in the opinion polls

THE STORY WAS UPDATED There’s good news and bad news. Depending on your perspective, bad news can be good news and vice-versa. In the latest opinion poll published by Yle, the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party saw its support nosedive by three percentage points to 15%. While it would be simplistic only to blame the regional

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The sources of Finland’s far-right problem: downplaying and denial

“The main agents of ideological violence are not isolated ‘lone wolves’ but are usually interconnected with communities, non-violent agents and legal entities, at times even including connections to law enforcement personnel.” Mihai Varga Over two weeks have elapsed since the police announced the detention of five white-Finn terrorist suspects in the Western Finnish city of Kankaanpää.

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Downplaying and whitewashing the far-right threat in Finland

It is disappointing to note that it took Finland’s largest daily, Helsingin Sanomat, five days to write an editorial on the threat posed by the far-right after the detention of five white Finns on Friday. Considering the media attention and general outrage in general that Abderrahman Mechkah knife attack caused in Turku in 2017, a

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The PS was, is, and will be a party with close ties to neo-Nazi and fascist groups

From the days when Timo Soini headed the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party to the present, there’s one denial coming from the party that is an outright lie: The PS is not a far-right party with links to neo-Nazi, fascist and far-right groups.  I could list several examples, but let’s look at Kansallismielisten liittouma, a perfect example of the

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A trail of xenophobic and far-right violence in Finland and yet no suspects

The detention of five far-right terrorist suspects in the western Finnish city of Kankaanpää Friday raises many questions. One of these is the collaboration of this group and others in the burning down of an asylum reception center in December 2015. The asylum reception center in Kankaanpää wasn’t the only one that suffered arson attacks.

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A Finnish Islamophobic party’s recipe for inclusion and ethnic understanding

Since the 2011 parliamentary elections, which saw the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party win 39 starts from 5 seats previously, it has systematically tarred and feathered migrants, especially Muslims, people of color, and specific minorities. Should you be surprised that all PS MPs elected in 2019 based their campaign on an anti-immigration message. The PS demands

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The cracks are beginning to show

Islamophobia and other forms of racism are for some politicians their gateway to power and infamy. Watching part of the firey debate Wednesday in parliament that led to a vote of confidence for the government, one wonders what some politicians, especially with the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, have in their heads.  The saddest matter was the

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How Finland’s biggest daily Helsingin Sanomat loses its teeth and watchdog role

For the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, Helsingin Sanomat gives the country’s largest opposition party the kid-glove treatment. Are fear, agreement, or hopeful naivety the driving forces behind Helsingin Sanomat’s recent articles about the PS? Over the weekend, the daily published in its Kuukausiliite a big story about PS MEP Laura Huhtasaari, who is trying to make a

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The Perussuomalaiset are dismantling our Nordic welfare state for iliberal democracy (Part II)

Kristian Sheikki Laakso, or Sheikki Laakso, is a Finnish MP for the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party who is, as with his 38 PS MP colleagues, is filibustering the EU rescue package. One of the most “interesting” speeches before parliament was by Laakso, who read excerpts of Little Red Riding Hood. Laakso begins his speech: “Once

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Covid-19 is the oxygen that the PS breathes to grow in Finland

How much is the Covid-19 pandemic impacting in a positive manner the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party? This is not a trivial question considering that the party, which has built its voter base and message on racism, leads in the polls. What future does the PS have when the Covid-19 pandemic subsides? Will it be a

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Exposing white Finnish privilege #78: the spread and acceptance of white nationalism

THE STORY WAS UPDATED Events after the storming of the Capitol building in Washington on January 6 exposed white nationalist terrorism as the biggest threat facing the United States. Since the events that took place at the Capitol did not happen spontaneously, are we going to see something similar in Finland’s ever-hostile far-right groups like

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Former PS MP Ano Turtiainen gets sacked from the party

It took a while, but, in the end, it came: MP Ano Turtiainen got sacked Friday from the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party after being expelled in June from the PS parliamentary group. The interesting question that the PS board’s decision offers is what it means for the party and Turtiainen’s political future. An incident between PS

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Our incapacity to feel for others, our indifference to their suffering is what is causing our moral downfall in the EU

Some studies claim that vote share for Eurosceptic parties has more than doubled in two decades, according to the Guardian. This problem has many answers. One of these is that Europeans have not done enough to root out all forms of racism. Our colonial legacy still hangs as an onerous shadow that encourages us to

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Halla-aho’s anti-immigration soundbites and why we should not relax hate speech laws

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson Jussi Halla-aho gave us on Yle Ykkösaamu his usual anti-immigration blah blah and why Finland should relax its hate speech laws. In the interview, Halla-aho, who was convicted of ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion in 2012, defended the Nazi-spirited Suomen Sisu association and played down PS MP Juha Mäenpää’s

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Yle opinion poll: PS support surges, about 20% of Finns suffer from social ills like racism

Migrant Tales does not usually publish opinion polls. However, the latest one published by Yle warrants a quick response. White Finnish newspapers headlined the news as, “Support for the Perussuomalaiset* party surpasses 20%.” I and many of my friends see it differently: “Support for the PS shows that Finland has a serious untreated racism problem.

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Perussuomalaiset a racist party? You bet!

A racist is an individual, always an individual, who does not like people based on race – must be conscious – and who intentionally seems to be mean to them. Robin DiAngelo, sociologist THIS STORY WAS UPDATED Using DiAngelo’s definition, the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* their politicians, their voters, and followers are racists because through such a party

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: When the PS reaches the end of the political line

“No party is immortal and there are clear signs of the Perussuomalaiset* party’s vulnerability. Their success hinges on how much they can scapegoat migrants and play down global warming. The fact that migrants are not a threat to Finland and that global warming is a very serious threat ensure an eventual fall from political grace

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Timo Soini’s fall from grace and the legacy of planting the political seeds of bigotry and racism in Finland

One lesson we could learn from former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairman Timo Soini is that the right balance between flattery and speaking in code will get you everywhere, well, almost everywhere. You can win big elections like in 2011 and ride, albeit momentarily, the crest of the popularity wave until you hit the wall in disgrace with your fingers badly burned. 

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How the Finnish government, institutions and President Sauli Niinistö pander to anti-immigration sentiment and groups

Just the way Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government can give a tacit pat on the back to far-right groups like Suomi Ensin (Finland First), the police give the green light to extremist vigilante groups, or President Sauli Niinistö give the thumbs up to the Finnish version of the Okie from Muskogee, all of them if they wanted could land a big blow to such racist groups by stating that they are unacceptable and out of touch with our Nordic values.

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Migrants are “scum” and should be erased from the map say Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and other far-right politicians

Some are asking with manifest unease if this will be the year of the far-right populists like Dutch Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen of France and Frauke Petry of the German Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). The first test will be in Holland on March 15 followed by another nail-biter in France on April 23 and May 7.

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YLE poll: PS sees its support nosedive to 10.7%

The latest poll published by YLE shows that support for the populist anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party has plummeted, diving in one month by 4.3 percentage points to 10.7% and since the April parliamentary elections by as much as 7 percentage points.

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UPDATE (August 30): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link. August 30 Suomen Sisun jäsenmäärä räjähti – päivittää monitulkintaisena pidetyn periaateohjelmansa – (MTV3) What’s wrong with this story? Let’s begin with the headline, which claims that

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A letter from a Finn to a Swede

Dear friend, you probably read about the elections in Denmark and how xenophobia raised its head yet again in another Nordic country. The elections in Denmark didn’t surprise me. Two months earlier we had elections in Finland. Here too the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* became the second-biggest party in parliament and are now in government.

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Facebook: Does “Finnish labor” include migrants, naturalized Finns and minorities?

One of the members of the new government, the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, said that jobs will be created for Finnish labor. In the present anti-immigration environment in Finland, such statements have a hostile ring to migrants, naturalized Finns and minorities since they don’t promote inclusion and fair hiring practices.

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Facebook: Dear Little Girl at sea…

The picture below and the comment that follows on Facebook is dedicated to the all those anti-immigration parties and politicians throughout Europe. Since I live in Finland, I’ll dedicate this tragic picture of the girl to our most anti-immigration and anti-EU party in the country: the Perussuomalaiset (PS).*

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Facebook: Racism and the horse’s ass

Christian Thibault, an anti-racism activist, asks a good question: Will those that have a racist political agenda look like a horse’s ass in the future? Excellent question.    This Facebook posting was reprinted by Migrant Tales with permission.  

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Michael McEachrane: Seeing Sweden’s race problem for what it is

Michael McEachrane* Two things seem abundantly clear regarding the rise of ultranationalism in Europe today. First, it is symptomatic of a broader form of nationalism which all European states are steeped in. Second, it is this broader nationalism that ultimately needs to be confronted if equality is ever to become a reality in Europe. Read

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Sweden Democrats openly attack cultural diversity – will the PS of Finland follow their example?

