Posts Tagged: Finland

Yve Sheperd: 2022 – the year as an alien!

Mid-week on British tv, the lead news story was of the racism, caught in Buckingham Palace. The victim is a black British woman who helps female assault victims. The offender is an elderly white woman who has been many years in an honor position. It was a huge embarrassment for the Royal Family, and the

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Déjà-vu Finland: Same problems persist at reception centers as in 2015

Remember when 32,476 asylum seekers came to Finland in 2015? Remember how Finland patted itself on the back by stating it did a great job housing many people, mainly from Iraq and Afghanistan? There are mixed results about Finland’s “great job” in housing so many asylum seekers in such a short time. Some reception centers did

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What you are never told and should know about working life in Finland

There are many good tips migrants can get in Finland on how to land a job, write a convincing CV, and give near-perfect answers to a prospective employer at a job interview. Despite the latter, one crucial matter needs to be included: Learning and protecting your rights after you are hired. Because it is difficult

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Hate speech and attacks against the Sámi of Finland are a warning to other minorities of the hostile environment

The hate speech targeted at Sámi activists like Petra Laiti and Janne Hirvasvuopio by MPs from the Center Party and others is a stark reminder of the racism inflicting Finland. Suppose the Sámi, the original inhabitants of Finland, have no right to self-determination. What does this say about other minorities who want to practice and maintain their culture in

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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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Exposing white Finnish privilege #89: Those white saviors are the worst racists

White saviors come in many sizes and shapes. Whatever shape and size, they stunt equality for one simple reason: The white savior is on top handing out his harmful empathy to minorities. How can I claim that white saviors aren’t well-intentioned people? From personal experience. While racism and discrimination are constant variables that rob people

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Yle A-studio host Marja Sannikka does it again and cannot get migrants off her mind

A-studio Host Marja Sannikka* hosted a disastrous talk show with Renaz Ebrahimi last year and, recently, a program on youth gangs.  Both were disingenuous and unfair to minorities.  Well, Sannikka is at it again, and wouldn’t you know that she had something lowly to say about migrants? Tuesday’s A-studio talk show was about civil disobedience, and Sannikka asked an environmental activist

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STATEMENT: Yle should stop picking on minority youths and stick to facts

It was in 2020 when Helsingin Sanomat published a big story about the dangers of youth gang violence in Helsinki. The story received a lot of criticism because it spread the misinformation that youth crime is rising in Helsinki and Greater Helsinki.  It isn’t surprising that the state-owned broadcaster, Yle, has spread the issue, especially

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Kanta-Häme court that dropped charges in hijab case against the police will be appealed, according to prosecutor

A Kanta-Häme district court that dropped charges against seven police officials and security guards for forcibly removing in 2017 two Muslim women’s hijabs will not be treated by the court in what remains of the year but in 2023, according to prosecutor Heidi Savurinne. The case is significant from the view of religious freedom and

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Blast from the past: A call to demonstrate in 1982

It’s been over 40 years since a group of foreigners and Finns organized a demonstration from the Porthania’s University of Helsinki to the steps of parliament. It happened on a Tuesday, 19 October, and it was a very cold day. For further reading: Culturally diverse Finland has a history. These were the statements we put

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Migrant Tales Media Monitoring: Why are shoplifting Romany women news?

Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat, which has had a murky history for publishing and attacking Somalis and other migrants in the 1990s, publishes a story about two Romany women who shoplift 2,600 euros of merchandise. Certainly, shoplifting is a crime, but what about when a tabloid publishes a story that reinforces stereotypes about a certain group? Considering that Ilta-Sanomat was

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Migrant Tales Media Monitoring: How #astudio persecutes and labels migrant youths with dubious talking points

#Astudio host Marja Sannikka kicks off the next topic on the talk show on gang violence with the following words that sound like a thriller: “Knives, violence, revenge. Finnish youth gang crime grows at a worrying pace.” In the talk show, does Sannikka gives us any facts about “the worrying [growth] pace” of gang violence

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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: Yle spikes it up with parties that promote fear and uses their xenophobic labels

Yle’s reported Tuesday building a border fence between Finland and Russia. Reporting from Estonia’s capital Tallinn, Yle reporter Rain Kooli said that the wall between Estonia and Russia was to stop migrants – not asylum seekers – and illegal migrants. The project, which the Finnish Border Guard is spearheading, will cost hundreds of millions of

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Anastasiia Diudina helps Ukrainian refugees in Finland

A young and energetic woman called Anastasiia Diudina aims to fight Russian aggression and sees helping Ukrainian refugees as an important part of it. What is surprising is that some of the problems the asylum seekers faced at asylum reception centers in 2015 and beyond are faced by Ukrainians. While Diudina stresses that the treatment

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Dissatisfaction with the district court ruling acquitting the police for removing the hijab of two Muslim women by force will be appealed

Migrant Tales understands that a Kanta-Häme district court ruling acquitted the police and security guards for forcibly removing the hijab of two women in 2017 will be appealed. The present ruling, which allowed the police and security guards to use force, sends a disturbing message. It messages that the police can use force without considering

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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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Trump, Putin and the Perussuomalaiset

Former President Donald Trump is a threat to USAmerican democracy, and Russian President Vladimir Putin a threat to world peace. While these leaders spread their toxicity and hatred on other people and nations for political gain, our Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party has nothing more than praise for them. Well, that was before Trump and Putin became

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The PS’ and Kokoomus’ “concern” about Finland’s minority youth gangs is dishonest and a political stunt

Watching weekly Thursday’s question-and-answer session between the opposition and government can cause nausea. With parliamentary elections six months in April, expect opposition parties like the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) to increase their attacks against ALL migrants. The truth about the PS and Kokoomus, the biggest and second-biggest opposition party, respectively, is

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Helsinki youth worker Mahad Sheikh Musse’s message from the #authorities to #youth must be clear: Everyone is an individual and responsible for their crimes

Mahad Sheikh Musse* has worked in Helsinki as a youth worker in various roles and with various communities for the past 15 years. If there is somebody who understands minority youth issues, it is him. Migrant Tales had the opportunity to chat with Mahad during his busy schedule.  We all know how the elections in Sweden went.

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Twitter @HerraAhmed: Assaulted at a restaurant

We are sorry to hear about what happened to you. Abdirisak Ahmed (@HerraAhmed) Tweets: This is what it looks when you are assaulted at a restaurant because of the color of your skin. Thank you #apolloliveclub bouncers for your quick response. I never thought I’d be in this situation being over 30 years old. This

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Police and security guards acquitted over hijab removal case in Finland

Three judges of a Kanta-Häme district court unanimously ruled to acquit police and security guards of all charges for removing by force the hijabs of two Muslim women, according to Iltalehti.  The women, who were applying for asylum at the time, argued that in Helsinki, they didn’t have to take off their hijabs for a picture. The

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Finland is a country swept once again off its feet by xenophobia

Watching the parliamentary question-and-answer session between the opposition and government revealed two matters: the opposition’s xenophobic politicking and the government’s sometimes infirm responses. The debate between the opposition and the government occasionally appears like a shouting match, where the government caves into the opposition. In a historic government decision on the same day, Finland closed its

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NO HATE FINLAND STATEMENT: The parliamentary election has begun for the Finns Party”

The Finns Party (PS) is actively campaigning for the upcoming parliamentary election in April. The party published Monday its so-called “Finnishness program,” Suomalaisuuden ohjelma 2022. The program attacks two groups: migrants and Finland’s Swedish-speaking minority. The hostility and simplistic arguments against these two groups resemble an angry and spiteful person willing to lie and cheat to get

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European far-right parties are part of a conspiracy to replace our democracies

A paradox: “Liberal” Nordic countries like Finland have large far-right parties that feed off racism. If I were to use the racist rhetoric of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party to solve social problems, I’d be lost. Solutions, like tougher laws, more restrictions, enforcing marginalization, and strengthening institutional racism, would leave me in a bind. Fearmongering and

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How Finland plays down hate crime and miscarriages of justice

If there is something to reinforce from the Southern Ostrobothnia district court ruling of the Fares Al-Abaidi case, it is the following: In some cases, the police and the courts play down racist crime. The sentence was a miscarriage of justice. Al-Abaidi has appealed the ruling. Why is the ruling a travesty? Because racism is

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European Islamophobia Report 2021: Finland

The recent parliamentary election in Sweden is only one of the worrying signs that Islamophobia is not receding in the EU but gaining strength. Muslims, like other minorities, must work together to challenge Europe’s ever-growing anti-Muslim racism. We must do this not only for ourselves but for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The editors of the

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Fan or hate mail to Migrant Tales

Whenever I get fan or hate mail, I wonder why they never sign them with their names. I normally don’t publish hate mail but this will be an exception. The one below is by KKK Molly, at least it is what’s on her email address. I wonder what “KKK” stand for? Ku Klux Klan, maybe?

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Tariq: Is there justice in Finland? (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of Tariq’s* ordeal in Finland. Go here to read Part 1. “This is my case: I have been living in Finland for eleven years. I moved here to be with my wife, and upon arriving, I started to work and study at the same time. After three years in the country,

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Tariq: Is there justice in Finland? (Part 1)

Tariq* has lived in Finland for over eleven years. If there is a person who has run into complications with the police, Migri (Finnish Immigration Service), and due process, he is one of them. According to Tariq, his citizenship process has been arbitrarily delayed due to a police fine that was canceled. “In March last

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Fares Al-Abaidi: “I was very disappointed [with the sentence, and] it was a very, very bad decision.”

Fares Al-Abaidi got a hard lesson on Wednesday from the Southern Ostrobothnia district court on Finnish justice: only one person was convicted after a group of white Finns attacked him in June 2020. That person, PV, was forced to pay Al-Abaidi about 3,900 euros for his suffering.   “He got away with only a fine while

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Two stories that reveal a lot about racism in Finland

Two stories that expose injustice and denial in Finland became public this week: First, the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland ruled Thursday that the police ethnically profiled singer Musta Barbari’s mother and sister in July 2016. The other news is about an Iraqi youth who white Finns violently attacked in July 2020.  Both cases are not only

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PS MP Juha Mäenpää warned that asylum seekers could spark a civil war in Finland

US President Joe Biden warned in a recent speech that his country’s democracy is in peril. He pointed the finger at former President Donald Trump’s MAGA (Make America Great Again or Make Attorneys Get Attorneys) followers. We asked in a recent posting if Biden labeled MAGA Republicans “semi-fascists,” why couldn’t we call the far-right Perussuonalaiset

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Should we be surprised that the Finnish police forced Muslim women to remove their hijabs? Not.

The incident of Finnish police brutality, where they physically forced Muslim asylum seekers to remove their hijabs, is not surprising in the least, taking into account the year (2017) and the Häme region of Finland. Seven months after the incident with the Muslim women, Migrant Tales published a story about how the police gave tacit

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Racism makes my blood boil – why doesn’t yours?

I have often wondered why racism some people in Finland are not moved by racism. Racism is a traumatic experience that remains inside of you. Some don’t react or care because they have never been a victim of such a social ill. When racism jabs or throws a violent punch and your colleague or friend

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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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MT Media Monitoring: A government partnership between Kokoomus and the PS would be a hammer blow to us

Politicians and parties expel a lot of blah blah. Ask this question: Will matters improve for Finland’s racialized communities if the PS and Kokoomus partner in a government? There’s your answer with no blah blah. A recent story by MTV, a private television channel with a streak of Fox News, published a story about what

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Helsingin Sanomat editorial and the real reason why the Perussuomalaiset do well in parliamentary elections

A short editorial by Helsingin Sanomat Thursday warns that the 1.3 percentage point rise in the recent opinion poll of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party may force other parties to latch on to Islamophobic rhetoric. The PS’ pet themes today are high electricity and gas prices at the pumps and others, which it did not specify.  Even if

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Sweden is the pet topic of the Perussuomalaiset, spreading fake news, too

If you didn’t speak out against racism, who would? Sweden is a pet topic of the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. They constantly and obnoxiously remind us what a horrible place Sweden is because there live Muslims and other migrants. PS chairperson, Riikka Purra, continues to push her ethnonationalist and ethnic replacement theory at almost every

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White Finnish justice is sometimes lopsided

An example of how white Finnish justice works? Two inebriated white Finns start to harass a non-white boy in a racist manner. The boy yells something back at them and speeds away with his bike. A white Finnish couple says something at the men about their behavior toward the boy. They approach the couple, and

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MT Media Monitoring: Why doesn’t Helsingin Sanomat tell us the full story about labor market discrimination?

Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest daily, missed another opportunity to expose the elephant in the room about why so few Ukrainian nurses and medics are hired in the face of a chronic labor shortage in the health sector. True, the daily does address issues like language as a factor. But isn’t this a common excuse in

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Twitter (@persut): No Afghan migrants to Finland

The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party hates migrants from Muslim countries. It hates these people so much that it rarely utters the word “Muslim” and “African.” PS tweet below states: Do we want to help – or do we want more migrants? The best way to help them is in neighboring [countries]. One Afghan to Finland costs

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Why is racism such a difficult matter for Helsingin Sanomat to address?

Helsingin Sanomat raised an important question: There are a record amount of asylum seekers from Ukraine, but nobody is crying murder like when mostly Iraqis and Afghans came to Finland in large numbers in 2015. In a statement Monday, the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) said that there are over 37,000 Ukrainians registered in the Finnish

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MT MEDIA MONITORING: How politicians perpetuate urban tales about migrants (Uusi Suomi)

An interview by Uusi Suomi of National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Atte Kaleva, who is part of Finland’s Islamophobic network, demonstrates a common flaw by the Finnish media that perpetuates urban tales and misconceptions spread by politicians about migrants. Kaleva claims that implementing a quota system for “foreign” students at schools in Finland would help

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I fear nationalism and racism as much as Russia

Apart from tightening laws and plans to build a fence on parts of the Finnish-Russian border, politicians in Finland are debating shutting tourism from Russia to Finland. As I have mentioned previously, one of the biggest fears of the war in Ukraine is awakening Finland’s deep distrust and hatred of Russia. The hatred will not

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When countries become nationalism addicts and junkies

Xenophobia tends to pile up. Like blacks in the United States, Finland’s “black” problem is Russia, and from the 1990s, Muslims. In the 1980s, when I lived permanently in Finland, and about 12,000 foreign nationals were living in the country, the racist undercurrent that flowed like a mighty river was ever-present. It reminded you whenever

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Police open new investigation of National Coalition Party MP Wille Rydman

After an initial police investigation into alleged sexual harassment by National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Wille Rydman, the National Bureau of Investigation (Keskusrikospoliisi) announced that it had opened a preliminary investigation into the MP’s activities. Rydman is a staunch anti-Muslim who is unofficially Kokoomus’ Jussi Halla-aho. Halla-aho is the former chairperson of the far-right Perussuomalaiset

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War in Ukraine forces Finland to lurch to a dark place where human rights must eventually take a backseat

The polarized debate in parliament Monday on renewing the Border Guard Act and Emergency Powers Act is just another example of how Finland has lurched into a dark place where human rights are a nuisance and should not take presedence The far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS), with the helping hand of the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), and

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Avoid turning Finland into a United States

In a thousand years, if there’s History, America will be remembered as a nasty little Country. Full of Pricks… Allen Ginsberg, Epilogue from “The Fall of America poems of these states 1965-1971” Following the dysfunctionality and cultural war raging in US politics, any sensible person can conclude that the present situation is due to several

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What does Finland’s far-right Perussuomalaiset think of the overturning of Roe and Wade and attack of a gay bar in Oslo?

Setting aside the US Supreme Court decision to reverse Roe and Wade, which effectively took away women’s rights to have an abortion, we saw the cold-blooded attack at a gay bar by a man in Oslo that left two dead and 21 wounded. Meanwhile, in Finland, Yle reported some MPs’ reaction to the Supreme Court

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Sexual harassment scandal takes a political toll on Kokoomus MP Wille Rydman

The scandal that embroiled National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Wille Rydman, has forced him to resign “indefinitely” from the Kokoomus parliamentary and Helsinki city council groups. A Helsingin Sanomat investigative story exposed MP Rydman’s sexual harassment of underage girls to whom he sometimes offered alcohol. The police, who investigated the case, did not bring any

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What’s all the commotion about Wille Rydman? Why is Kokoomus now shocked?

A big question remains after a Helsingin Sanomat investigative journalism piece exposed how National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Wille Rydman treated women – even underaged ones – inappropriately. Some of these women, who were minors then, claimed that Rydman forced them to drink alcohol.  A question remains: Why does Kokoomus appear so shocked today, even after the

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Wille Rydman exposes Kokoomus’ hypocrisy and its racist politicians

I wonder if National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Wille Rydman has ever heard of Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, who is under investigation for sexually abusing minors, among other crimes? Helsingin Sanomat exposed in a story Rydman of inappropriate behavior and abusing sexually minors Sunday. Like Gaetz, Rydman is in hot water and denies all

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Kokoomus’ “Jussi Halla-aho” is suspected of harassing underaged girls

National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Wille Rydman, whose xenophobic views have earned him the dubious label of being Kokoomus’ Jussi Halla-aho, is suspected by the police of harassing underaged girls. He is the same MP pushing hardline policies against asylum seekers because he is worried about sexual harassment. Former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson Jussi Halla-aho was

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The PS’ crystal ball racism based on selective scenarios

With the parliamentary election about 10 months away in April 2023 and a disastrous county election showing and equally depressing opinion poll results, it’s clear that the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is desperately trying to connect with voters. One example of these underhanded tactics is a proposal by the PS to close the border with

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Ilta-Sanomat’s message hasn’t changed in the past 30 years: Islam and refugees are a threat to Finland

Ever wondered why tabloids like Ilta-Sanomat continue to publish racist stories? When the first Somalis came to Finland in the early 1990s, the tabloid had a field day (see billboards below). Imagine headlines like “Somalis will remain in Finland,” “Somalis tricked (authorities) to get asylum,” and twenty years later, “10,000 illegal refugees will come this

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Why do the Perussuomalaiset speak in code when referring to Muslims?

Throughout the years, far-right parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* have in recent years mainly used code words to refer to Muslims. Some of the most common ones are sexual offenders, overrepresented in crime statistics, asylum seekers, and, now the latest, vieraskieli, or “people who don’t speak Finnish as their mother tongue.” One article published last

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Twitter (@johanneskoski): The Perussuomalaiset are racist – what of it?

With parliamentary elections approaching in April 2022 in a backdrop of depressing opinion polls, the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party is ratcheting its usual attacks against migrants and minorities. The strategy is like a motto used by the Green Berets in the Vietnam War: “Kill ’em all, let God sort them.” The violent saying was used in

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How the Finnish media Others racialized pupils

One of the casualties of the war in Ukraine will be social rights and the recognition of racialized people in Finland. Are we witnessing more aggressive reporting as a result? Helsingin Sanomat published Wednesday a whole spread about how “over half of the students at several schools in Espoo don’t speak Finnish as their mother

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How institutional racism entrenches at a Finnish school

How does institutional racism survive unchallenged at a Finnish school? An anonymous source got in touch with Migrant Tales and pointed out how structural or institutional racism survives at a Finnish school. One of the most crucial factors for its survival aren’t surveys and legal ineffective and false assurances against discrimination and racism but what

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Peddling theories about ethnic replacement in Finland for political profit and blood

I received a call from an old Migrant Tales reader who was distraught about a letter to the editor written by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Youth of Lappeenranta. The headline? “The nation-state is our best protection.” Is it? The reader continued: “How can Helsingin Sanomat publish something that openly excludes non-white Finns and other minorities in Finland? I’m

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Exposing white privilege in Finland #86: Maryan Abdulkarim and Finland’s amnesia

I can’t remember. It’s not important anyway. Finland’s political amnesia shrowded in denial and hostility comes in the form of knee-jerk reactions. Those knee-jerk reactions may appear by acting dumb to difficult questions or by destroying your credibility in public. I met Maryan Abdulkarim many years ago and commended her bravery in the face of

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Will Nato membership for Finland be good for migrants and minority rights?

If truth Is the first casualty in war, then the second casualty is the loss of your civil rights. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin are due to announce Thursday that Finland should join Nato “without delay,” according to The Guardian. While Finland’s security concerns are valid enough for its giant eastern neighbor

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How the Finnish media frames “good” and “bad” refugees

Länsiväylä is a community newspaper that lives off advertising revenues. One story on Ukrainian refugees raking a park in Kirkonnummi, a city near Helsinki, is another chapter in framing Ukrainian refugees as “good” refugees, while similar people from the Middle East are viewed as “bad” refugees. One PS politician states: “These Ukrainians are pretty different

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Shadow racism in the happiest country

It is quite true that when people come to a new country like Finland, they have a ”honeymoon” period – everything looks new and interesting. The first few months can feel like an extended holiday, and you experience the seasons, the holidays and the culture. When it came time for me to look for work,

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The Right to Live citizen’s initiative has over 50,000 signatures – parliament has a moral obligation to grant residence permits to undocumented migrants

The Right to Live (Lupa elää) citizen’s initiative passed through the 50,000 signatures barrier Friday. If passed by parliament, the initiative will grant four-year residence permits to undocumented migrants who came to Finland before January 1, 2017. The ministry of interior published its recommendations on what to do with some 3,000 undocumented migrants who came to Finland

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“On the path of Sweden” and other deceptive claims by the Perussuomalaiset and Finnish media

Ever wonder why the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party gets so excited about so-called failed immigration and riots in Sweden? Is it because there isn’t enough news in Finland to spike and spread their Islamophobic message and perpetuate their deceptive claims? The PS is a case in point to study how fake news about migrants is

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Migrant Tales Literary: Autumn darkness and the midnight sun

By Leo Honka Deep in the forests of Savo, darkness is not always darkness but a state of mind that has learned to remain an image. In such places, time comes and goes but never leaves; its magic maintains you balanced like a trapeze artist without falling thanks to heart-filled joyous moments of memories once

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Helsingin Sanomat treats Rikka Purra with kid gloves – by and large, stenography journalism

If former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* head Jussi Halla-aho were a women, her name would be Riikka Purra. Helsingin Sanomat published Saturday an interview with PS Chairperson Riikka Purra, where she puts Ukrainian refugees on a pedestal and dehumanizes Muslim and African refugees. Instead of just publishing Purra’s comments like a stenographer, why not fact-check? Here are

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Populist European parties and politicians, like rats, will abandon a sinking ship in 2022

This year has been disastrous for the populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* for several reasons. The first hiccup came in last year’s municipal election, when the party, guided by promising opinion polls, expected to win but came in fourth place. Then came an even worse wreck: the county election in January, when its support dove to 11%.  Despite these

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Our willingness to help “women and children” Ukrainian refugees is code for anti-Muslim racism

Think about it. Finland’s far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party has had a total change of heart about refugees, which it has attacked and fed its popularity. Not only the PS, but other parties like the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), Center Party, and a “taxi party” Liike Nyt, according to Yle. A taxi party is one where

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Exposing white privilege in Finland #84: Suomineidot offers refuge to privilege, white power, whitewashing, the far right and racism

Comments about the Yle television series on far-right young women, Suomineidot (Finnish Maidens), went viral, and for a good reason. Apart from revealing how much in the dark Yle is about racism and the far right, it also exposes white privilege in Finland. In a nutshell, the series is about three young women: Meri Kartta

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Suomineidot is another example of how much Yle is in the dark about racism and the far right

Here is the plot of a new TV series Suomineidot (Finnish Maidens): Meri is a far-right ethnonationalist who hangs out with neo-Nazis. Jasmin is an avid follower of Pentti Linkola, who promoted population decline. Liisa is a member of the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. Apart from the radical political views of the three participants, YLE launched

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How will we treat Ukrainian refugees in Finland?