In a clear attempt to cash in on the anti-immigration sentiment, Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder said that minorities like the Saami could never be Swedes and was willing to pay immigrants to leave the country, reports The Local. The mere suggestion that Sweden is only a country of white Swedes reveals the racist

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An effective way of putting racism in context in Finland

There are many ways to understand ethnic hatred and racism in Finland. One of these is by substituting the word ‘migrant’ for your ethnic group and/or ‘woman’ in a text that’s aimed at fueling ‘us’ and ‘them.’ Let’s take the recent claims of two politicians, MPs Tom Packalén and Pia Kauma, to see how passions are

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PS MP of Finland ready to patrol streets and take law into his own hands

Remember what people said when the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* won their historic election victory in 2011? ”Nothing is going to happen you’ll see…they’ll soon implode like the Rural Party did in the 1970s…” some said playing down the whole matter. After almost four years, the PS continues to polarize society by instilling fear and fueling racism

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Close your eyes and repeat: The PS of Finland isn’t a racist and fascist party…

Harri Tauriainen, a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* councilman of the northern city of Kemi, is a good example of how racism and fascism have found fertile ground in the PS. Taurianen was elected by the region of Lappi as a PS candidate for the April 2015 parliamentary elections, according to Rovaniemi-based daily Lapin Kansa.  Tauriainen, a councilman of Kemi, got

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Marine Le Pen fails to form the far-right European Alliance for Freedom

There was great news today when we read that far-right Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders failed to form a European Parliamentary group called the European Alliance for Freedom (EAF)., reports the euobserver. After the gains that the far-right made in the Euro elections of May, Migrant Tales welcomes Le Pen’s and Wilders’ failure to form

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The political record and chicanery of the PS of Finland is what has estranged so many voters from politics

While some are still scratching their heads about the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* joining the European parliament’s European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group this week, it shows why so many voters have become estranged from politics.  Read full story here.    Before the historic 2011 parliamentary elections for the PS, when 39 of its MPs got elected

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The PS of Finland is named again on a list with other far-right and neo-Nazi European parties

On Monday the Huffington Post listed the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* as one of the nine scariest parties to be elected to the European parliament in the “good” company of xenophobic and neo-Nazi parties like the National Front of France and Golden Dawn of Greece, respectively.  On Tuesday, PolicyMic listed the PS as “one of the reasons we should

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Disingenuous Finnish PS MEP-elect Jussi Halla-aho fears image would suffer with parties like far-right National Front

In an interview on YLE, Perussuomalaiset (PS) newly elected MEP Jussi Halla-aho said that it was doubtful that the anti-immigration party would form part of a parliamentary group with far-right parties like the National Front of France “because the party’s image would suffer.” What a disingenuous statement by a politician who has based his career

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Why do we consider Timo Soini to be “a good cop” if he brought all these “bad cops” to power?

Doesn’t Perussuomalaiset (PS) leader Timo Soini bear responsibility for giving people like Jussi Halla-aho, James Hirvisaari, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Olli Immonen and a very long list of others a platform to spread their hatred and intolerance?  Why does the media let Soini get off the hook so easily? Is Soini the culprit for anti-immigration sentiment and

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Anti-immigration populist parties are a menace to democracy, ethnic and cultural diversity

Migrant Tales has never hid its criticism of parties that base their message on populism, scapegoating minorities and nationalism. If such political parties ever got power, it’s doubtful that they’d know what to do with it except polarize our society more than before.  Anti-immigration and nationalistic parties are masters at scapegoating because they are incompetent at doing

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Institute of Race Relations: How the Swedish media bought into the myth-making of the far Right

Maria Tjader The leader of the far-Right Sweden Democrats wants to portray himself as the victim of anti-white racism. Read full story here. A televised interview on 23 February with Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the far-Right Sweden Democrats (SD), has generated much controversy over the alleged claims made by Åkesson with regards to his

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We can do it and send Halla-aho and the PS to where they came from

I still remember April 2011, when the anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam Perussuomalaiset (PS) party opened a gloomy chapter in Finland’s history by getting 39 MPs elected to parliament. The election was impressive to say the least considering that only 5 PS MPs got elected in 2007. Source: www.youthventure.org While some were surprised by the election

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Alleged white Finn attacks Helsinki church dressed as a Muslim

What would you say if a white Finn dressed like a Muslim attacked a Lutheran church in Helsinki by breaking its windows, yelling and obstructing window repairmen from repairing the damage he caused? What would you say if this happened on Tuesday night, when YLE aired A2 Islam debate on television? Would you say it was

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The Perussuomalaiset plan to sack MP Hirvisaari from the party

Inviting Seppo Lehto to parliament, where a picture of him making a Nazi salute, was the last straw for Perussuomalaiset(PS) chairman Timo Soini, who was quoted as saying on MTV3 that PS MP James Hirvisaari will be sacked from the party.  Read full story here. The decision to expel Hirvisaari was made by the five-member

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Are Finns conservatives by nature?

Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman Timo Soini was interviewed on YLE Saturday morning. Commenting on a recent opinion poll commissioned by YLE, Soini claimed that the good showing of the PS and Center Party proved that Finns are by nature conservatives.  The YLE poll, which was published Friday, showed big gains by the opposition Center Party (23.8%)

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When will the PS sack MP James Hirvisaari?

Recent tweets and Facebook comments by Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP James Hirvisaari reveal how racism, fascism and right-wing populism have spread like a cancer in Finnish society. Hirvisaari now praises  Seppo Lehto and claims the ultimate far right narcissist, like him, is a nice person.  Would you praise a man who gives Nazi salutes, likes swastikas, insults immigrants and

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Confessions of a recovering racist

Society has achieved at least one significant victory in the fight against racism – it has succeeded in making open racism a dirty concept. The power of stigma that worked so effectively to reinforce racism has been harnessed to turn the tide against open discrimination – at least in polite society. Today, in most public

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Former SMP leader links Immonen’s writing to Nazis

The former chairman (1979-89) of the Rural Party (SMP), Pekka Vennamo, linked Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Olli Immonen’s recent column to Nazis, according to tabloid Iltalehti. The far right PS MP wrote in his most recent blog entry about how nationalism should play a central role in Finnish politics. Vennamo, who is the son of Veikko

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The biggest threat to Europe are those who claim to be afraid on our behalf

I’m neither afraid of cultural diversity nor terrorism. Being against different cultures in a globalized world is like being against sex. Cultural diversity, interculturalism and sex are part of the human condition. You cannot make them illegal in any way, shape or form.    If we’d embrace far right and mainstream anti-immigration ideologies so common in today’s

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Blood strawberries from Nea Manolada, Greece

As Europe’s far right raises its head, the more violent things become. Some 30 migrant workers were injured in a shooting on a strawberry farm in Nea Manolada, Greece, after requesting salaries that had not been paid. Thanks to @ritorikaxalikia for the heads-up and the poster below.  Writes the BBC:  “The Council of Europe – the main

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Whiteness and white privilege speak European languages

As we hold our collective breaths and await to know the identity of the bombings in Boston Monday, too many don’t see a suspect but a whole ethnicity or religious group. Tim Wise put it very well in an opinion piece where he makes some distributing revelations about the power of whiteness. If we understand

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Finland’s response to extremism should be more openess and democracy

An editorial on Thursday’s Helsingin Sanomat comments about Anjem Choudary’s visit to Finland last week. It points out correctly that hate speech should be condemned irrespective who makes it. Living in a culturally diverse society requires more mutual acceptance, not less acceptance and respect. Some of the controversial statements made by the cleric was that

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Timo Soini and Olli Immonen, the foxes in the chicken coop

Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman Timo Soini was asked Tuesday by YLE what he thought about PS MP Olli Immonen being elected as the new chairman of Suomen Sisu, an extremist anti-immigration association. Soini offered his usual cock-and-bull answer by comparing Suomen Sisu to a harmless hunting, farming or youth association. It appears that YLE has learned a

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Far right and anti-immigration quotes in English by the PS

There’s a new site that publishes quotes by your favorite Perussuomalaiset (PS) politician in English. Those PS politicians are none other than Jussi Halla-aho, James Hirvisaari and Juho Eerola.   You can visit the site at truefinns.tumblr.com The editors state the following: “Quotes by some leading politicians of the True Finns party. Note that we do

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PS MP Hirvisaari now says he was “pressured” to resign from Suomen Sisu

Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP James Hirvisaari, who was convicted for ethnic agitation in December, announced Saturday on Twitter that he was “pressured” to resign from the extremist Suomen Sisu association. He announced on Friday that he was resigning from Suomen Sisu because he was too old to belong to “a youth organization.” Hirvisaari tweets, “The truth:

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How far has the PS beachhead spread in twenty-two months?

Migrant Tales wrote the following day after the historic April 17, 2011 election had sent shock waves throughout Finland and Europe: “Far-right populism is an illness inflicting Europe at present and it now has a beachhead in Finland.”  Back then, our blog got got cited by Time Magazine. The above quote was a response to

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Jyväskylä may turn into another blow to Finland’s Counterjihadist -anti-immigration hardliners

If the Counterjihadist-anti-immigration tide turned in Finland and the Nordic region after 22/7, when Anders Breivik went on the rampage killing 77 innocent people, the attack in Jyväskylä on Wednesday by suspected far-right thugs could be a serious blow to anti-immigration and far right groups in Finland.  Whenever hatred metamorphoses into violence, like in the case

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Post-Jyväskylä: Where do we go from here?

Considering how the media treated before the April 2011 election racism and far right ideology and how social media sites were teeming with racist online lynch mobs, we are today waking up from the hangover of our state of social inebriation. The aftereffect will not go away in a day, week, or month but will

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PS’ second vice president doesn’t condemn but “gives advice”to Jyväskylä’s neo-Nazi attackers

Perussuomalaiset (PS) second vice president, MP Juho Eerola, did not condemn the attacks in Jyväskylä by suspected neo-Nazi thugs but advised them how to do it more effectively, reports National Coalition Party’s online Verkkouutiset. Writes Eerola:  “The next time don’t look like “patriots” when you plan to enter such an event.  Don’t go as a group

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Interior minister: Far right isn’t “a big threat” despite what happened in Jyväskylä

Christian Democrat Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen condemned the attack by three suspected neo-Nazi thugs in Jyväskylä as an assault against freedom of speech and the right to assembly, reports YLE. She didn’t consider, however, the far right to be a threat to Finland but said that the authorities aim to do more work to address social

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Timo Soini and his pact with the devil

The cracks in the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party are widening as the latest Kai Haavisto-James Hirvisaari scandal proves. The PS has reached a dead end with its present band of politicians. With the complicity of the near-silence of other parties, no other political group in modern Finnish times has created so much resentment and hatred towards

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Migrant Tales in Greek

Blog entries that are published on Migrant Tales get sometimes mentioned in some major publications like Time, Sveriges Radio, YLE’s Suora linja and others. One of the most recent reposts was by UNHCR in Greece, located in one of Europe’s hotbeds of xenophobia.   The work we do on this blog got mentioned  (in Finnish) on Re Vera

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Journalists should question instead of spread racism and prejudice

Journalists are one group that have helped to spread and reinforce our prejudices and racism of other groups. There’s nothing surprising about this considering that journalists, like the media that employs them, mirror in part what the public feels.  Ilta-Sanomat is one tabloid resonsible for spreading racism in Finland during the 1990s. This billboard tells

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Slandering immigrants and visible minorities is disgraceful

A politician of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party has come under fire today for claiming on Facebook that all refugees and asylum seekers are social bums and rapists, reports YLE. Migrant Tales published on Sunday a blog entry citing a ministry of justice researcher, who claimed that certain anti-immigration groups in Finland distort crime statistics in

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Promoting tolerance now and tomorrow

In Migrant Tales’ Finland & Cultural Diversity 2012 review, it’s clear that a lot more work needs to be done to promote tolerance. Thanks to Umayya Abu-Hanna’s column on Sunday’s Helsingin Sanomat,* our collective complacency was once again shamefully revealed. Racism, or the lack of acceptance of other ethnic groups as equals in our society,

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Finland & Cultural Diversity 2012*

If 2011 was a watershed year for Finland with the historic rise of  a hostile party against immigrants and visible minorities in last year’s parliamentary elections, 2012 will be seen as a bittersweet turning point for the Perussuomalaiset (PS).  The year will be remembered as a very violent one for immigrants as well. During “Black

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The same face of intolerance lives amongst us today

When I was growing up in the 1970s, one of the matters that followed me around was the constant news of the mass murder and cemetery silence imposed by ruthless Latin American dictatorships. If you lived in one of those countries where human rights violations were the rule, you were confronted by two options: take

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The PS’ anti-immigration message suffers a hard blow

Despite the fact that the debate in Finland on immigrants and immigration has taken a turn for the worse in some respects, it’s not as bad as it used to be before the April 2011 parliamentary elections and when Anders Breivik went on his murderous rampage on July 22, 2011. While anti-immigration politicians still want

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Turun Sanomat: Finland Democrats eye PS’ anti-immigration vote

The Finland Democrats, which bases its political agenda on the far-right Sweden Democrats, aims to become a new party and compete for the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party’s anti-immigration vote, reports Turun Sanomat. The creation of a new anti-immigration party reveals the ever-negative debate in Finland surrounding immigrants and immigration.   The PS is the only party that

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The SD (and PS) are far-right anti-immigration parties

There’s an interesting opinion piece on Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter about the Swedish Democrats (SD) and the spread of fascism or neofascism in the Scandinavian country.  While classifying a party as “fascist” may be problematic, there are certain ideological characteristics that expose its true political colors.  Historian and journalist Henrik Arnstad writes: “Fascism is a deeply

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Paavo Lipponen does not see far right threatening Finland

There are few politicians in Finland who speak out against the far-right threat in Finland. One of these is former Social Democrat Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen, who expressed concern about the issue in a seminar in Helsinki on deportation of Jews to Germany in World War 2, reports Iltalehti.  Lipponen expressed surprise that some parties use

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More Mamukriit-Looks candidates of Finland

How long could the ever-growing list of anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) candidates be on Mamukriit-Looks? Too long for a good country like Finland to be overrun by candidates who spread prejudice and hatred. Below are some new Mamukriit-Looks candidates.  Jan Igor Hirvimäki of Salo suggests that social welfare to blacks (he uses the n-work on his

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The majority of Mamukriit-Looks candidates got elected to office in Finland

Migrant Tales published earlier this month Mamukriit-Looks: The who’s who of anti-immigration Finland, which was a continuation of Per-Looks, a blog entry than caused outrage among some Perussuomalaiset (PS) candidates running for city council. Even if both blog entries were published with a dose of satire, the election of many PS anti-immigration candidates to city council

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PS anti-immigration candidates did well in the Finnish municipal elections

What do Sunday’s municipal elections tell us about where Finland is heading politically? Even if the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) party won 12.3% of the votes, which was a disappointment for Timo Soini, it reinforces Finland’s anti-EU and anti-immigration stance. The biggest winner of the election was the Center Party (18.7%), which had lost a lot

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Immigrants that look down on other immigrants

The eagle never lost so much time, as when he submitted to learn of the crow. William Blake Some immigrants who have lived in Finland for many decades have adapted so well to this country that even their prejudices and stereotypes are just like those of the locals. Some, like Alain Chiaroni or Freddy Van Wonterghem, however, go beyond the call

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The lack of cultural diversity is impoverishing Finland

Jussi Jalonen, a Tampere University history researcher, asked recently why a populist party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) continues to grow in popularity despite the numerous scandals that have riddled the group. There is an answer: Finland’s lack of cultural diversity. How is it possible that a party like the PS can win 39 seats in

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New World Finn: Open the doors

Twenty-five years ago, when I worked briefly for the Buenos Aires Herald as a young reporter, I wrote a column about how Argentina’s past could come to haunt it in the future. The last military regime (1976-83) that ruled the country was one of the most ruthless that Latin America had seen during the last

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An interesting blog that follows far-right candidates in Finland’s municipal elections

I bumped into a blog called Kunnollisvaalit 2012 (in Finnish), which aims to expose far-right candidates running for office in the Finnish municipal elections of October 28.  The blog cites 11 Perussuomalaiset, 2 Center Party and one Muutos 2011 candidates as “far right.” The blog aims to expose what these candidates are posting on the Internet. Kunnollisvaalit 2012

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PS Counterjihadists: Live and die politically by the sword

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party is at a crucial juncture concerning its strange-bedfellow relationship with Counterjihadist and populist radical right members. What kind of links do some members of the PS have with far-right groups like the Finnish Defense League (FDL)? The FDL is nothing more than a mouthpiece of the English Defense League, a violent

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When will parties like the PS start banning Islam in Finland?

Pär Norling, a leader of  the populist radical right Sweden Democrats of Bolnäs, located about 250km north of Stockholm,  demanded the following on Sveriges Teleivision (SVT): ”Ban Islam in Sweden and deport those who persist in believing in the religion.” When will we start to hear similar demands from politicians in Finland? One matter that

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Finland’s demographic landscape is changing (again)

Finland is presently in the midst of one of its biggest demographic changes in its history due to the rapid growth of its immigrant community. Our ever-growing cultural diversity as a nation has brought out the best in many of us but has encouraged some of us to throw in the towel on sanity.  Is

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(Migrant Tales, August 19, 2012): Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming, the super immigrant

Migrant Tales insight: Even if the op-ed was published about 10 years ago, too many politicians and officials continue to falsely believe that “super immigrants” will save the country from its low birth rates, aging population, and ever-present racism.  See also: The world’s happiest country faces a labor and talent crunch THIS OP-ED PIECE WAS

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Somali-Finn Abdulah: Living in no-man’s land (Part 2)

When Abdulah*, 30, talks to you about his twenty-two years in Finland, one of the first questions that arises is how has so much suffering escaped our attention. For Abdulah, acceptance isn’t only virtually impossible from white Finns, but can be  just as hard to get from the Somali community.   “I have decided to

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Somali-Finn Abdulah: Living in no-man’s land (Part I)

Even if I have never met Abdulah* in person but only by phone and through his comments on Migrant Tales, it’s as if we’ve known each other for a long time. Abdulah moved to Finland from Somalia in 1990 with his parents and six sisters. He was eight at the time.  When Abdulah came to

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A question begs an answer: Who are the Perussuomalaiset?

The million-dollar question after the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party’s historic election victory was what kind of party had entered the Finnish political stage. After over a year in parliament and numerous scandals that have rocked the PS, a question still begs an answer: Who are they? If you seek an answer directly from the party, the response

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Business Insider: Timo Soini’s “threat” to the world economy

Not only must have Perussuomalaiset (PS) party chairman Timo Soini been swept off his feet with delight for being named by Business Insider  as the seventh-most dangerous person to the global economy, but Finland as well for such a dubious recognition. Who ever heard of Business Insider anyway? For starters, somebody could inform the online publication that the official

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Far-right violence spreads across Europe – what about Finland?