The interior ministry estimates “tens of thousands” Ukrainians moving to Finland as a result of the war in that country, according to  Yle News. There are about 7,000 Ukrainians in Finland, but Anna Rundgren, a ministry of interior senior specialist, believes that the actual figure is several times higher. In 2015, the country saw a record

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Hitting refugees below the belt

I talked to a group of students from different national backgrounds today. Two things unite them: they are mostly Muslims and present or past asylum seekers in Finland. While Europe is opening its arms to 2.809 million refugees from Ukraine since Sunday, according to the UNHCR, the two sets of rules for refugees reveal how

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A racist explanation by the chair of parliament’s foreign affairs committee of Finland why Ukrainian refugees are better than other ones

Despite all the objections to racism and Islamophobia in Finland, the silence and sub-rosa nods why such social ills continue to take root in the country. The chair of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Jussi Halla-aho of the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, explained why Europe should open its arms to Ukrainians and shut the door on refugees

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Nato membership knocking at the door

As the Finnish launches a process to consider the nation’s Nato membership, while the frightening news from the war in Ukraine floods the media, all of us living in the country need to stop and think how we got into this situation and where to turn now. Perhaps we also need to reflect why we

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Migrant Tales Literary: Fatima

Leo Honka Who is Fatima? Who is the person wishing us from the Joutseno immigration removal center a kind, “Good night. Loved ones.” Fatima is only a name. It houses no human because it is only a name written on paper by a plane dropping bombs, a tank shelling civilians, and a woman hoping for

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Other casualties of Ukraine are European far-right parties like the Perussuomalaiset of Finland

Since the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, we are seeing the restructuring of Europe’s security structure and political landscape. The new landscape is bad news for Europe’s far-right and populist parties like Finland’s Perussuomalaiset (PS)*.  The new situation may explain why PS chairperson, Riikka Purra, offered a new image with new glasses that

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PS’ about-turn on Russia is reprehensible

In the backdrop of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, some politicians, especially from the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, have changed their tune. Don’t be fooled by them, and such moves are nothing more than an opportunistic move to prop up their sinking popularity. Their shift in opinions about the Russians is so reprehensible that it

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Exposing white Finnish privilege #82: Good “refugees” are white and Christian, “bad” ones are Muslims

In light of the Russian invasion and bloodshed in Ukraine, Finland has expressed its readiness to take in “tens of thousands” of “refugees” from that country, according to Yle. Remember last year, when Poland closed its border with Belarus over mostly Iraqis seeking asylum in the EU? Remember the calls to keep out such asylum

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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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Helsinki court of appeal increases involuntary manslaughter sentence to nine years for stabbing Somali-Finnish youth

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED The Helsinki court of appeal* has increased Miro Pesonen’s involuntary manslaughter conviction to a nine-year prison term from five years previously and pay to the parents 10,000 euros for their suffering, according to Yle. Pesonen is a white Finn who stabbed Keyse Abdifatah Maalesh at Kannelmäki Helsinki railway station in April 2020.  The mother

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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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Cultural diversity is still a challenge in the Finnish education system

An article in Yle News brings us back again to one of the biggest challenges for multilingual children at Finnish schools: How the Finnish education system treats cultural diversity. Language and cultural interpreter and early childhood educator Nadezda Kärmeniemi admitted that multilingual children are caught between differing attitudes at schools. She is saying that there

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Ykkösaamu interview highlighted Halla-aho’s contempt for Human Rights

Yle’s Ykkösamu talk show exposed to a tee what the parliament’s new foreign affairs committee chairperson thinks of Human Rights. The first question by the host forced Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Jussi Halla-aho, who was convicted in 2012 for ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion, to reinforce his contempt of Human Rights. The interview was

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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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If Finland believes in its laws, it must give residence permits to undocumented migrants

The ministry of interior published on Thursday its recommendations on what to do with some 3,000 undocumented migrants who came to Finland in 2015-2016. Of this group, about 300 are children living in legal limbo thanks to a 2016 law that abolished granting residence permits on humanitarian grounds. The number of undocumented migrants rose from

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Racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, discrimination, and misogyny are a blow to Finnish police trust

London Mayor Sadiq Khan took a proactive approach to discrimination in the Metropolitan Police. We need the same in Finland to deal with a problematic issue in the Finnish police force. “Last week I made it clear to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner (Cressida Dick) the scale of the change I believe is urgently required to

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Sweden is a great country thanks to immigrants

“It always amazes me to hear Finland’s most xenophobic politicians from the Perussuomalaiset* and National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) pointing the accusing finger at Sweden about how the country has failed because of immigration. Sweden has a more dynamic and competitive economy than Finland’s because of migrants. If there are problems in Sweden, the state is

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Jussi Halla-aho, who wanted the Greek army to crush protestors ten years ago, is expected to replace Mika Niikko

According to Helsingin Sanomat, former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson Jussi Halla-ago is expected to replace Mika Nikko, the chairperson of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, according to Helsingin Sanomat. Niikko resigned Tuesday evening after he suggested in a tweet that the West should assure Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine will not join Nato. While Niikko is

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PS chair of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee resigns after “careless” Ukraine tweet

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP and head of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Mika Nikko, resigned today after he tweeted that come Western leader should assure Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine must not join Nato. The tweet, which was in conflict with Finland’s foreign policy, was deleted. Even so, it had created quite a stir and

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Seinäjoki police wrapping up their suspected hate crime investigation. Charges are expected this month.

The Seinäjoki police, which had taken over a year and eight months to investigate a crime when Fares Al-Obaidi was attacked by over ten people from the Western Finnish town of Teuva, plans to bring charges this month, according to the victim. The incident happened on June 6, 2020 when over ten suspected townspeople from

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Sanna Ukkola, if antiracism is the new racism, it shows that you are part of the racism problem

THE STORY WAS UPDATED Of all the newspapers that write about migrants and cultural diversity, tabloid Iltalehti published Sanna Ukkola’s column on how “antiracism is the new racism.” With a headline like that, we could also put together provocative headlines like how “feminism is modern misogyny,” “anti-fascism is the new fascism,” and “how promoting same-sex

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A-Talk exposed further what a poor leader Riikka Purra is and how little respect she has for other politicians

Did any of you watch A-Talk with two government representatives, Iris Suomela of the Green League, Center Party Finance Minister Annika Saarikko, and two opposition representatives, Perussuomalaiset (PS)* head Riikka Purra, and National Coalition Party MP Antti Häkkänen? One matter stood out: Purra’s aggressive style and talking out of turn when Suomela spoke. Her facial

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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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Getting a job does not scare me, it is what happens after that raises concern

If we look at the many stories of job discrimination that we have published in Migrant Tales, one factor links them: despair and the police, which too often look the other way.  Considering the underwhelming effort the police have made in challenging human trafficking, labor discrimination, hate speech, and other social ills, why would a victim trust the

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Do we want an openly Islamophobic prime minister that aims to exclude foreigners? I hope not!

After the disastrous showing of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* in Sunday’s regional election, the far-right party aims to win next year’s parliamentary election and have its chairperson, Riikka Purra, as prime minister. Good luck with that, especially after the big election setback. Even if the regional election will turn out to be a watershed for the

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The National Coalition Party wins Finland’s first regional elections

The National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) won Finland’s first regional elections after capturing 21.6% of the votes, according to Yle. Apart from the low 47.5% voter turnout, there were two big surprises: the good showing of the Center Party and the abysmal result by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*.  During the past decade, much of the PS’ success hinges on

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Mayday! Mayday! The Perussuomalaiset are sinking

The recent poll on the regional elections shows eveals and exposes the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, who suffered a 3.3 percentage point fall, as a one-issue party. The regional elections, which will be held on Sunday, will transfer power from municipalities to regional councils, which will manage health care and emergency services. Sunday’s election appears to

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Remember Jari Sillantie of the Kolari asylum reception center and coming out of the Islamophobic closet

I do, and very vividly. Jari Sillantie was the deputy manager of the northern Finland Kolari asylum reception center that sacked him after some 140 asylum seekers protested his management style. Even if his management style and Facebook “likes” did not reveal his attraction to the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, they did speak volumes about

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The party with the most criminal charges: Perussuomalaiset candidates, who else?

THE STORY WAS UPDATED Guess which party has the highest number of candidates charged with a crime? Correct, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*. According to Helsingin Sanomat, 6.3% (8.2% in the 2021 municipal elections) of PS candidates in January’s regional election have been charged for crimes during 2017-2021. That was followed by the Left Alliance (3.0%/4.1%), Christian Democrats (2.2%/2.4%),

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A victory for free speech against the far-right and “racist clowns”

Due process takes a long time in Finland as the landmark Johanna Vehkoo against far-right agitator Junnes Lokka, whom she called in a Facebook “a Nazi clown” and “a racist.” Surprisingly, a Rovaniemi appeal court upheld a prior Oulu district court ruling that Vehkoo had defamed Lokka. Today’s ruling by the supreme court dismissed the

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How we treat terrorism in our society depends on your ethnic and religious background

After creating a big commotion in December about uncovering Finland’s first far-right terrorist cell, the Stakunta District Court ordered the release of four of the suspects on Wednesday, according to Yle News. One of the suspects was released last month. Even if the police consider the arrest of the suspects as the “first” far-right cell, it all

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European Islamophobia Report: Finland

The European Islamophobia Report 2020 was published on December 29. Below is the Finland chapter of the report. The editors for the report are Dr. Enes Bayrakli and Dr. Farid Hafez. While the government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin has tried to roll back some of the draconian immigration law measures of the previous government,

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Somali-Finn victim’s mother appeals manslaughter conviction

The mother of eighteen-year-old Keyse Abdifatah Maalesh, stabbed to death at Kannelmäki Helsinki railway station on April 26, 2020, by a white Finn called Miro Pesonen, is appealing the involuntary manslaughter ruling on September 7, 2020, by the Helsinki District Court. The mother who said that she had not found the energy to pursue the

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A question to the Kankaanpää police: Was a proper investigation carried out on the burning of an asylum reception center in 2015?

In 2015, when a record number of asylum seekers came to Finland, a number of attacks were carried out against asylum reception centers. One of these was in Niinisalo, located a stone’s throw from Kankaanpää, where over two weeks ago a group of white Finnish terrorist suspects was detained by the police. While a lot

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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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PM Sanna Marin is a true leader

An interview published today in The Guardian of Prime Minister Sanna Marin reveals that countries like Finland have not caved into populism, xenophobia, and toxic nationalism. Her leadership is a direct snub at those forces in Finland trying to bring down her government. Marin said in the interview that she believed future governments would continue to promote

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Far-right terrorism in Finland has many direct and indirect supporters

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED 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 Five white Finns were detained Tuesday and remanded by a Satakunta District Court Friday, at the request of the

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Five white Finns arrested on suspected terrorism charges

Five white Finns born between 1995 and 1998 were arrested Tuesday by the police on suspected terrorism charges, according to Pori-based daily Satakunnan Kansa. The five suspects are from the Western Finnish region of Kankaanpää. The police did not call the suspects white Finns but stated that they had “ethnic Finnish names.” The police and

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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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Kirkko ja kaupunki: Security costs at the Helsinki Synagogue soar

It should not surprise us that anti-Semitism is also on the rise in Finland. An article in Kirkko ja kaupunki revealed the cost of security needed at the Helsinki Synagogue has soared between 2017 and 2021. Yaron Nadbornik, president of the 1,100-strong Jewish community of Helsinki, was quoted as saying that the cost of security at

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Racists at the Mikkeli bus stop

I hadn’t heard the statement, “I’m a racist,” for a long time. Even so, two middle-aged women were chatting in Mikkeli loudly about how bad migrants were. I intervened because silence is a total cop-out. “Are you a racist,” I asked one of the women. “Yes, I’m a racist,” she snapped. “You should be ashamed

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Shameless Europe does not care if you live or die

We cannot just snuggle here and see who comes to the border. We must promote the values of the EU with greater determination because without these values we are worthless. Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen We just read about the tragic death of 27 people when attempting to cross the English Channel. One of

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The police give you permission to pry into a person’s background even if these are inappropriate and offensive

Remember Husein Hamiid when he asked in summer a real estate agent about renting a hotel and restaurant? The real estate agent, who was a Perussuomnalaiset (PS)* municipal candidate for the city of Espoo, started to pry into Hamiid’s life: “What kind of family and relatives do you have? What is your religion? Could you

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Finland’s pyramid of hate: Let’s do away with the Human Rights of asylum seekers

Even if opposition politicians from parties like the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), it’s sobering that the government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin is holding the line against their onslaughts. It is surprising that how naive the PS and Kokoomus are. No border, no law, will bring a sense of security unless you

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At times like this, I am ashamed of Finland and the EU

The so-called migrant crisis with Belarus offers Lukashenko and Putin an opportunity and EU politicians tools to fearmonger and score brownie points with voters. Isn’t it odd how one-sided the news is about the refugee crisis at the Belarus border? Most of the opposition politicians, especially from the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), believe that harsh

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Police University College: Suspected hate crime cases retreat in 2020 by 5.22% to 852 from the previous year

Suspected hate crimes reported to the police in Finland during2020 totaled 852 cases, which is a 5.22% fall from 899 hate crimes in the previous year, according to the Police University College. As in previous years, the lion’s share (88.5%) of all hate crimes were motivated by national-ethnic origin (649/75.8% of all cases) and religion (108/12.7%).