As the euro financial crisis deepens so does the rise of far-right violence across Europe, according to a report by the Institute of Race Relations. Finland stands out as one of the 100 cases documented by the report. It states that academics studying immigration in this country are forced to withdraw from public discussion rather

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Pirkko Mattila is the clear line that now separates Timo Soini and Suomen Sisu

The decision by the Perussuomalaiset (PS) parliamentary group to choose Pirkko Mattila to be the new chairwoman of the administration committee of parliament is welcome news. Considering that her challengers, Juho Eerola and Ismo Soukola, lost by wide margins bolsters PS chairman Timo Soini’s influence in the party. It shows as well that an ever-growing

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Finnish Supreme Court upholds hate speech conviction against Hirvisaari

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not grant Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP James Hirvisaari permission to appeal a conviction for hate speech handed down in December by the Kouvola Court of Appeal, reports Helsingin Sanomat.  Last week, the PS suffered another blow when its MP Jussi Halla-aho was forced to resign as chairman of the administration

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The wrong Finnish identity for all the wrong reasons

In many respects, Finland is a fortunate country when it comes to a social construct like national identity. We are still a young nation actively searching for our roots. We have learned many things about ourselves as a society thanks to the rise of an anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS). One of the matters

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Halla-aho wants Juho Eerola to be his successor

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party never ceases to surprise us. Former administration committee chairman MP Jussi Halla-aho said he wants Juho Eerola to be his successor. The MP, who is second vice president of the PS, is Halla-aho’s close ideological ally and a member of the far-right Suomen Sisu association. Appointing Eerola as the new chairman

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Finnish politicians should smell the coffee of far-right extremism

After over a year of following countless scandals, fines for hate speech, racism and exposures of their far-right ideology, a question begs an answer of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party: Who is Timo Soini?  If we asked Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, a social democrat, his answer would be moral weakness and opportunism. Tuomioja writes a day after

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Abagond: What this blog has taught me about white people

Comment: Abagond is a very successful blog that debates issues like racism in the United States. We at Migrant Tales like to ask serious question about such a social ill as well. What about if we asked that same question as Abagond did in the headline?  For me personally, Migrant Tales has taught me that

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Finland’s mini Breivik: gunman kills two and wounds seven

What motivates a young man to take the law in his own hands and kill indiscriminately defenseless people? While we still don’t know the motives behind the killings in Hyvinkää, the suspect’s “likes” on Facebook may offer us some clues.  Writes YLE in English: ”Police in the town of Hyvinkää, some 50km north of Helsinki, say

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PS MP Olli Immonen plans to boycott YLE “for a short while”

By Enrique Tessieri Far-right anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP, Olli Immonen, said Monday he will boycott YLE “for a short while” since the state-owned radio and television company reports unfairly about the PS.  According to him, there is a systematic propaganda campaign against the PS by YLE I doubt that many will lose sleep over Immonen’s

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Will the PS succeed at its vicious campaign against immigrants and visible minorities?

Will Matias Turkkila, the new Perussuomalaiset (PS) editor-in-chief that aims to jump start the party’s website into a Hommaforum phenonmenon, succeed? In order to answer that question we’d have to rephrase the question in to the following way: Will Turkkila and the PS succeed at luring Finland’s biggest nationalist and multiculturally challenged crowd to the party’s cause whatever that may be?

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Anti-immigration Hommaforum editor to head PS’ party newspaper

What kind of message does the Perussuomalaiset (PS) give when it names Matias Turkkila as the new editor-in-chief of the party’s newspaper and web page? It reinforces what Migrant Tales has been saying all along: the PS will step up their nationalistic and anti-immigration campaign up to the do-or-die municipal election in October.

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Anti-immigration groups in Finland care less about immigrants and visible minorities

Behind all the rhetoric spread by anti-immigration groups in Finland and elsewhere a fact emerges:they are out to destroy the lives of as many immigrants as possible with their prejudice and racism. When a justice ministry official hands over rape statistics of different immigrant groups he gives a power weapon to slander and victimize people from different countries.

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Migrant Tales to celebrate its fifth anniversary in May

Migrant Tales will celebrate its fifth year in existence on May 30. By then we’ll have passed the 1,000 posts mark and have received and responded to well over 30,000 comments, the lion’s share of which we have got in the past two years. Migrant Tales is a community of writers: JusticeDemon, Mark, Peter, eyeopener, Jonas, D4R, Sasu, BlandaUpp, Foreigner and many, many others.

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Migrant Tales May 16, 2011: Xenophobia and racism are the poverty of Finland today

Some claim that ever-growing poverty and social inequality in Finland were the reasons why the Perussuomalaiset (PS) scored such a big election victory in April. We read in the media about ever-growing bread lines and how it has become more difficult for some people to make ends meet. Even so, it justify growing xenophobia and racism in our society?

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Why is the Perussuomalaiset party riling mad at the Finnish media?

You know that there is something terribly wrong whenever a group never mind a major political party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) start blaming the media for their problems. This is exactly what Matti Putkonen and MP Jussi Halla-aho did Wednesday on YLE, blaming that the media treats the PS unfairly when compared with other parties.

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The PS and the municipal election: Vicious campaign against immigrants and minorities

There are already clear signs that the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party has kicked off its vicious campaign and instigated social-media lynch mobs against immigrants and minorities as the October 28 municipal election nears. The Eronen-Hirvisaari scandal as well as publishing the names of two minors found guilty of rape are some recent examples of who the PS hopes to boost its depressing poll results.

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More Finns oppose anti-immigration groups and racism than before

Matters have changed for the better with respect to the ongoing debate on immigrants, immigration to Finland and our ever-growing cultural diversity, reports Turun Sanomat, quoting researcher Suvi Keskinen of Turku University. She warns, however, that making strong distinctions between “us Finns” and “them immigrants” can have dire consequences for the person and society.

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PS MP Hakkarainen instigates social-media lynch mob from Singapore

Scandal-ridden Perussuomalaliset (PS) party MP, Teuvo Hakkarainen, has stuck his foot in his mouth again. This time he has taken the law in his hands and instigated a social-media lynch mob against two minors found guilty of rape, according to Keskisuomalainen. The Jyväskylä-based daily reports that Hakkarainen published on his Facebook page link to court documents that give the accused names, social security numbers, addresses and even their parents’ names.

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The Eronen-Hirvisaari scandal reveals their contempt for press freedom, immigrants and minorities

Helena Eronen , the Perussuomalaiset (PS) parliamentary aide who suggested in a satirically intended blog entry that foreigners and minorities should start wearing armbands, appeared on two talk shows Friday. One of the most disturbing matters that is reinforced in both interviews is Eronen’s Hirvisaari-spirited view of immigrants and contempt for press freedom.

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PS MP Hirvisaari gets suspended for five months for not sacking Eronen

The Helena Eronen scandal, the parliamentary aide that infamously suggested in Finland that foreigners should start wearing armbands to help police in profiling ethnic groups, took a new turn Tuesday when the Perussuomalaiset (PS) parliamentary group decided to suspend MP James Hirvisaari until September 15 for not sacking his aide. The whole affair, which is far from over and could escalate into something bigger, has revealed the internal party struggles within the PS.

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Halla-aho says ghettoization spreading in Finland’s major cities

Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Jussi Halla-aho said on a popular talk show that he stands by everything he said and doesn’t regret anything. He does, however, admit that sometimes the timing of what he said was wrong. He then tells us that ghettoization is taking place ” full steam ahead” in Finland’s biggest cities.

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The Eronen “armband” scandal reveals healthy accountability by the media

The Helena Eronen scandal exposes an important watershed in Finland. It is a similar turning point we saw on July 22 with the mass killings in Norway and in February when Tommi Rautio suggested decoarating a white Finn for killing a Muslim in February in Oulu. The latest scandal reveals that those who bashed and spread racism and Nazi-spirited writings freely are now held accountable for what they write.

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Eronen asked for trouble when she wrote her column about armbands

Finland has been inflicted for a number of years by people who think they can say and write anything they please about immigrants and visible minorities in Finland. It’s only natural that when you let out racism and prejudice to roam freely in society unchecked, things will eventually snap as we saw in Norway in July. What did Helena Eronen, Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP James Hirvisaari’s aide, do wrong?

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Let’s stop fooling ourselves about the Romany minority in Finland and Europe

I’ve been following with disappointment the stories published in the Finnish media about the East European Romany minority beggars coming to Finland. If politicians don’t get it, it’s pretty clear that a part of the media never mind the public won’t either. Social ills like xenophobia, prejudice and racism are not “fixed” in a few days, months or years but take generations for the wounds to heal.

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Ilta-Sanomat poll shows Greens leading PS in municipal election

A poll commissioned by Ilta-Sanomat gave the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party a big surprise. If the October municipal election took place today, the Greens would get 11% of the votes compared with 10% by the PS. The previous setback that the PS got from the Greens was in the presidential election, when an openly gay candidate beat two conservative anti-EU hopefuls, Timo Soini of the PS and Paavo Väyrynen of the Center Party.

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Don’t give racism a platform!

I’m fed up. I’m fed up of certain commentators visiting us here on Migrant Tales to spread lies and personal insults and to disrespect other cultures. Those that ONLY have terrible things to say about specific peoples (as opposed to cultural criticism) really are practicing extremism. How could it be otherwise? When we condemn totalitarianism,

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Ilta-Sanomat tabloid ad (lööppi) from November 16, 1995

Migrant Tales publishes on and off Finnish tabloid ads* (lööppi in Finnish) from the 1990s. Taking into account that Finland’s immigrant population started to grow during that decade, it is easy at least through some of the main stories of tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti to see how some of them reflected our xenophobic, prejudiced, racist or anti-Russian views.

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Kotka PS councilman gets slapped with 420-euro fine for inciting ethnic hatred

Perussuomalaiset (PS) councilman for Kotka, Freddy Van Wonterghem got slapped with a 420-euro fine for inciting ethnic hatred against a group, according to Kymen Sanomat. While the fine is small compared with PS MP James Hirvisaari’s 1,424 euros in December, it is symbolic and reveals, albeit modestly, that Finland has the teeth to stand up against hate speech.