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: What must be done to speed up adaption?

There are many things that one can do to retard or facilitate adaption of newcomers to Finland. One of the worst is constant suspicion by politicians who have no qualifications or understanding of migration. Good examples are National Coalition Party MP Pia Kauma who does not have the faintest idea about migrants but is still

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Twitter: Disingenuous Veikko Vallin

How to describe Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Veikko Vallin’s tweet below? Vallin, who likes to be called the Trump of Tampere, likes posing with MAGA caps and often makes racist remarks about asylum seekers, who are mostly Muslims. He even brags on social media about how he was able to escape taxes in Finland by moving

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Finland’s dark side begins to wake up

This week we learned about how widespread women in the rescue department are victims of sexual harassment and discrimination, according to Yle. We also learned about the ministry of justice’s plans to tackle discrimination and hate-speech awareness with a 52-point program with the help of training increased support for organizations racism and hate crime.  Writes Yle News: “In the future

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What did PS’ Veikko Vallin say at the Tampere city council meeting?

Do we need to know the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP’s track record and what he has said about asylum seekers, Muslims, people of color, and other minorities in the past? His tirade against asylum seekers was so racist that the Left Alliance bloc threatened to leave the meeting if Vallin didn’t stop talking.  Vallin, an avid

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Why do some politicians, who know better, spread and feed us racism?

There is an old saying that goes something like this: I was a liberal in youth so I would not be a fascist in old age. What motivates a politician to twist and exaggerate facts to stigmatize migrants? National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Heikki Vestman’s speech in parliament Wednesday is a prime example of how

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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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A bad week for Helsinki University: Another discrimination case, another question mark

It has been a bad week for Helsinki University with Helsingin Sanomat uncovering an alleged discrimination case by the faculty of theology. The incident comes after the university’s department of geography students dressed up like colonizers of a popular board game, Afrikan tähti (Star of Africa). The Helsinki University geography department gave Tuesday a public

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Amir’s tragic life as an asylum seeker in Finland

I got to know Amir* in 2016 when he was living in the Kolari asylum refugee center. Thanks to his help and those of others, the asylum seekers of the reception center organized a demonstration that ended with the deputy manager, Jari Sillantie, getting sacked. Amir, an Iraqi, came to Finland in 2015 like so

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Oops! Incorrect suspected sexual assault cases for 2020

Sexual assault, especially suspected cases, is heatedly used by anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and public services like the police to demonstrate how some foreigners are. The police admitted today to a mistake in tabulating suspected sexual assault cases during 2020. The mistake originates from a foreigner suspected of sexually assaulting his wife 141

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Finnish government to ease (alas) strict family reunification law

The Finnish government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin plans to overturn the country tightened immigration law and family reunification requirements, which came into force a year later after a record 32,477 asylum seekers came to Finland in 2015. The then government of Center Party Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party was a

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PS MP Sebastian Tynkkynen gets a third ethnic agitation conviction

THE STORY WAS UPDATED Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party MP Sebastian Tynkkynen was convicted for a third time of ethnic agitation, according to Yle News. The two previous convictions were handed down in 2016 and 2017. The Oulu District Court handed Tynkkynen, who is the PS’ third vice president, 70 day fines amounting to 4,400 euros. The PS

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Exposing white Finnish privilege #81: Racializing crime, perpetuating stereotypes and racism

Treat with tweezers whenever percentage figures are used to depict sexual assault cases by migrants. A government-commissioned study published Thursday concluded that migrants are over-represented in suspected sexual assault crimes, perpetuating a toxic narrative. Such generalizations give ammunition to Islamophobes like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party to maintain and reinforce racist stereotypes.  To look at how the Finnish

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Exposing white Finnish privilege #80: Violence against you counts but mine doesn’t

Radical-right Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party MP, Sebastian Tynkkynen, who has two ethnic agitation convictions and a third pending, is trying to get the most political mileage from an incident at an #elokapina demonstration.  Some unknown persons at the demonstration allegedly attempted to attack Tynkkynen and shoved him. The police asked if the MP wanted to

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Migrant Tales Literary: Modes of travel

It is the same feeling of anticipation you have at an airport, where you are in the land of nowhere with a sense of being somewhere else. You are wrong if you if you believe that there is only one way of traveling. As a migrant who has travelled all of his life, I have

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Finnish lawmaker has three ethnic agitation convictions to his name

The Oulu district court found Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Sebastian Tynkkynen guilty of ethnic agitation for his Facebook postings in 2017, according to Yle. While no Finnish media mentioned it, the third conviction for ethnic agitation is a record for a Finnish lawmaker.  Hiding behind Islamophobic arguments and that the sentence violated his free speech rights, Tynkkynen said

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Subcontracting social ills to higher pay

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED According to Helsingin Sanomat, Deputy Mayor for Education of Helsinki, Nasima Razmyar, believes that the best way to deal with inequality at Helsinki schools is by paying teachers a bigger salary. Ramyar has a good idea, but it does not even begin to deal with why there is so much inequality

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Migrant Tales Literary: Where happiness lives

                                                                 No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.                                                                                                           William Blake (1757-1827) Leo Honka Of all the seasons that pass over Finland, possibly fall is the most magical. But what makes it stand out from the others? Is it the pitch-darkness? Is it the vast universe above and its

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Finland’s hardline and bureaucratic immigration policy is deadly for democracy

“Finland’s hardline and bureaucratic immigration policy based in great part on suspicion and fear of outsiders is partly to blame for the rise of a populist and hostile anti-immigration party in the last decade and even for high migrant unemployment. A systematic policy of exclusion suggests that our plans to bring foreign labor will fail. A

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The Finnish media’s reporting about migrants and minorities is a disappointment

It is surprising, even worrying, that outsiders are the ones that help burst the media’s many bubbles. One such OP-ED published Wednesday in Helsingin Sanomat by Antti Kivijärvi, and Martta Myllyä sheds light on the blind spot created by exceptionalism and ethnocentrism. Should it be a surprise that this state of affairs happens whenever migrants

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PS’ Riikka Purra feeds Afghans to the dogs

The new chairperson of the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, Riikka Purra, will soon be calling out the knives. In her latest tweet, she reveals her radical cruelty against the vulnerable. In the Tweet below, she feeds the Afghans to the dogs and shows the worst of Finland. No experts, human rights activists, defenders of the

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Finland’s issues with Nazi flags and a too often biased and insensitive media of minorities

Migrant Tales published on Tuesday comments by Yaron Nadbornik, the president of the 1,100-strong Jewish Community of Helsinki, concerning the Helsinki district court’s ruling that carrying Nazi Germany flags in public was not ethnic agitation. If there is one group of people who have a lot to say about Nazi flags and the Holocaust, they

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Riikka Purra and her PS cronies want to make discrimination and racism legal

We all know about Perussuomalaiset (PS)* new chairperson Riikka Purra’s radical views on cultural diversity and migration in general. Yes, she’s the one warning about how Muslims are taking over Europe and how brown and black Finns will replace white Finns. Her latest Tweet below suggests that white Finns should be the only beneficiaries of

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Finland’s Perussuomalaiset party says that the use of the Nazi flag in public should not be criminalized

THE STORY WAS UPDATED Only the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and Ano Turtiainen’s one-man party expressed opposition to criminalizing the use of the Nazi flag in public. The story by Yle was published a day after the Helsinki District Court dismissed ethnic agitation charges agitation against five men of carrying a swastika flag in public on Independence Day 2018. PS parliamentary group

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Hesburger employee debacle: Wake up Finland!

One of the big questions that the Hesburger employee debacle proves is that Finnish unions, the police, and state regulators don’t take the law seriously enough. Migrant Tales has cited numerous cases where employers exploited foreigners.  It’s clear that if their employers exploit some migrants, it happens as well to white Finns. A group of former and present Hesburger

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Center Party MP Juha Pylväs just pulled the oldest racist trick by politicians

Center Party parliamentary group leader Juha Pylväs got his brief moment in the media by insulting migrants and minorities. Today, however, he showed us one of the oldest political tricks in the books: say something outrageous, usually racists, and then apologize. He regretted calling some asylum seekers “welfare surfers” or shoppers. He said his statement

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Center Party’s Pylväs cannot resist and swallows the “sweet” pill of racism

Center Party parliamentary group leader Juha Pylväs went on the rampage Wednesday: “We certainly need in Finland skilled foreigners who can live off their work,” he was quoted as saying in Helsingin Sanomat. “We don’t need surfers and parasites that seek a better standard of living.” While we could consider Pylväs’ statement in foul taste, Center

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Riikka Purra’s call to struggle against her ilk

Silence and complacency are some of the reasons why xenophobia and the rise of an anti-immigration party have been possible in Finland. While there are many common citizens and activists in Finland who have been fighting against parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, chairperson Riikka Purra’s interview on Yle’s Ykkösaamu is a definite reminder that we

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PS’ Mika Niikko: Muslims should be prohibited from having a family

Perussuomalaiset MP and chair of the foreign affairs committee, Mika Niikko, said in Helsingin Sanomat that he’d only want to give asylum to Afghan women and girls. Niikko’s and the PS’ xenophobic views of asylum seekers are exposed.  “I am not heartless to not help women and children who seek to come and seek shelter from a

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Riikka Purra is the new leader of xenophobic copycats and plagiarizers

The newly elected chairperson of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, Riikka Purra, did not waste any time attacking migrants. Apart from tightening naturalization laws and family reunification, she stated that the PS will not become a member of a new government that doesn’t “significantly” tighten immigration laws.  The timing of her hostile and anti-social statements could not have been worse.

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Migrant Tales Literary: Riikka Purra, where is your heart?

THIS POEM WAS UPDATED Where is your heart, Riikka Purra? Did you throw it away in a trash can? Or did you hungrily devour it after you saw your first refugee The bricks that line your political path will turn red hot and melt your shoe soles; even if you can only be tall for

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The new PS board is a tinderbox and a liability to their political goals

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED While some reporters are hoping for the downfall of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s government, they are also rooting for the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, whom they see as a shoo-in to lead or be a member of Finland’s next government after the 2023 parliamentary elections.  If you look at the reporting of the

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Riikka Purra and the PS: Grow up! Stop bullying migrants and minorities!

Statements about tightening immigration policy by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* elected chairperson, Riikka Purra, exposes her cowardice and the complacency of the Finnish media.  The cowardice comes from bullying people who are powerless to challenge her hostility. The complacency of the Finnish media comes from seeing no wrong in Purra’s and the PS’ hatred of migrants

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Whoever is elected as the chair of the PS will perpetuate Finland’s lie

The annual of the xenophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* in Seinäjoki will elect Saturday the party’s next chairperson after Jussi Halla-aho announced in June that he would not seek a new term. While it is a foregone conclusion that the PS’ first vice president Riikka Purra will be the party’s new chairperson, it is also clear that

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A-Studio: Riikka Purra wants to tighten Finnish citizenship law, do away with pull factors

Riikka Purra, the favorite to win the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* leadership at the party’s annual meeting over the weekend, said Wednesday at Yle’s A-Studio was one of the many steps she took wants to tighten citizenship laws. This summer, the first vice president of the PS said that the party would not join any government that would not tighten “significantly” immigration

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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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Exposing white Finnish privilege #79: Spreading lies at our economic peril

What if most of the anti-immigration talking points spread by politicians like Jussi Halla-aho, Riikka Purra, and most of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party are just outright lies and urban legends? What if those false arguments put Finland in economic and social peril because they are untrue? An interesting paper titled, The 14 Most Common Arguments against

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Federation of Real Estate Agency: “Moreover, the guide to good rental practices addresses discrimination”

Remember the real estate agent from Espoo who asked for a client’s personal information by disregarding the non-discrimination act? The person in question was a candidate for the Perussuomalaiset* party in the June municipal election. He did not get elected. Below, it one message that the real estate agent sent Husein Hamiid, who has lived

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A warning to Tamk international students: If you cheat, “you better go and study in another country”

Some Finns have not received high scores for their subtleness but can be sometimes outright offensive. Taru Owston, a councellor at Tampere University of Applied Sciences (Tamk), gave a stern warning to international students at her talk. It’s not rocket science to understand that cheating is unacceptable in all countries and cultures. It also happens

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Let’s take our identity back from the likes of Kauma, Kokoomus and the Perussuomalaiset*

It isn’t surprising that the National Coalition Party’s (Kokoomus) proposal to tighten social security guidelines between migrants and “white Finns” (kantasuomalaiset) has caused confusion. The answer is simple and hinges on the fact that ethnicity and race are social constructs. The mix-up over the use of the term kantasuomalainen has not only caught Kokoomus by

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Sucking up to the Perussuomalaiset and exposing your hypocrisy

The latest unconstitutional proposal by National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) MP Pia Kauma and her party is an example of how right-wing parties in Finland bully vulnerable migrants. What makes the whole proposal a publicity stunt and a further sucking up to the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* by Kokoomus, is MP Kauma.  While the political reasons are clear

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Russian asylum-seeker family’s securty compromised by asylum reception center

A Russian family under serious threat of human rights violations plans to complain to the chancellor of justice against the Imatra asylum reception center, which alleges had endangered the Russian asylum seekers’ security. The family lived in Finland during 2017-2020. They are Ludmila*, her elderly mother, husband, and three other family members, including four cats. A

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PS MP Ville Tavio believes in fairy tales like the great replacement “theory” and takes aim at pre-school children

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* parliamentary group leader Ville Tavio shows once again the party’s toxic far-right colors. This is the same politician who wants the PS to follow Marine Le Pen’s line and expresses love for Hungary and Poland’s governments. Even warnings by the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service (Supo) about the so-called great replacement “theory” is

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Education without empathy and moral compass can turn you into a monster

The process to turn Finland’s far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party wants to become “a normal mainstream” party continues. You see, they claim, we’re “normal” because we have physicists and party members, like Riikka Purra, working on their PhDs. Sakari Puisto, who is also vying to be elected chairperson of the PS and Purra, has a Ph.D.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: The PS is the party of the nativist racists sprinkled with anti-EU soundbites

“No matter what the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party does, no matter who it elects as its next chairperson, the shadow of racism will follow it. Even if people like Timo Soini said that the party’s anti-immigration wing was only a minor factor in the 2011 parliamentary election, nothing could be further from the truth. Like

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Thank you Perussuomalaiset for giving us Ano Turtiainen

Without Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party backing, Finland would have never had to read about MP Ano Turtiainen. From spreading racism, Turtiainen is now a staunch anti-vaxxer who believes that the Coronavirus pandemic is a hoax. From “Pink Floyd” to his accusations to fellow MPs of traitor and committing genocide against the Finns, Turtiainen has come full

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(Migrant Tales, July 9, 2021): A quote for Riikka Purra – “If you can only be tall because someone is on their knees, then you have a serious problem”

Who is Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party heir-apparent Riikka Purra’s mentor? Is it far-right leader Marine Le Pen of France’s National Rally or UK home secretary hardliner Priti Patel? Purra got her anti-immigration inspiration from Jussi Halla-aho’s racist blog postings. “If it’s up to me, the Perussuomalaiset will never form part of a government that won’t tighten significantly Finnish

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Many good studies show racism in Finland, too few give us any solutions on how to tackle the problem

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin (1924-87) In Finland, we read a lot of studies about racism and discrimination. One recent article by Raster gives a comprehensive view of the issues fueling migrant discrimination and unemployment. Who can forget researcher Akhlaq Ahmad’s study in 2019 showed

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Does Finland need critical race theory?

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED Aminkeng A. Alemanji, a Cameroonian researcher who defended successfully in October 2016 his doctoral dissertation on anti-racism education, is the closest you will get to critical race theory in Finland.  Even if some link critical race theory to movements like BLM, it has been around for about 40 years. Critical race theory, like

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“The world’s happiest country” and its ever-growing moral conflict

Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987) published his groundbreaking study on the United States’ racism problem in 1944. While Myrdal was a controversial figure and Sweden was into measuring the skulls of the Saami due to a pseudoscience called eugenics, his study leaves us with food for thought. One of these is denial of a serious social problem

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“The world’s happiest country” faces a labor and talent crunch

How is it possible that the world’s happiest country is suffering from a severe labor crunch? Here are some facts: the number of over-65-year-olds per 100 working-age people will rise from 39.2% to 47.3% in 2030; to plug its pensions deficit, Finland needs to double the level of migrants to 20,000-30,000 annually.  In Europe’s most

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Riikka Purra is a poor copy of Jussi Halla-aho

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Jussi Halla-aho’s heir-apparent appears to be the party’s first vice-president, Riikka Purra. While Halla-aho has swung the party to the far-right and encouraging xenophobia, Purra has parroted the PS leader’s racist soundbites but with questionable results. Like Halla-aho, Purra loathes Muslims and people of color. So much so, in fact, that she warned

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Jussi Halla-aho announces he will step down as PS chair in August

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Chairperson Jussi Halla-aho announced Monday that he will not seek reelection as the party’s head at the annual meeting in August, according to Yle News. While some party members expressed sadness about the news, Halla-aho will not be missed by many. No reason was given for his departure. There is, however, some speculation

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Forcing an elderly Russian asylum seeker in Finland to the hospital

Some Russian asylum seekers expressed outrage of the ill-treatment of a single, 64-year-old woman from the Ukraine who was carried away by force from the Eastern Finnish Imatra asylum reception center. “This is not the way to great a human,” said a Russian asylum seeker who got in touch with Migrant Tales. “We are not

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Wael Cheblak aims to be a strong voice for Helsinki immigrants

Migrant Tales insight: Wael Cheblak, who is running for Helsinki city council, is an old and esteemed activist of Migrant Tales. While we do not endorse candidates in general, we sometimes make exceptions like in the case of Cheblak. If you vote for 1108 you vote for Wael Cheblak. Integration of vulnerable groups and ethnic

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My long journey to Finnish citizenship: Issues and the Supo interview

Ever wondered the source of the strong undercurrent of xenophobia in present-day Finland? The answer is in its history. During independence, Finland has been quite an unfriendly country towards foreigners. The Restricting Act of 1939 speaks volumes. Did you know that Finland passed its first immigration act in 1983 or about 66 years after gaining

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My long journey to Finnish citizenship

Like many children of Finnish parents, I, too, spent summers in the countryside with my grandparents. During all of these years, I thought, incorrectly, that I was a Finnish citizen or had a right to citizenship. I was wrong. Until 1984, children of Finnish men had the right to pass on citizenship to their children.

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Back to square one: To hijab or not to hijab?

Twenty-year-old Fardowsa Mahamoud’s questioning why the hijab, or veil, is not permitted in the Finnish military brought a sense of déjà-vu. About six years ago, Busman Gill Sukhdarshan Singh won after a year-long legal battle to wear a turban at work. In Finland, Sikh bus drivers won the right to use turbans at work, while in

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Al-Hol reveals Finland’s cowardice and paranoia

By Dana Finland is a cowardly and paranoic country that does not believe in humanity. But I respect humanity because GOD is the great Creator of man, and all of God’s creatures are important and valuable to me. Man is a creature of God. I am a disciple of truth, and the truth is my

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Dana’s Alppikulma diary: 10 homeless people and others

MAY 19: Yesterday, in front of the Alppikulma gate, more than 10 homeless people were waiting at 5 o’clock to enter the building. A foreigner from an African country who shaves his head is under so much pressure that he does strange things. But I will only describe his work yesterday. He has to carry

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PM Sanna Marin hits back at the PS’ perverted picture of migrants

Prime Minister Sanna Marin fired back at a session of parliament Thursday at the far-right Perussuomaliset (PS)* party. Making Finland an open and safe country is crucial if it wants to attract newcomers to the country. “Madam Speaker. Violence on streets, violence at homes, violence at schools are all severe matters, severe matters of which

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Dana’s Alppikulma diary (May 18 and 19)

Migrant Tales comment: Our longtime editor, Dana, has promised to update a diary of her life in Alppikulma, a shelter for the homeless. We publish this for others to know what a special woman Dana is but to get an insight into the lives of the homeless. Today, 18. May. 2021 was a rainy day,

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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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The Perussuomalaiset are dismantling our Nordic welfare state for iliberal democracy

What would you say about a party that openly supports former US President Donald Trump, “loves” Poland and Hungary, supports far-right French politician Marine Le Pen among other iliberal and populist malarkey? What about if I told you that that party has one aim: destroy Finland’s Nordic welfare state and democracy? The filibustering we are

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Migrant Tales Literary: Canary of light

By Dana رقناری آی قناریها برایم آواز بخوانید چون من اسیر دست فنلاندم، گرفتارم در یک قفس در بندماین قفس جنس آتشی دارد، بی نور و پنجره، نگهبان و پلیس های زشت وحشی و پا پتی دارد. فنلاند کشور سیاهچاله هاست، کشور شکنجه و قحطی و درد و مرگ و بلاست.من در این کشور بدام افتادم، بالهایم را شکستند و پاهایم

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The Perussuomalaiset now call migrants “cheap labor”

The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party’s hatred for migrants goes through the same path but the accusations and labeling vary. About ten years ago migrants were rapists, after 2015 when a record number of asylum seekers came to Finland, they were “social welfare surfers.” Today, the PS calls migrants “dumb” who want to work for lower wages.

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Migrant Tales Literary: God, my commander

By Dana Alone, solo and it is hard to fight, O GODYes, in the depths of darkness and dancing is pain O GOD GOD Tearing under the clutches of enemies and slaveryIt is hard to roll in blood and be silent and shut up, O GOD GOD suffocates the songs of the heart and smiles?Yes,

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Is there a difference between former and present Perussuomalaiset members?

Some of the persons promoting racism, violence, and Hungarian-Orbán-style rule in Finland are former and present Perussuomalaiset (PS)* members. The only difference between these two types of PS supporters is their incitement of violence and racism. James Hirvisaari, who was sacked from the party after he took a picture of a friend giving a Nazi

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The hypocrisy of the Perussuomalaiset revealed in Eastern Finland: racism, white nationalism, ties to the far-right

In my hometown of Mikkeli, the local Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chapter acted against a municipal election candidate that was too offensive even for their taste. It was the usual hateful nonsense against Muslims, visible migrants, and women. The PS sacked the candidate, Jorma T. Hartikainen, for being too racist only after the local daily, Länsi-Savo, exposed

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The police should stop being a gatekeeper of Finnish identity by stigmatizing whole ethnic groups

A stabbing that took place on Monday in Helsinki, causing the death of a 24-year-old victim, revealed the police’s power in labeling whole ethnic groups (usually in a negative light) and its gatekeeping role. Even if the stabbing suspect was arrested, the police statement mentioned that “about ten [suspects] mainly people of foreign background” took

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Immigrants – muted numb objects of the Finnish media narrative

“When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.” ― George R.R. Martin Finland enjoys an image of grandiosity on the shiny outside. The happiest country in the world, a young and progressive female government, low daily Corona

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Anonymous: Do not be silent!

When you are silent, everyone does whatever they want, and you have encouraged them with your silence. Do not be silent, if someone is oppressed in your presence and you are silent, you have helped the oppressor, you have supported him with your silence. Do not be silent, speak, you distinguish good from bad, you

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Russian asylum seekers leave Finland and then are eager to return

THE STORY WAS UPDATED For many Russian nationals of diverse backgrounds seeking asylum, the EU can be a house of mirrors, a labyrinth that leads you to dead ends. It isn’t easy to peer too deep into the future since ordinary days appear like years under these circumstances. One such case is of Russian asylum seeker Ludmila’s family that

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STATEMENT: The great replacement theory and playing with fire

It was only in March when the Finnish Security Service (Supo) 2020 annual report warned that the great replacement theory is nothing more than a conspiracy theory used by far-right terrorist groups. Should we be surprised that Finns Party (PS) politicians like its leader Jussi Halla-aho, vice president Riikka Purra, and party secretary Simo Grönroos have spread

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Turtianen is a threat to the PS and an example of everything that’s wrong with the far-right Islamophobic party

THE POST WAS UPDATED Former Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Ano Turtiainen has become a real thorn in the side of the far-right Islamophobic party. Apart from his racist postings of George Floyd, encouraging violence against asylum reception centers, assaulting a fourteen-year-old, wishing that asylum seekers would drown at sea, inciting civil war, anti-vaxxer buffoonery, and other

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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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Is Jussi Halla-aho’s deep voice fake?