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Trolls come in many sizes and shapes in Finland

I read an interesting blog entry on Iowa State Daily that gave a very good suggestion to the vicious racist stuff you find in the blogsphere: “Require identification for comments and monitor, monitor, monitor the trolls,” said Michael Bugeja, director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. “The blogosphere is full of trolls, and some write the most vicious things. Keep them out of mainstream media, and ignore them whenever you can.”

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Hommaforum stoops to new depths by “defaming” adolescent

Hommaforum is a forum closely linked to Perussuomalaiset (PS) party MP Jussi Halla-aho’s blog, Scripta, and to Suomen Sisu, a far-right extremist association. Even if Hommaforum and Scripta are only smears of hatred that splash on Finland’s good name, they don’t care whom they tar and feather as long as they have a good time. But to attack and defame publicly a brave adolescent, Rebecca Holm, who spoke out against racism, shows how low they will go to make their point.

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Hommaforum stoops to new depths by "defaming" adolescent

Hommaforum is a forum closely linked to Perussuomalaiset (PS) party MP Jussi Halla-aho’s blog, Scripta, and to Suomen Sisu, a far-right extremist association. Even if Hommaforum and Scripta are only smears of hatred that splash on Finland’s good name, they don’t care whom they tar and feather as long as they have a good time. But to attack and defame publicly a brave adolescent, Rebecca Holm, who spoke out against racism, shows how low they will go to make their point.

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Migrant Tales is a blog that accepts who we are where we are

I sometimes wonder where I get the strength and inspiration to write at least one blog entry a day on Migrant Tales. It’s not that I have the luxury of giving 100% of my time to this blog because I have a job and a life as well. Migrant Tales is a powerful voice because it is a hand-on-heart operation running on the fuel of passion for social justice and equality.

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Who is allowed to debate a social ill like racism and exclusion in Finland?

After being the editor of Migrant Tales for about five years, I get the message: Finns with international backgrounds, immigrants never mind Muslims are not allowed to take part in the ongoing debate on Finland’s ever-growing cultural diversity. The reason that we doing exactly that, debating openly issues like racism, exclusion and Finnish identity openly explains why we are no longer such a faint voice in this country.

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Hijacking my picture and defaming me and Migrant Tales on the Internet

I was pretty surprised Thursday that a blogger from a forum called Ylilauta had hijacked my Facebook picture and started defaming me and our blog, Migrant Tales. I got in touch with the administrator of the site, who took the offensive content off the site the following day. Fortunately I took a snapshot of what was written.

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Coming out of the stuffy Finnish cultural closet

I would like to thank those bloggers for reading my previous blog entry in which I wrote about the international background of my Finnish family. I must confess, however, that I thought about writing such a blog entry for months but could not find the right approach to tackle the topic. The answer appeared when I decided to come out.

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Our Finnish national identity in the new century

For some anti-immigration groups, my background as a Finn must be a nightmare. The bad dream these groups dread to see is nothing more than the present and future staring back at them. It is the new Finland of the twenty-first century looking, together with others from our ever-culturally diverse society, confidently at the future.

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Why are Finland’s politicians still so silent?

Have you heard anything from any government official or even a politician being outraged by what happened in Oulu and Perussuomalaiset (PS) councilman Tommi Rautio’s infamous suggestion that the killer of a cold-blooded death should be decorated? It took thirteen days for Rautio to get sacked from the PS. Silence, everywhere, again.

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Why are Finland's politicians still so silent?

Have you heard anything from any government official or even a politician being outraged by what happened in Oulu and Perussuomalaiset (PS) councilman Tommi Rautio’s infamous suggestion that the killer of a cold-blooded death should be decorated? It took thirteen days for Rautio to get sacked from the PS. Silence, everywhere, again.

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Three anti-immigration PS MPs will pay Hirvisaari's fine for hate speech

Three far-right anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) MPs, Juho Eerola, Jussi Halla-aho and Olli Immonen, announced today in a statement that they will pay PS MP James Hirvisaari’s 1,424-euro fine slapped for hate speech by a Kouvola court in December. The statement, which was signed the three PS MPs, states that the fine was politically motivated.

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Three anti-immigration PS MPs will pay Hirvisaari’s fine for hate speech

Three far-right anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) MPs, Juho Eerola, Jussi Halla-aho and Olli Immonen, announced today in a statement that they will pay PS MP James Hirvisaari’s 1,424-euro fine slapped for hate speech by a Kouvola court in December. The statement, which was signed the three PS MPs, states that the fine was politically motivated.

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Another scandal is brewing thanks to the Perussuomalaiset

Another scandal involving the Perussuomalaisete (PS) party is brewing on the net after councilman Tommi Rautio and MP Teuvo Hakkarainen. At the eye of the political storm is Jani Viinikainen, a PS Pirkamaan region board member, who has now founded an anti-Roma Facebook page called Mannat kuriin (Let’s put Gypsies in line)!

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Wikileaks document warns of neo-Nazi (far-right) anti-immigration groups in Finland

A Wikileaks document reveals a disturbing perception that Migrant Tales has expressed concern: the threat of far-right anti-immigration groups in Finland like the Suomen Sisu faction in the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party. In the presidential election, all of the candidates except for PS’ Timo Soini, Sauli Niinstö of Kokoomus and Christian Democrat (KD) hopeful Sari Essayah, stated in an MTV3 poll that the far right does not pose a threat to Finland.

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The "us"-and-"them" smoking-gun statement that once justified mass murder in Europe

One of the matters that surprises me about some Finnish politicians is how they continue to flirt with ideologies that led Europe to its destruction in the 1940s. The younger they are, and the further they are in time from fascism, the more some flirt and idolize this ideology. To them I would like to give them a quote by Rudolf Hoess, the notorious commandant of the Aushcwitz concentration camp during 1940-43.

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Soini and the PS to ban "racists" from running for office

In light of the recent scandal that has rocked the Perussuomalaiset (PS), party chairman Timo Soini now promises to banish “racist” candidates from taking part in the municipal election of October 28, according to Helsingin Sanomat, citing Swedish-language daily HBL. Can we and should we believe Soini’s latest promise?

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Facebook PS killer "medal" scandal: Shame on Timo Soini and the police

Thanks to exemplary action of some Finns, who are shocked by the tolerance for racism, is what led to the downfall of Perussuomalaiset (PS) city councilman Tommi Rautio. If blogger Ossi Mäntylahti would not have pasted on his Facebook pages what Rautio had said, the PS politician wouldn’t have dug his own political grave.

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Somali death in Finland: The problem that constantly mocks at us

Migrant Tales was saddened to be tipped off that apparently another Somali national had died violently now in Espoo after it reported the tragic death of a Somali national in Oulu. The shock and outrage of the Somali community of the death of one of its members reveal their mistrust for white Finnish society and the authorities.

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"Real" Finns were, are and will be culturally diverse Finns

People who think that only white Finns are “real” Finns are, in my opinion, seriously mistaken. They represent a modern segregated view of society we saw in the United States before the 1960s and in worst cases in South Africa before 1994. The “Only Whites” sign isn’t posted on doors these days but shines constantly in their minds.

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Demand your right to be a Finn on your own cultural and ethnic terms

One of my biggest problems in understanding institutional racism in Finland was that I accepted being a member of such a social ill. Even if I had every right to claim Finnish identity from my mother’s side, I did not do so because I reinforced with my silence the stereotypical and even racist views that some Finns held about non-Finns.

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There is hope if racism thrives on ignorance and isolation

If racism thrives on ignorance and isolation, then there is hope but a lot has to be done. Instead of lowering oneself to the diatribe and hatred of anti-immigration groups, we must strive to find solutions. People who spread racism are by no means infallible. Racism is like Dracula. Not only does it live on by infecting the person, it cannot stand the light of day.

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Harassment and abuse of Somalis in Finland picked up after the election

In many respects, the treatment of Somalis in Finland sadly reminds me of how blacks in the United States were excluded from society in the 1960s, when the civil rights movement was in full swing. Like in the United States, racism in Finland not only threatens our values as a society but questions who we are as a nation and people.

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Finns vote today for their next president

While the biggest victor of today’s presidential election in Finland is democracy, I cannot help but look way past the awaiting fanfare of Sunday evening , when we’ll be hearing the victory speech of either Pekka Haavisto of the Green Party or Kokoomus’ Sauli Niinistö.

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Finland's growing image abroad now hinges on racism and intolerance

The lead story in Sunday’s Helsingin Sanomat is about how racism and intolerance have tarnished Finland’s image abroad, according to a survey of Finnish expats living in different countries. Even if the daily blames the rise of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party for our country’s questionable image abroad, the real culprits are none other than us.

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We must fight for greater cultural diversity representation in our democracy and society

When I grew up in the United States, most if not all of our most popular television series kept us doped in a fantasy world where the only people that counted were white Europeans who spoke English. We read history as well but there was too little about the “other” USAmerican: immigrants, Hispanics, blacks, Native Americans and a long list of other groups that built the United States.

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Who remembers Ulla Pyysalo and her links to the neo-Nazi PVL?

Remember Ulla Pyysalo, Perussuomalaiset (PS) party MP Juho Eerola’s aide? She’s the one who got her fingers burned when her name appeared on a hacked membership list of the neo-Nazi Kansalinen vastarintaliike (SVL). Pyysalo said that she would resign if she found a new job by the end of last year. Well, folks, surprise, surprise… My sources in parliament tell me that Pyysalo is still working for Eerola.

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Is full integration and ethnic equality possible in Finland?

What would happen if different ethnic groups switched their roles in society and promoted their history and justification of the domination of other groups? Below is a satirical video clip about that switched view of white Australia’s ongoing program of racisim and oppression of black indigenous people.