Elizabeth Holmes built a 9-billion-dollar company called Theranos from scratch that promised to test blood with a single drop. One of the many deceptions she used to trick investors was her deep voice. As a woman, it gave her more authority. Those who have watched Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson Jussi Halla-aho for a few years will

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Finland’s PM Sanna Marin is the target of fierce misogynistic attack by online users

A story published Wednesday in Politico exposed the misogyny against Finland’s woman prime minister, Sanna Marin, and the women members of her cabinet. Considering that Finland’s biggest opposition party, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* which is also leading in opinion polls, hate speech has raised its head for many years. Hate speech and the PS are like

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Jussi Halla-aho is a racist, and so is the far-right party he leads

Uusi Suomi, an online publication that played a key role before the 2011 parliamentary elections in giving the racist rhetoric of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party a platform, published today an interview with a cultural researcher, Tuija Saresma, who concluded that Jussi Halla-aho and the PS are racist. While these types of statements are a foregone

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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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A Russian asylum seeker’s escape to freedom from Russia and Finland

Migrant Tales insight: Ogneslav Shevchenko, 36, is a Russian national with Ukrainian parents seeking asylum in Europe. Once you get to know him a little, you notice that he has traveled for many years, searching for a country where he is free from persecution. His story is like others seeking asylum and traveling in the

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Bring in the labor immigrants and climbing out of the xenophobic pit

Center Party chairperson and minister for culture, Annika Saarikko, is the type of leadership Finland needs today unless it wants to climb out of its deep xenophobic pit spearheaded by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. Considering that her party is being targeted by the PS, which bases its support on spreading suspicion and anti-immigration sentiment, Saarikko’s

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The Finnish police’s racism problem and ties with far-right groups like Kansallismielisten liittouma

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED Yle revealed in a story today that the far-right Kansallismielisten liittouma has distributed Green League Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo’s and Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen’s home address for harassment purposes. Moreover, Kansallismielisten liittouma chairperson, Tero Ala-Tuuhonen, has been in touch with “a Helsinki police sergeant” who has advised the far-right

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A Migrant Tales style guide to writing about migration: avoid words that hide our racism and denial

After over twenty years in journalism and writing for some of the world’s most prestigious publications and having worked as a foreign correspondent in countries like Finland, Italy, Colombia, and others, I have learned a thing or two about journalistic style and correctness. On top of my journalistic experience, I am a sociologist who has

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Populism and lack of leadership under Petteri Orpo fuel Kokoomus’ tailspin

The National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) received a political bomb that exposed the party’s internal strife between its liberal and populist-conservative wing. Kokoomus’ candidate for Helsinki mayor, Kirsi Piha, and Helsinki city councilor Hanna Gullichsen, both party’s liberal wing, announced they would step aside. Piha stated in a blog posting her decision to pull out from

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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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Kokoomus’ and Finland’s downward spiral

The last opinion poll published by Helsingin Sanomat doesn’t show us any big surprises. A few percentage-point fractions up or down and, end of story. If, however, we take a longer view, the situation of the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) raises some questions. Just like Jutta Urpilainen and the Social Democrats learned before the 2011

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KOTOUTUMINEN #14: Disseminate and vanish

Remember back in the 1990s when Finland brought Vietnamese refugees and dispersed them like pepper throughout Finland? It appeared back then that the main goal of the migration authorities was to disseminate newcomers and make them vanish. One matter that this type of coercive assimilation aimed at doing was to ensure that these Vietnamese boat

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Who is Finland’s Marjorie Taylor Greene?

TOPLINE Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is the far-right conspiracy monger who was voted out of her two committee assignments this week. In the age of misinformation, peddling conspiracy theories and racism are rewarded handsomely. Voters are gullible and conspiracy lies are quickly consumed with the help of the eyes and ears. KEY FACT AND

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Don’t give racist charlatans a megaphone

Which Finnish politicians are the country’s biggest charlatans? We all know them by name. Finland’s media has learned to pushback more than before and not give a megaphone to political con artists. It is called media responsibility. Who are these charlatans? They are the ones who always pick on the disadvantaged threatening them with a

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The PS will not succeed at turning Finland into a Hungary or Trumpland

TOPLINE The greatest deterrent in foiling the attempts of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party’s political aims is our fervent opposition to such plans. SOLUTIONS What does the latter imply? It means: voting, getting active in politics, writing, talking, debating, reciting poetry, demonstrating, going on hunger strike, getting constantly informed, busting fake news – living as if

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PS MP Riikka Purra is an opportunist full of white supremacist ideology

MP Riikka Purra is an ethnonationalist with a strong white supremacist ideology of the Perussuoalaiset (PS) party. She is also first vice president of the PS. One of Purra’s biggest message is how Finland is becoming culturally and ethnically diverse. According to her, this is a threat to the power and privileges that white Finns

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27-year-old Iraqi: “An asylum seeker is an animal and becomes a human being in Finland until he gets a residence permit”

TOPLINE In November, an Iraqi asylum seeker called Ziad* from Jämsänkoski heard the court sentence a man who had threatened him the previous year with a knife and called him a vitun pakolainen (f**king asylum seeker) and vitun ulkomaalainen (f**king foreigner). KEY FACT The verdict? A one-month jail sentence and a 700-euro fine paid to the victim. KEY

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Halla-aho, Purra, Tavio, Niikko and all of you PS politicians: Trump’s stench will linger

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED TOPLINE It is quite extraordinary that the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* continues to play down and deflect criticism for their admiration and support for outgoing US President Donald Trump whose most recent crimes included actively inciting a mob to violently assault the legislative branch of government to overturn the election he lost by

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Dr. Gareth Rice: The Finnish happiness myth

When asked about racism towards foreigners in Finland, Finns answer in a culturally approved script: “We Finns are not racist”; “If there is racism in Finland it is not as bad as it is in other countries” and; “Racism is the fault of the foreigners who move to Finland with unrealistic expectations.” Such dismissals require willful ethnic blindness to racism,

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Why radical-right populism will fail in Finland

TOPLINE After the historic election of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party in 2011, when it won 39 seats in parliament from 5 previously, two international events have kept in check the PS’ rise: the bloody 22/7 events that left seventy-seven dead in Norway, and Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol building in Washington. After the historical rise

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A warning to Finland from Washington

TOPLINE One of the big questions to arise from the Capitol storming on Wednesday by hordes of President Donald Trump followers is if the same could happen in Finland and other European capitals. The dust from the Capitol building’s storming by Trump hordes is still settling on a political landscape that appears threatening. Whatever your

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Migrant Tales (24.12.2020): Ask the Perussuomalaiset if they still “love” US President Donald Trump

THE STORY WAS UPDATED TOPLINE Considering the Trump-fueled terrorism in Washington Wednesday, I ask once again the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party the following question: Do you still “love” President Donald Trump? KEY BACKGROUND With the Trump presidency making its rambunctious exit after four years of chaos and moral decay, our attention should shift to Finland. Do

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PS’ Jyrki Åland wishes Corona to kill migrants in Varisuo, Turku

TOPLINE Jyrki Åland, the chairperson of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chapter of Turku, was quoted as saying that it would be a positive matter if Covid-19 deaths would “would do a lot of good” to Varisuo, a neighborhood of Turku where 48% of its inhabitants don’t speak Finnish or Swedish as their mother tongue. The statement

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Migrant Tales 7 years ago…Osaatko suomea? Can you speak Finnish?

by Migrant Tales, under Muhamed Abdimajed Murshid This cartoon by Muhamed Abdimajed Murshid was published seven years ago (18.5.2013) in Otavan Sanomat, a magazine project by the students of Otava Folk High School. The cartoon shows what a lot of migrants face when studying and learning to speak Finnish. Picture one: Studying Finnish in the beginning. Picture

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Piia Kattelus-Kilpeläinen: Put another fascist feather in my PS cap

Piia Kattelus-Kilpeläinen is the latest example of the bedfellows of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party. The councilperson from Seinäjoki, where she works as a police officer, offers an odd New Year’s greeting, all with a fascist Lapua Movement, Lapua like, (1928-1932) pullover, an ax, and a chain. A publicity stunt of a media-hungry person craving for

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Hall of Shame: Finland’s 2020 Islamophobic and Afrophobic network

Choosing the key figures in the Islamophobic and Afrophobic Hall of Shame wasn’t difficult even during a year ravaged by Covid-19. The task was to choose the most obvious culprits and other ones in the media that fuel and maintain such a toxic environment. In putting together this year’s Hall of Shame, I was quickly

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Finland’s Hall of Shame of its Islamophobic and Afrophobic network will be published on December 30

Migrant Tales will publish on Wednesday, December 30, people, politicians, the media, and political parties that spread Islamophobia and Afrophobia during 2020. If you would like to participate in the making of this list, please send your suggestions to [email protected] We believe that social ills like Islamophobia, Afrophobia, and all forms of racism should be

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The PS appears desperate as their source for alternative news dims with the end of US President Trump’s administration

The Perussuoalaiset (PS)* party’s tactics are in a desperate mode as the days in office of their US political mentor, President Donald Trump, ends on January 20. PS MEP Laura Huhtasaari, a staunch Trump supporter who nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize, is one of Finland’s most representative white supremacist politicians. Her aide, Olli

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Mayday, Mayday! Two women and six children entering Finland

Following on and off news about the repatriation of Finnish citizens from the al-Hol refugee camp raises a lot of questions about our society. The opposition, namely the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and National Coalition Party (NCP), are working overtime to score brownie points with the voters and fearmongering. The commotion is now stirred by the repatriation

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Far-right extremists on the move in Finland and Europe

Is there a connection between what happened in July with Pekka Kataja and his attempted murder by the far right and the latest case involving at least one police officer and a group of far-right extremists to carry out a serious crime against the life or health of others? Expo, the Swedish anti-racism NGO, states

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Rosa Emilia Clay finally gets recognition when Tampere names a square after her

THIS POST WAS UPDATED Much of Finland’s history is whitewashed. One of its victims was Rosa Emilia Clay (1875-1959), Finland’s first African-born Finn who received Finnish citizenship in 1899. The naming of Rosa Emilia Clay square in Tampere is a watershed: Finland is slowly but surely awakening its rich cultural and ethnic background. Even if

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How the media frames non-white Finns. Shameful.

It isn’t difficult to conclude that many of the stories of how the media frames non-white Finns proves over and over again that they are part of Finland’s racism problem. The Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) published Thursday its findings of a comprehensive study on native-born Finnish children with one or two foreign-born

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The PS and its obsession with migrants

If you had the opportunity to listen inside the brain of a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* politician, you’d probably hear the following word: migrants, maahanmuuttajat, migrants, maahanmuuttajat… The head of the PS parliamentary group, Ville Tavio, regurgetates that obsessive word in countless tweets and statements. Tavio tweets: “Finnish human rights are threatened as a result of massive

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KOTOUTUMINEN #12: Integration is as easy as 1 + 1 = 2. NOT!

THE STORY WAS UPDATED Having taught many students about Finnish society for many years, two matters surprise me about this teaching line: Are the people giving these courses qualified and simple, 1 + 1 = 2, explanations to a complex matter as adaption. If the integration model is overly simplistic, treat it with tweezers because

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Language is key to changing the way we debate cultural diversity. It is a powerful weapon that xenophobes fear.