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Finland and the far-right threat posed by Halla-aho and Niinistö

Social Democrat Party presidential hopeful, Paavo Lipponen, has been the most outspoken candidate about the threat of the far right in Finland. On a television debate Thursday, he accused Perussuomalaiset (PS) party far-right MPs like Jussi Halla-aho and Jussi Niinistö of hiding behind Timo Soini and swelling him and the party’s popularity.

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The question that exposed Timo Soini’s good-cop-bad-cop strategy on racism

The televised presidential debate on Thursday is probably one of the first time when Perussuomalaiset (PS) party chairman Timo Soini’s lie was uncovered to the tee. His usual response, “I don’t support racism and hate speech,” didn’t work because it was unconvincing. We should thank again the high school students of the city of Järvenpää for their question that brought Soini’s political house of cards down.

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Is Finland's path that of Hungary's?

This is not a far-fetched question taking into account what is happening in Hungary and the rise of populism in Finland. How many in Hungary ten years ago could have envisioned what is happening today in that country?

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We can contain the PS' populist threat to Finland

The more I read about Timo Soini the more I am convinced that the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party is a threat to this country, especially to those who do not fit the PS’ narrow view of the world. I am not contesting the election result, which I respect, but what the cat has brought in from the back door.

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Coming out into an identity: gay, lesbian, pariah…

There is one line of a film review of Pariah on Colorlines that really caught me: “The film hinges on the belief that there’s no one way to be young, or black, or queer. And while it’s a struggle to come into any identity, those fights are always punctuated by moments of resilience and triumph.”

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Timo Soini: The beast behind the sugar-coated words

What does Perussuomalaiset (PS) party presidential hopeful, Timo Soini, really think about immigration and cultural diversity? A column he wrote in the latest Suomen Soini Presidentiksi [Soini for Finnish president] publication exposes what the leader of the PS thinks about such important issues.

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Finland & Cultural Diversity 2011

In many respects 2011 was a watershed year for Finland and Europe concerning the rise of anti-immigration parties and xenophobia. The biggest news to hit Finland this year was without a doubt the April 17 election, which saw the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS) party win 39 seats compared with only 5 in 2007. On July 22 Anders Breivik gunned down most of his 77 victims in Norway.

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Argentina’s dirty war: A couple I never met but always knew

It’s a long story how I ended up conscripted in the Argentinean army during the dirty war (1976-83). Being part of a country that was at war with itself was like taking a one-way stroll down the ally of hatred with a sack over your head. Even if no sack was placed over your head your eyes couldn’t see nor your ears hear what was happening. Terror has a way of numbing your senses.

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A bad week for the PS and Timo Soini

Three cartoons that appeared in the Finnish and Swedish media this week gave the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party a taste of its own medicine. The Helsinki Lutheran Church’s newspaper, Kirkko ja Kaupunki, published on Wednesday a cartoon where Soini and the PS wished all those who weren’t white, conservative and heterosexual Finns a shitty Christmas.

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Fairy tale worlds with the help of hate speech in Finland and elsewhere

The recent anti-immigration killings in Norway at the hands of Anders Breivik and this week in Italy by Gianluca Casseri show how xenophobic fairy tales can turn a person into a killer. As populist and far-right parties in Europe continue to throw petrol at the flames of their hate speech, it is only a question of time when new Breiviks and Casseris will appear on the scene.

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Finland’s PS Soini plays down racism in his party to “one, two or three” cases

Perussuomalaiset (PS) party presidential hopeful Timo Soini’s excuses about the issue of racism in his party and in Finland are getting more surreal every day. At a presidential debate Wednesday on MTV3, Soini played down racism in his party to “one, two or three” cases compared with a half a million people who voted for the PS in April.

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Finland’s ignorance of racism and fascism

One of the political dramas that Finland is suffering today is that it does not know what racism and fascism is. The Finnish media up to the April 17 election not only lost its teeth and forgot the important role it plays in defending our civil rights it helped the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS).

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Far-right anti-immigration killing in Italy

A far-right anti-immigration sympathizer of neo-fascist association CasaPound shocked Italy today when he shot dead two Senegalese street vendors in Florence before taking his life, according to the guardian.co.uk.

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The PS is the PS of Finland no matter how you slice it

Perussuomaliaset (PS) party head Timo Soini reitereated plans on MTV3 to establish a new party that would be politically center-right. He said that in five years the PS would be a similar populist party like the Progress Party (FrP) of Norway and Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ). Both of these parties are anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Muslim.

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Urban Faith: Why We Can’t Ignore Racism

As a white man in America, I’ve been guilty of rolling my eyes when someone would raise the subject of racism. “Why can’t everyone just get over it,” I’d think. But ignoring wounds from the past can be as damaging as the initial offense.

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Fueling “harmful stereotypes, discrimination and xenophobia” in Finland and elsewhere

The recently published report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) rightfully warns about how misinformation about migration fuels “harmful stereotypes, discrimination and xenophobia.” A New York Times article states that such perceptions are so distorted that citizens believe that there are three times more immigrants living in some countries than is the case.

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Good questions about the PS by the Vallan Vahtikoira blog

Vallan Vahtikoira is an interesting blog that asks all the right questions that some media should be asking the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party. His latest blog entry (in Finnish), Perussuomalista normimenoa, asks about some of the embarrassing revelations that become public about some PS members belonging to neo-Nazi associations like the SKV.

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Making racism shameful in Finland and Europe

While the US Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. did not eradicate racism in the United States, it was singled out as a threat to society and challenged. Landmark laws like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were not the only matters that changed things. Racism became shameful in many parts of the United States.

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Should Finland adopt a citizenship test?

What would an anti-immigration hardliner like MP Olli Immonen of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party seek when he believes that Finland should adopt a citizenship test like Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship? Immonen offered an written question Thursday on the matter to the speaker of the house.

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The snow job of the far right in Finland

The shocking revelations in Germany, whereby 140 people have died since 1990 as a result of far-right violence, is a wake-up call for us in Finland as well. How is it possible that so many people are killed by a far-right terror cell without anyone raising a question?

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Further momentum against racism in Finland

Here is a story published Sunday on Savon Sanomat of Kuopio that shows members in the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS) party giving the thumbs down to racism. Jukka Kotimäki, PS organization secretary of Siilimäki near Kuopio, states that he does not want openly racist people to be a part of his party.

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When racism attacks its eager keeper in Finland

Racism is a serious social ill that festers in all societies. Some parties, like the Persussuomalaiset (PS), appear to be dazzled by the political opportunities it offers in the way of votes and public attention. What they forget, however, is that racism has no master and can attack its supposed keepers.

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The ever-embattled Soini of the PS of Finland

Perussuomalaiset (PS) party chairman, Timo Soini, appears more embattled every day as he watches with weary eyes polls. The latest one published by Helsingin Sanomat Saturdayshows racism to be more acceptable among PS supporters.

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HS in English: Europe’s true populists

The True Finns’ victory in Finland’s general elections gives Sweden and the entire European Union a lot to digest, says journalist Lisa Bjurwald from Stockholm, who watches the populist far-right parties.

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How to confront anti-immigration parties in the Nordic region

The societies of the Nordic countries are still models for the rest of Europe and the world when it comes to social justice, equality, and inclusion. Slower economic growth is not the only threat that they face today, but an ever-growing minority that believes that exclusion of certain groups is acceptable.

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Multilingual Mania: Dehumanizing Immigrants-Lies and More Distorted Lies

It’s a classic trick of the racists to paint a portrait of a people so horrible that it makes anything that is done to them to be justifiable. It’s quite a brilliant idea, really, to be able to paint such a nasty picture of someone in the mind of the public without many people hardly even catching on to the trick. This strategy serves to dehumanize people, stripping them of their humanity and making them into objects that deserve to be tamed, oppressed, and controlled.

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The PS’ lame stance on neo-Nazism

The resignation of Perussuomalaiset (PS) party aide, Ulla Pyysalo, didn’t come as a surprise. One of the most incredible characteristic of the Pyysalo case is how PS MP Juho Eerola has played down the whole affair. Has Eerola and the PS made it clear that the party does not want anything to do with a neo-Nazi organization.

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YLE Kymeenlakso: Juho Eerola ei tue Pyysalon erottamista

Kotkalaisen kansanedustajan Juho Eerolan lappeenrantalainen avustaja Ulla Pyysalo haki 2 vuotta sitten kansallissosialistisen Suomen vastarintaliike -järjestön jäsenyyttä. Juho Eerolan sanojen mukaan olisi mieletöntä erottaa Pyysalo puolueesta vain sen vuoksi, että hän on tullut järkiinsä ja jättänyt liittymättä natseihin.

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Hackers get far-right Kansallinen Vastarinta membership-request list

The growing face of far-right Finland exposed itself Monday when some hackers succeeded at breaking into patriootti.com’s membership-request list. One of the red faces to appear was Tuomas Uokkonen, a Perussuomalaiset (PS) party board vice president in Oulu. He states that when he sought membership in the far-right group said on his Facebook page that he did not know what he was doing because he was drunk.

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Ilta-Sanomat: Homot ja somalit Ahvenanmaalle asumaan

Kansanedustajan Teuvo Hakkaraisen (ps.) Ilta-Sanomille antamat lausunnot herättivät tuoreeltaan vilkasta kommentointia lauantaina muun muassa netin keskustelupalstoilla. Ilta-Sanomien mukaan Hakkarainen ehdotti, että homot, lesbot ja somalit pitäisi laittaa Ahvenanmaalle keskenään asumaan.

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Timo Soini: “The PS do not hate anybody – not anybody”

Do you agree and can Perussuomalaiset (PS) party head Timo Soini claim that his party does not “hate” anyone? I wonder if Soini, who made such a claim on Saturday when he was chosen to be the PS’ presidential candidate, ever heard of Freddy van Wonterghem, James Hirvisaari, Olli Immonen, Teuvo Harkkarainen, Juho Eerola, Reijo Tossavainen never mind Jussi Halla-aho and others.

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Why the PS are a threat to immigrants and Finland

Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Olli Immonen, a member of Suomen Sisu and well-known for his anti-immigration views, wants to do away with the Ombudsman for Minorities office, according to Oulu-based daily Kaleva. Apart from slashing the budget by 50%, Immonen plans to draft a law that will make the Ombudsman for Minorities redundant.

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Phantoms that haunt us from history in Finland

When I moved to Finland over thirty years ago I left behind a troubled world: the scars of the Vietnam War, Watergate, dog-eat-dog capitalism, and the dirty war in Argentina (1976-83) that destroyed the country spiritually beyond recognition.

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The language of “keeping Finland white”

The ongoing debate on the role of immigrants in Finnish society boils down to one big issue for the right-wing populists: How to keep Finland white and curtail non-European immigration. The view, that Finland must remain white, is as racist as a white man’s claim in the United States during the Civil Rights era that blacks don’t have a place in society.

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Finnish far-right thinking for dummies: The Wave

This true movie below took place in 1967 Cubberley High School in Palo Alto, California. The experiment shows how easy it was to convert the class of high school students to become far-right followers that supported the Nazi régime in Germany during 1933-45. What would happen to our country if we embraced the ideology of associations like Suomen Sisu, Suomalaisuuden Liitto or allowed the worldview of far-right politicians like Jussi Halla-aho, James Hirvisaari to be taught at our schools?

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Extremism in Finland and elsewhere grows on the same soil of hatred

The video clip blow is a frightening example of how far-right groups like the Nazi Party of the United States use the First Amendment (freedom of speech) to justify their hate speech. While it’s unlikely that the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party or even Muutos 2011 and Vapauspuolue will have summer camps with Nazi flags and members dressed in SS-like gear, they do believe in racial purity and loathe Muslims.

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The meaning of the veil and why some want to ban it

Switzerland’s lower house of parliament voted Wednesday 101-77 to outlaw veils like the burqa when using public transport or visiting authorities, reports AP. The measure, which is being spearheaded by the Swiss People’s Party, will go for a vote in the upper house before federal elections next month.

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Violence and racism are always in the eye of the victim

Are the Perussuomalaiset (PS) a violent party? Despite a story that was published widely by the media last week, there were no conclusions made by an ongoing study that a part of the PS approves violence, according to think tank Demos. The British-based think tank will publish the results of a wider study on online populism in Europe later this year.

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PS’ Hirvisaari and his overkill of the media

Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP James Hirvisaari went on the rampage today by calling journalists “bloodthirsty hyenas” as well as “arrogant and lying scum.” He equated persu, the shortened term for Perussuomalaiset which is now a forbidden word in parliament, to nekru, or the n-word.

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Le Monde Diplomatique: Lessons from Norway

What do the tragic events in Utoya and Oslo tell us about the status of far-right, anti-immigrant or Islamophobic politics in Norway, Scandinavia and the rest of Europe? Commentators and “security experts” — many of whom were initially convinced of the Islamic nature of the attacks — have spent the past month speculating.

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PS’ far right threatens our society and values

The sooner we comprehend as a society that the far-right wing of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party led by MP Jussi Halla-aho and his cronies are a threat to our Nordic way of life the better. There are already clear signs that this group of MPs in the PS has not only become a thorn in Timo Soini’s side but is being shunned by other political parties and the public.

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Spiegel Online International: Denmark To Get First Female Prime Minister

The Social Democrats have created election history in Denmark Thursday. They not only ended ten years of right-wing rule in Denmark and the role of the right-wing populist and xenophobic Danish People’s Party’s (DPP) in the passage of anti-immigration legislation, but will give the country their first woman prime minister.

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Elections in Nordic Region send clear message to Finland’s PS

Anti-immigration populist parties in Norway and Denmark have suffered defeats in recent elections after mass-killer Anders Breivik went on the rampage on July 22. Both blows came this month. The first one was in the Norwegian municipal election, where the Progress Party (FrP) saw its support plunge by 6.1 percentage points to 11.5%. The second one happened Thursday in Denmark.

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Finnish hate blogs’ toilet graffiti attack (or toilet democracy)

It is a positive sign that more politicians and organizations like the Council for Mass Media (JSN) are finally taking a strong stance against hate speech and racism that is rife on the net. These types of opinions, usually done anonymously and on sites like Hommaforum, Scripta and others, resemble racist peeping Toms writing graffiti on public toilet walls.

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Far-right thinking and the cold war in Finland and the PS

The rise of far-right thinking and nationalism in Finland seen through the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party is nothing new in the face of Finland’s long cold war isolation. Finnish-Soviet relations were not the only one that were under close scrutiny by the state, but how we interpreted our history and ourselves as a nation. That is now changing thanks to the reemergence of our ever-growing diversity as a nation.

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PS stands for perkele saatanas – damn everything!

The biggest shock on April 17 was that Finns woke up to the reality that a large minority (19.1%) had radical views on issues like the EU, immigration and nationalism. A poll published on Friday showed that the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party continues to be the biggest in Finland. What does it say about the present state of Finland?

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The New York Review of Books: Toleration and the Future of Europe

In Anders Breivik’s manifesto, the ostensibly Christian defeat of the Ottoman armies at Vienna in 1683 is the central historical event. He imagines a European rebirth in 2083, four hundred years later, and names the Polish king Jan Sobieski, whose troops were crucial to raising the Ottoman siege, as one of his heroes: “John III Sobieski and the Holy League successfully defended Europe against an army of more than 150,000 Muslims.” Breivik thinks Europe today is again under siege from Muslims, and that Europeans must resort to “atrocious, but necessary” violence to defend it. It is unsurprising that what Breivik has to say about European history is trivial. The plagiarism of his manifesto recalls Hannah Arendt’s point that those who do great evil may themselves be incapable of cultural creation. The superficiality of his worldview recalls her notion that the greatest of evils has no roots, and therefore has no bounds. But since the reference to Vienna has largely passed without criticism, it is worth recalling for a moment what actually happened in 1683.

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Living in post-22/7 Europe: “Fjordman” bows out

As Migrant Tales correctly predicted shortly after the mass killings in Norway, the impact on the sabre-rattling European chorus warning us of the danger of Islam is now on the defensive and on the run. “Fjordman,” Anders Behring Breivik’s mentor, said he would go underground for his own safety and never publish again with the infamous pseudonym, according to tabloid Ilta-Sanomat.

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Spiegel Online International: Can Europe’s Populists Be Blamed for Anders Breivik’s Crusade?

Norway and the world are still struggling to understand the ghastly deeds of Anders Breivik, who was driven to kill by his hatred of Muslims. His confused worldview, which Breivik describes in a 1,500-word manifesto, was influenced by European right-wing populists. Do politicians and writers share some of the blame for his terrible crimes? By SPIEGEL Staff.

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YLE: Parties consider Halla-aho’s position

Jussi Halla-aho, a critic of immigration and multiculturalism, is facing pressure to stand down as chair of parliament’s Administration committee in the wake of the Norwegian terror attacks. The Administration Committee deals with matters that include immigration policy and gun legislation.

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Tino Singhin puhe mielenosoituksessa – Tinos tal på Demo – Tino’s speech at the demonstration

Kiitos kaikille, jotka olette tulleet paikalle.

Norjan tapahtumat ovat järkyttäneet meitä kaikkia ja haluamme ilmaista surumme ja tukemme uhrien omaisille ja kunnioittaa uhrien muistoa tulemalla tänne tänään rauhanomaisen solidaarisuuden osoituksen, väkivallattomuuden ja rauhan puolesta sekä ääriryhmien vihaa ja väkivaltaa vastaan.

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Waging a war of “total words” in Finland and Europe

The Age of Chivalry died in the 2008 municipal election in Finland with the advent of “total words.” The ongoing war of words bring near memories of the former German concept of “total war,” which meant attacking undefended shipping, helpless civilians and breaking all the rules of wars prior to WW I.

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tygodnik.onet.pl: Psychopaci są wśród nas

Ku oburzeniu dobrych chrześcijan policja poinformowała, że Breivik jest „chrześcijańskim fundamentalistą”. Trzeba się pogodzić i z tym, że „chrześcijański fundamentalizm” istnieje, że jest równie, a może bardziej groźny aniżeli fundamentalizmy laickie.

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Living in post 22/7 for Finland’s PS: Better late than never?

It is clear that matters are no longer the same for the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party after the horrific events that shook Norway and the world on July 22. Migrant Tales predicted a couple of days after the mass killings that they would cast a critical light on far right and right-wing populist parties like the PS, which have been riding the crest of the popularity wave thanks to their anti-immigrant and anti-Islam rhetoric.

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HS.fi: Hirvittävä teko, mutta . . .

Perussuomalaisten kansanedustaja James Hirvisaari löytää syitä Norjan verilöylyyn ja tappaja Anders Breivikin toimintaan. Hirvisaari kirjoittaa ajatuksistaan Uuden Suomen Puheenvuoro-palstalla 24. 7. aloittamassaan keskustelussa.