Language and how people are labeled are some of the reasons why racism and anti-immigration politicians have exerted power on the national debate on our ever-growing cultural diversity. If we did away with these toxic terms, which label people as eternal outsiders, matters would change radically. First and foremost in the debate, we should dispense

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Two PS Youth members convicted of ethnic agitation

Former Perussuomalaiset (PA)* Youth deputy chairperson Toni Jalonen and Johannes Sipola, the former chairperson Johannes Sipola were sentenced by a Pirkanmaa District Court fines for ethnic agitation, according to YLE News. Jalonen, who announced in February that he is “an ethnonationalist, traditionalist, and a fascist,” was slapped with a 50-day fine (300 euros) for ethnic

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Helsingin Sanomat: Brown people are dangerous and a threat to white society

THE STORY WAS UPDATED Katja Kuokkanen, the reporter who wrote a provocative story about youth crime committed by non-white youths with the following headline: “Over one hundred possibly dangerous youths with migrant backgrounds roam about downtown Helsinki – according to experts, this is a new migrant phenomenon.” The headline in Finland’s biggest daily could not

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Sometimes the media, like HS, waters the poisonous flower of xenophobia

The headline of a Helsingin Sanomat article sparked fear on Tuesday: “Over one hundred dangerous youths wander in downtown Helsinki – according to experts, this is a new phenomenon caused by migration.” When the Helsingin Sanomat story was published, it spread fear and with it xenophobia. Is the newspaper article true? In the first place,

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FGC and the PS: Come on! Let’s bash Muslim women and Islam (again)

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED I’m not surprised that Riikka Purra, a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP obsessed with slandering Muslims, gives misleading statements about female genital cutting (FGC), also referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM). The term FGC is in my opinion less judgemental and value-laden than FGM. Without offering advice and assistance to women who

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Kotoutuminen #11: The teacher asks the student why Muslims kill people

A sixteen-year-old Muslim teenager was approached by her teacher and asked her why do Muslims kill people as we saw in France? I am certain that the question must have surprised and shocked the teenager. Why did the teacher ask her such a question about such an outlandish incident? Certainly, irrespective of his or her

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The tragic deaths in France expose the disenfranchisement of Muslims

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain. James Baldwin (1924-87) Ir, there is one matter that the killings in France have reinforced, it is the disenfranchisement of the Muslim community of France. How

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Kokoomus’ Antti Häkkänen vilifies Islam, claims to uphold human rights

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED In a bid to gain voters, the National Coalition Party’s (Kokoomus) MP Antti Häkkänen and possibly the next chairperson of the conservative party spreads his anti-Islamic rhetoric, again. For those who don’t know Häkkänen, he comes from a small town called Mäntyharju in Eastern Finland and has expressed before his extreme

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No more PS BS and politicking by French President Emmanuel Macron

“Another underlying message also becomes clear in the meantime: ‘Muslims pose a threat to our society and have to be tamed,’ which is reminiscent of the ‘civilizing’ mission of the French colonial conquerors.“ Farid Hafez* THIS STORY WAS UPDATED Any sensible Muslim or person will condemn what happened in France concerning the beheading of a

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What happened in France was horrendous, the reaction of Islamophobes is just as bad

It is dreadful what happened in France when a man beheaded a teacher for showing students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Any sensible person, irrespective of his or her background, would condemn what happened. Even so, Islamophobes from the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party were already spreading racism and trying to score political points. Having lived in

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Analysis: What does this year’s hate crime report reveal about Finland and its police service?

The Police University College published this week its latest suspected hate crime statistics for 2019. It showed that while hate crimes, on the whole, had retreated a tad compared with 2018, 87.1% of all suspected cases were due to a person’s ethnic or religious background. Other suspected hate crimes were due to sexual orientation (72

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Alejandro Díaz Ortiz: Odyssey in the Finnish Immigration System

My name is Alejandro Díaz Ortiz, I am a Puerto Rican artist, musician, songwriter, graphic designer, and filmmaker who has lived in Finland for the past 9 years. I have been creating art and composing music here ever since I first arrived. Therefore, many know me for my performances in public spaces, gigs, concerts, and

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If racism costs the US $16 trillion, how much has it cost Finland?

The Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* have been quick to point out how much migrants (all?!) are an economic burden to Finland. A new study by Citigroup claims that ethnic inequality and inequity have cost the US a staggering $16 trillion! While parties like the PS and other ones who follow their racist tune believe that social

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The PS of Finland is harmful

“Immigration from Africa and the Middle East is harmful and becomes more harmful as their numbers grow.” The quote by Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairperson Jussi Halla-aho in today’s session of parliament is an example of his disdain and hatred of people of color. The reason why he and his party victimize people in such a racist

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Two bullying cases in Finland, two standards by the police and society

Who can forget the 10-year-old girl allegedly bullied and physically attacked in a Northern Espoo school by her classmate(s) for wearing a hijab? When the incident occurred, the police quickly denied that racism was a factor in the bullying. Considering that too often the police months, if not years, to resolve racism cases, in the

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PS MP Petri Huru and his ties with a far-right attempted murder suspect

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Petri Huru states in his Twitter account that his goal is to keep Finns safe. He is a chief fireman and a practical nurse. Noble professions but can trust Huru’s judgement? A question: What are you, MP Huru, doing smiling in a picture below with far-right activist Tero Ala-Tuuhonden? Isn’t he the

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Finland is too white to solve its issues with racism. There must be change.

After the bombshell news that one of the suspects arrested Friday who brutally attacked Pekka Kataja of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) in July, the new chairperson of the Center Party, Annika Saarikko, said on Ykkösaamu Saturday that she could form a government with the PS. In light of the PS’ links with far-right groups, Saarikko’s response

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Case Pekka Kataja of the PS: I’m surprised that you are surprised

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED It is revealing to read comments from the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party about Friday’s bombshell news: the police detained a former PS politician and a far-right Nazi-spirited activist on suspected attempted murder charges against Pakka Kataja. Starting from PS chairperson Jussi Halla-aho, who was convicted in 2012 for ethnic agitation and

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Pekka Kataja’s attackers are two far-right activists. Have the Finnish authorities awoken to the threat of such groups?

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED In April, I had the opportunity to interview Yaron Nadbornik, the president of the Jewish Community of Helsinki. One of the matters that struck me of the interview was that in 2018-2019 the authorities started to recognize anti-Semitism as a problem. Today the police took into custody two far-right activists charged

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Do you trust the Finnish police?

A 2020 survey showed that 91% trusted the police, down from 95% in 2018, according to the Police University College. Other studies have pointed out that trust in the police is high, even among migrants. Despite the high amount of trust, the police service has not been immune to scandals. The latest one involved a

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A black man and his son allegedly get roughed up by ticket inspectors and the police for not having a ticket

A new case of aggressive and dehumanizing treatment of a black father and his son by a Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL) train ticket inspector and later on by the police, according to Helsinki Times. The reason: Not having a valid train ticket. Both the father, David Gill, and his teenage son Max were returning

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Return back to Finland’s “good old days?” No thanks!

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED When some Finns and parties talk about returning to the “good old days,” they are saying that they’d like to return to the days when foreigners had practically no rights and where racism was king. It was also a time of appeasement to the former Soviet Union, media self-censorship, impunity, and

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Dear White People of Finland: What happened in Kannelmäki last April?

Migrant Tales insight: This story was written by a member of the Somali community and edited by Migrant Tales the following week after a young Somali Finn was knifed and killed at the Helsinki Kannelmäki train station. The letter will be published as charges against the suspect will be apparently made public by the police

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Ano Turtiainen, the Finnish MP who mocked George Floyd’s death, gives thumbs up to Greece’s “open sea” policy

If politicians like MP Ano Turtiainan lived under the Nazi regime, it pretty clear what his view of the Holocaust. The disgraced politician, who mocked George Floyd’s death, now offers his “understanding” for Greece’s decision to secretly round up over a 1,000 asylum seekers and abandoning them on the open sea. Turtiainen tweets: “It’s a

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How systematic exploitation of stateless persons also happens in Finland

An article in The Guardian on an asylum seeker who asks, “‘Why can’t I be legal anywhere?’ Exploited and left stateless by Sweden.” His story is not an anomaly but reveals what is happening to stateless persons, even in countries like Finland. Helsingin Sanomat and Migrant Tales published a story about the column. The author,

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Was the stabbing of an eighteen-year-old Somali Finn a hate crime?

Migrant Tales asked in April after the tragic death of an eighteen-year-old Somali Finn in Helsinki on April 26 is treated by the police as a hate crime. What is equally surprising is the total news blackout on social media by the police as if communities affected by what happened don’t have the right to

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The toothless response of the police and society to human trafficking is similar to other social ills like racism

A column by Helsingin Sanomat gave a realistic view of human trafficking and why there it continues unhinged. One problem that the column cites, and which is a problem concerning other racist crimes committed against migrants and minorities, is fear of the police. The column, which exposed some of the shortcomings of protecting victims of

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Exposing white Finnish privilege #72: False police reporting is an example of violence and open hostility

White Finnish privilege is powerful since you can use the police to project the need for defense and protection. In the United States, we saw two viral examples (see below) involving Amy Cooper and Lisa Alexander. For those who don’t remember, Cooper is the “Central Park Karen” for false reporting to the police. She falsely

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Trump and Huhtasaari: White supremacy in the US and Finland

If we look at US President Donald Trump’s makeup and that used by Perussuomalaiset* MEP Laura Huhtasaari, we can conclude that their personas are different shades of white supremacy. We all know about Trump’s white supremacist views and we know about Huhtasaari’s feelings on the matter. Her posts and hashtags (#proudtobeFinn and others) speak for

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Perussuomalaiset: The shameful a**hole party of Finland

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED “What are you without racism? Are you any good? Are you still strong? Still smart? Do you still like yourself?” Toni Morrison (1931-2019) Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Mauri Peltokangas, a far-right politician and member of the Nazi-spirited Suomen Sisu association, labeled government ministers “a**holes” for not expressing concern about the attack against

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The Norwegian mass murderer, 22/7, and Jussi Halla-aho

Hateful and racist words can turn into bullets. THE STORY WAS UPDATED Two days and nine years had gone by when Norway and Europe witnessed the horrific events of 22/7 that left 77 people dead and many others with physical and psychological injuries for the rest of their lives. One of the matters that we

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The Pekka Kataja account of his attackers’ identity changes again

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED The Pekka Kataja story, the Perussuomnalaiset (PS) councilor of Jämsänkoski, is constantly changing. First, he claims that “Arab-looking” men assaulted him. That has now morphed into “possibly” it was the far right or far left. Kataja even claimed that he was attacked due to his opinions of an asylum reception center,

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Condemn the attack, but don’t blame “Arab-looking” people

THE STORY WAS UPDATED Pekka Kataja, a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* campaign manager from Jämsänkoski, was brutally attacked Friday at his home by what he called two “Arabian-looking” men. He claims that the attack was political because, as an ardent Islamophobe, he was in favor of shutting down the Jämsä asylum reception center. While all forms of

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HSL: Systemic racism and systemic denial in Finland

THE STORY WAS UPDATED We have recently read about two cases where security guards use force to handle a passenger that does not have a ticket. In both these cases, there is a link: both are black passengers. Both passengers were also on a transport or at a station operated by the Helsinki Regional Transport

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Facebook (Faith Mkwesha): My child “can’t breathe”

Migrant Tales insight: Dr. Faith Mkwesha’s child was was held and mistreated by security guards who handcuffed him and resting his knee on her child’s back. Apart from being a traumatic experience for her child and the mother, all of this happened because he did not have a valid metro ticket, which he thought incorrectly

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The story of the Finnish Air Force swastika is still not over

We wrote Wednesday that the Finnish Air Force quietly dropped the swastika as the symbol of the Finnish Air Force Command. But not so fast. The swastika continues to adorn the Air Force Academy. An article in DW of Germany asks how an anti-Semitism symbol like the swastika made its way to Finland. Writes the BBC: “The symbol will always be intrinsically

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Case PS MP Juha Mäenpää: Racism, bigotry, and fascism give another blow to the Finnish parliament’s credibility

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED The Finnish parliament voted Friday not to lift Juha Mäenpää’s parliamentary immunity, which needed a five-sixths majority; 121 voted in favor and 54 against. A total of 24 MPs were absent. Those who voted against were 37 Perussuomalaiset Party MPs, 6 Center Party MPs, 5 Christian Democrat MPs, 4 National Coalition

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Bye-bye to the racist Eskimo name