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The PS Counter-Jihadists are Soini’s biggest threat

For those who still believe that the mass killings in Norway will not impact parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) and hate websites in this country should think twice. Migrant Tales was right: there is already clear evidence that living in a post-22/7 Europe has torn a hole in the argument of the anti-immigrant populists and extremists in Finland.

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YLE: Soini: Suomen poliitikot käyttävät hyväkseen Norjan tragediaa

Ylen Päivän kasvo -ohjelmassa vieraillut perussuomalaisten puheenjohtaja Timo Soini sanoo, että Suomen poliitikot ovat käyttäneet hyväkseen Norjan murhenäytelmää yhdistämällä kaikki perussuomalaiset äärimielipiteisiin ja vihapuheeseen. Soini haluaa tehdä selväksi, että hän ei hyväksy väkivaltaa, ja katsoo, että viha on tuhoava voima.

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Living in post-22/7 Europe: The tide has turned

One of the biggest blows to the far right and right-wing populist parties in Europe and the Nordic Region after the horrific events in Norway has been to seriously question their raison d’être: their provocative anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam discourse.

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HS.fi: Tutkija: Äärioikeistolla jopa kymmeniätuhansia kannattajia Suomessa

Äärioikeiston kannattajien määrää Suomessa on hyvin hankalaa arvioida. Rasismintutkija Vesa Puuronen Itä-Suomen yliopiston sanoo, että nettifoorumeille kirjoittavien aktiivien ydinjoukkoon lukeutunee ennemmin satoja kuin tuhansia suomalaisia. Jos puhutaan vain äärioikeistolaisen ideologian kannattajista, pääluku voi nousta tuhansiin tai kymmeniintuhansiin.

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YLE: Halonen calls for resistance to hatred

President Tarja Halonen says that now is the time to let Norwegians grieve for the victims of last Friday’s attacks. At the same time, this is the right moment to think of ways to prevent such a tragedy from striking any country again, according to Halonen.

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guardian.co.uk: Anders Behring Breivik had no legitimate grievance

Despite the fact that Anders Behring Breivik was not permitted to publicly justify his actions in public on Monday, a scrambling defence of his repertoire of prejudice is already in full swing. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Bruce Bawer, who is quoted by Breivik in his manifesto 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, emphasises his repeated warnings that a rightwing extremist may use violence to address “legitimate concerns about genuine problems”. Bawer blames mainstream politics for failing to address the corrosion of Europe by Islamicisation and multiculturalism, meanwhile The Jerusalem Post cautions that “Oslo’s devastating tragedy should not be allowed to be manipulated by those who would cover up the abject failure of multiculturalism”.

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Suomen Kuvalehti.fi: Terrorismintutkija: Breivik selittää tekonsa vasta-jihadilla – tästä on kyse

Kun uhrit on laskettu, alkaa syiden pohdinta. Millaisella ajatusmaailmalla Anders Behring Breivik perusteli tekonsa itselleen ja yrittää tehdä niin myös muille?

Breivik julkaisi perjantaina noin 1500-sivuisen manifestin, jossa hän muun muassa kuvailee valmistautumista terrori-iskuun. Hän kertoo vastustavansa islamia ja marxismia. Terrorismintutkija Toby Archer sanoo, että Breivik ei ole vain hullu. Hän on selvästi mielenvikainen, mutta hänellä on myös poliittinen viesti.

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Living in post-22/7 Europe

It is ironic that those right-wing populist and far-right parties that have gone out of their way to warn us about the threat of multiculturalism and religions like Islam have become the threat and Trojan Horses in our societies. In one horrific blow, Anders Behring Breivik did not only strike at Norway’s liberal democracy, but tore a hole in the argument of the anti-immigrant populists and fanatics.

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Am I a carrier of European right-wing populist rhetoric?

We all know that right-wing populism is on the rise in Europe. By the same token, many us without knowing it, may carry the same seeds of intolerance that these groups spread without ever knowing it. Certainly our democratic society must be able to debate a wide range of issues that affect us like immigration. We must, however, be able to distinguish what are inaccurate claims and facts.

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“Living together:” Council of Europe Eminent Persons’ report

On behalf of the Council of Europe Group of Eminent Persons, Javier Solana Madariaga presented the report “Living Together:” Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe to the Committee of Ministers session meeting in Istanbul. Taking stock of the challenges arising from the resurgence of intolerance and discrimination in Europe, the report analyses “the threat” and proposes “the response” for “living together” in open European societies.

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The New York Review of Books: A New Approach to the Holocaust

It is fruitless to reduce the manifold evil of the Holocaust to a single cause. Ideology, charisma, conformism, hatred, greed, and war were all very important, but each was related to the others and all mattered within rapidly changing historical circumstances. In his profound study Holocaust, Peter Longerich puts forward an analysis that includes all these factors and shows how politics or, as he puts it, Politik, set them all in motion. In this amplified English edition of his Politik der Vernichtung (1998), Longerich preserves the German term Judenpolitik, and with good reason. In German Politik means both “politics” and “policy,” and the compound noun (Juden + Politik) gives a sense of a joining of concepts that English cannot quite convey.

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Helsingin Yliopisto: Populismin juuret ovat kaukana historiassa

“On selvää, että äärioikeiston kannatuksen kasvu on yleiseurooppalainen ilmiö”, sanoo Suomen Akatemian tuore tutkijatohtori Inari Sakki. Monien muiden Euroopan maiden tavoin populistipuolueet ovat moninkertaistaneet kannatuksensa viime vuoden aikana myös Suomessa ja Ruotsissa. Vaikka ilmiö on näkyvä, Inari Sakin mielestä uutta tietoa aiheeseen tuo sosiaalipsykologinen näkökulma.

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The role of nationalist populism in Finland

Like a new chapter of history book, each decade brings out its unique personality for the foreign correspondent. In the 1980s it was Helsinki’s special relationship with Moscow and in the 1990s the country’s full political and economic integration with Western Europe. The first decade of the present century was a lull where the country reaped the fruits of the right decisions made in the previous two decades. What kind of a child will the 2010s be?

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El País: El ocaso de la tolerancia nórdica

La victoria electoral de los Auténticos Finlandeses ha supuesto una pequeña revolución en el país nórdico, pero sobre todo ha hecho saltar todas las alarmas en una región en la que hasta hace bien poco era casi impensable escuchar argumentos tan extremistas como los que ahora circulan por los Parlamentos nacionales de la zona. Los partidos de extrema derecha y populistas nórdicos ya no pueden ser ignorados porque les respalda una parte del electorado nada despreciable. En Finlandia y en Dinamarca han sido la tercera fuerza más votada. En Suecia han aflorado de la semioscuridad y han entrado en la cámara parlamentaria.

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CNN: Burqa ban turns a right into a crime

London, England (CNN) — The ban imposed by French President Sarkozy on wearing a face-covering veil, or niqab, is simply dangerous gesture politics, representing little more than pandering to the far right in France.

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Iltalehti: Perussuomalaisten ehdokas: Holokaustia on liioiteltu

Eduskuntaan pyrkii holokaustin kyseenalaistaja ja rotujen sekoittumista vastustava. Kansanedustajuutta tavoittelee useita perussuomalaisia ehdokkaita, jotka ovat allekirjoittaneet maahanmuuttovastaisen ns. nuivan manifestin. Osalla ehdokkaista on läheiset suhteet äärikansalliseen Suomen Sisuun.

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Helsingin Sanomat: Rotuajattelu elää täälläkin

Tutkija Vesa Puurosen johtopäätös on karu: “Suomalaisessa yhteiskunnassa vallitsee rotujärjestelmä, ja rasismi tarkoittaa rotujärjestelmän ylläpitämistä”. Kirjassaan Rasistinen Suomi Puuronen etsii suomalaisen rasismin juuria ja tämän ajan rasismia.

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Magma Media: Populismin nousu Euroopassa

Ääriliikkeet ja poliittinen populismi ovat lisänneet kannatustaan eri maissa. Kyse on rajat ylittävästä ilmiöstä. Populismin alla on selvästi toisistaan poikkeavia liikkeitä ja puolueita. Ideologioissa, tavoitteissa, toimintatavoissa ja ääriliikkeiden esittämissä uhkakuvissa on eroja, mutta myös yhtäläisyyksiä.

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Tunisia and Egypt are a blow to Islamophobia

The joy and the historic day celebrated this evening in Egypt after the resignation of Hosni Mubarak can be felt everywhere. The emancipation of the Egyptians, after thirty years of rule by an autocratic and corrupt regime supported by the West, is contagious and will certainly spread to other parts of the region. People power in the Arab world will also be a long-term blow to the pet topic of far-right parties: Islamophobia.

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Suomen Kuvalehti: Totuuspuntari: Onko turvapaikanhakijoiden määrä nelinkertaistunut nykyisen hallituksen aikana?

Väite:

Turvapaikanhakijoiden määrä on nelinkertaistunut nykyisen hallituksen aikana.

Perussuomalaisten helsinkiläinen kansanedustajaehdokas Jussi Halla-aho on väittänyt blogissaan otsikolla Tiedote eduskuntavaaleihin 2011 liittyen, että turvapaikanhakijoiden määrä on nelinkertaistunut vuodesta 2007, jolloin nykyinen hallitus aloitti toimintansa.

To keep on reading click here.

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Immigration debate in Finland and Europe: Turning the lights off

I remember a long time ago reading an editorial by the Buenos Aires Herald on how the military coup of 1976 was able to shut off information lights of Argentina. It argued that since outdated infrastructure such as telephones and telecommunications were in a wretched state, it was easy for the junta leaders to literally turn off the lights and keep the country in an information bubble.

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