The US owner of Eskimo Pie ice cream will change the product name and marketing because it is derogatory, according to CNN. Foneri Finland, the Finnish company that makes Eskimo ice cream, is expected to follow suit. “We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is

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Facebook (Đỗ Gia Lộc): Let me spit in your face

Looking like a person from the Far East and not speaking Finnish fluently enough can drag you into a racist incident, like what happened to Đỗ Gia Lộc. The white Finnish women not only spat at his face but demanded that he speak fluent Finnish since he lives in this country. These two women and

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Two Islamophobes in a pod: Juha Mäenpää and Ano Turtiainen of Finland

MP Ano [1] Turtiainen’s tweet mocking the death of George Floyd sits together with Juha Mäenpää on Facebook. You may ask why? Mäenpää is a member of the Perussuomalaiset party* and Turtiainen was expelled. One called Muslims “an invasive species” in parliament and the other mocked in a tweet George Floyd’s death. Turtianen, like Mäenpää,

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The Mäenpää “invasive species” case is an example of how disenfranchised are Muslims and migrants in Finland

There is one matter that is clear about Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Juha Mäenpää: he hates Muslims so much that last year he compared them to an “an invasive species.” He is also close ideologically with Ano Turtiainen, who mocked George Floyd’s death. According to the National Geographic, “An invasive species is an organism that is

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Finnish MP who mocked George Floyd: You are not suspected of ethnic agitation, you are suspected of ethnic agitation

The news continues to roll in for MP Ano Turtiainen, who was suspended from the Perusuomalaiset (PS)* parliamentary group for a tweet that mocked George Floyd’s death. After the police carried out their investigation last week and decided not to charge Turtiainen for ethnic agitation or defamation, the police changed course Monday after Prosecutor General

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The PS jump from one scandal to the next

As the dust settles over this tumultuous week for the far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, the question to ask if business will be back to “normal” in the PS? The first scandal was MP Ano Turtiainen’s tweet that mocked George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police. Apart from ending Turtianen’s short-lived career as

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Apologize now Ano Turtiainen, the Finnish MP who mocked George Floyd’s death

Finnish Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Ano Turtiainen’s tweet mocking George Floyd’s death is a disgrace. Still, even a worse shame is that he has not apologized to George Floyd’s family, #BlackLivesMatter movement, and also People of African Descent in Europe and Finland for the tweet. The only matter that appears to have concerned Turtiainen is that

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Some of Ano Turtiainen’s most racist and repugnant posts

Former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party MP Ano Turtiainen suffered some big blows last week: he was expelled from the far-right PS (quite a feat for a person who is multiculturally/interculturally challenged), two powerlifting groups in the United States and Canada terminated their business relationship with his company, Metal Sport & Ger (GoMetal). Let’s not forget all

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Ano Turtiainen and Finland’s #BlackLivesMatter movement

THE STORY WAS UPDATED While what we see in the United States with nationwide protests is remarkable, what happened last week with former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party MP Ano Turtainen was equally significant. Before mocking the death of George Floyd in a racist tweet, Turtiainen should have understood that there is a lot of sensitivity and

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The two peas in a pod: Perussuomalaiset MP Mauri “Perkele” Peltokangas and Benito Mussolini

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED Does Perussuomalaiset MP Mauri “Perkele” Peltokangas give you the creeps when he rants on YouTube? In one recent 2:36-minute monologue, Peltokangas used the following swear words every 20 seconds: Shit (paska): 2 times Fucked (perseestä): 2 times What the hell, hell (mitä helevetti, helevetti): 2 The devil (perkele): 2 A Peltokangas

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MP Ano Turtainen gets expelled from the party until the end of the year for his racist tweet against George Floyd

The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* parliamentary group unanimously expelled Thursday MP Ano Turtiainen [1] until the end of the year for posting a racist tweet about the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. “The suspension is permanent,” PS parliamentary group leader Ville Tavio was quoted as saying in Yle. “We had a discussion that

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The awkward timing of PS’ and Turtiainen’s racist tweet against George Floyd

Poor timing by Ano Turtiainen? Today, people in Helsinki demonstrated in solidarity with George Floyd and #BlackLivesMatter, according to Yle News. At the same time, Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Ano Turtianen mocks at the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Today’s demonstration to show support for George Floyd was a great show of

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Update: The tragic ending of Majid’s journey back to Finland

Migrant Tales insight: The story below was published by Migrant Tales in June 2018. It is about a Moroccan who married a Finn but deported to his native country. We received on April 23 from “Majid” the following message: “My wife died.” We will update this story after they perform an autopsy on his late

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Riikka Purra is the ugly Finn who even sees Muslims under her bed

Perussuomalaiset (PS) vice president and MP, Riikka Purra, likes to talk tough against Muslims and people of color. Her whole political message hinges on one overriding matter: spreading hatred and suspicion of Muslims. Purra’s Islamophobic rants and prejudices expose in the raw her political opportunism and self-deception. Her Twitter page is peppered with anti-Muslim racist

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Keep on sticking your foot in your mouth Jussi Halla-aho

Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairperson Jussi Halla-aho is on a roll: Heading south in opinion polls, he now wants Finland to ditch the euro “immediately.” That follows another demand: exit international refugee agreements so that no Muslims can seek asylum in Finland. If Halla-aho, who is considered Finland’s number one racist politician, has his way, it will

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Racializing news and reinforcing stereotypes and racist attitudes

The lead story on the Yle website on Wednesday kicks off with the following headline: “Latest coronavirus news: 70 people are in quarantine from a Vantaa school, a record number of infections globally.” It seems like a standard headline, but wait. For some reason, there is a picture of a black person wearing a facemask

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Finnish citizenship test, kansalaisuustesti

There are a lot of fakes out there imitating the Finnish coat of arms and distorting and corrupting what it stands for. If you are going to become a naturalized Finn, you cannot fail this part of the citizenship test. On paljon feikkejä, jotka imitoivat olevansa Suomen vaakuna ja vääristävät ja korruptoivat mitä se edustaa.

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How anti-Semitism and racism see another day in Finland

The myth of an ideologically unified Finland isolated from the attitudes and practices of its ally, the Third Reich…the insensitivity toward these silenced histories provides a condition of continued racism and antisemitism. Finland’s Holocaust: The silence of history (2015) Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Mauri Peltokangas is a racist hothead who has rage issues when opening his

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Migrant Tales Literary (Suomen Silta 1990s): Mistaken identity

We don’t see thins as they are, we see things as we are. Anaïs Niin The date and year are not important, but it is a weekday, not too long ago. Spring has arrived and spreads its magic to these sub-arctic latitudes after a long slumber. Leaves are budding everywhere; trees are stretching out their

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How does the Perussuomalaiset party resemble the coronavirus or vice versa?

Here are some symptoms of the coronavirus: fever, dry cough, sore throat, tiredness, headaches, loss of taste, and smell. Here are some symptoms of the PS virus: racism, Islamophobia, bigotry, climate denial, conspiracy theories, mediocracy, pro-Putin, and incompetence. Like Covid-19, which fools and infects healthy cells, the PS virus also enters and infects institutions like

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Perussuomalaiset support heads south

There was good news if you are against us-and-them rhetoric, Islamophobia, and support for US President Donald Trump’s policies and persona. A poll published Thursday by Yle showed that the southward direction of the Perussuomalaiaset (PS)* party continued to head south. Compared with a similar poll on December 9, 2019-January 8, 2020, support for the

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Finland’s tabloids are the worst when it comes to spreading bigotry and racism

Racism sells. Us and them sell. Spreading and reinforcing prejudices sells. Bigotry and racism sell. Biased journalism sells. These examples sum up pretty well how tabloids like Iltalehti and Ilta-Sanomat make money by reinforcing old hatreds and suspicions of Others. One of their latest stories on the far-right vigilante group, the Soldiers of Odin, is

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Who killed the 18-year-old Somali Finn? Was it a hate crime or not?

There are pictures and names of the two suspects killed by knife stabbing an eighteen-year-old Somali on Sunday. The police are tightlipped and have not given any other information than “the investigation is ongoing.” If, and there is a big if here, the identity of the suspects is correct and have Finnish last names, the

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Coronavirus cases at the Espoo asylum reception center surge from 2 to 22

After two coronavirus cases to mid-April, Helsingin Sanomat reported Monday of 22 infections at the Luona-managed Nihtisilta reception center in Espoo. Haidari Ehsan is an asylum seeker at the Nihtisilta reception center, which houses 410 refugees. “I’m not happy with the way Luona has informed us about the outbreak at the reception center,” he said.

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Jussi Halla-aho is President Donald Trump’s Finnish cheerleader

The Islamophobic and populist Perussuomalaiset (PS) is a party that attempts to revindicate far-right racists on the rampage and its leader, Jussi Halla-aho, is US President Donald Trump’s enthusiastic cheerleader. Halla-aho, who has a conviction for ethnic agitation, breaching the sanctity of religion and being a racist smartass, stated his undying admiration for a president

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It’s high time for Finland to yank those roots of racism from the ground

This blog entry is dedicated to the late Donald Fields, Helsinki correspondent of the BBC, The Guardian, and Politiken to 1988. As a journalist writing from Finland for some of Europe’s biggest dailies in the 1980s like the Financial Times, there is one matter that stands out from those days: censorship. The censorship that Finland imposed

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Jewish Community of Helsinki: Anti-Semitism is now recognized by the authorities as a problem in Finland

According to Yaron Nadbornik, president of the 1,100-strong Jewish Community of Helsinki, the Finnish authorities acknowledge that there is anti-Semitism and it is a problem. “The authorities have recognized during 2018-2019 that there is an anti-Semitism problem in Finland,” he said. “Before it was [for them] pretty unclear if such a matter existed.” According to

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Twitter (Amin A Alem): COVID-19 and the racialization of Others

As xenophobic parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party blame visible minorities for growing coronavirus infections, the same is being spread by people by people who should know better. The rise of a racist party like the PS during the 2010s, which reinforced many Finns’ xenophobic views, suggests that labeling and racializing will continue to pick

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Finland’s populist party’s #coronavirus kiss of death to minorities it wants to oppress and forsake

One of the matters that the coronavirus has exposed as well. is how populist anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* assail migrants and minorities, especially Muslims. Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori was quoted as saying in statement that he is concerned by the rapid rise of coronavirus infections among the Somali speaking community. “Close to 200

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UPDATED: How many coronavirus infected refugees at the Espoo asylum reception center?

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED After MTV broke a story about coronavirus infections at the Luona-managed Nihtisilta reception center in Espoo, Migrant Tales got confirmation Wednesday from the company that there are two infected asylum seekers with coronavirus. We had reported Tuesday, citing a source at the reception center, that the possible number of infected asylum

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Fears of a coronavirus outbreak at Espoo’s Nihtisilta reception center

MTV published today the dire situation of refugees at the Luona-managed Nihtisilta reception center in Espoo. An anonymous Iraqi asylum seeker said there is no soap to wash there hands, and there is a lot of concern about coronavirus spreading. Migrant Tales got in touch with an asylum reception center resident in Espoo who confirmed

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Ahti Tolvanen: coronavirus and us

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED The closure of hundreds of schools, theaters, gymnasiums, and restaurants as well as the closing off of the Province of Uusimaa very much gives the appearance that the government is serious about doing everything it can to protect the country from the COVID-19 epidemic sweeping the world. It seems to show

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Moving to Europe was the right decision in 1978 even if my great grandfather is still turning in his grave

My great grandfather Dante Tessieri and his future wife, Aida Guaimonti, sailed from Italy in the 1890s to Brazil. Dante was a learned man, a physicist, and an anarchist that housed strong political opinions. He was forced to leave Italy, like many millions of his countrymen, because of political reasons. Of all my great grandparents,

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Kotoutuminen* #9: Spreading half-truths about integration

If the learn-Finnish-and-you’re-integrated promise is misleading, so are many others spread by people who should know better. “The best way to eliminate racism is to get people to know each other,” goes the affirmation. It is like the claim that traveling opens your eyes to the world. After we do all these things, will we

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Chiara Costa Virtanen: Gender-based violence in Finland through the eyes of the immigrant women community

By Chiara Costa Virtanen Due to the Coronavirus spread throughout Europe, people are required to stay home in safe. Same in Finland, where also the hashtag #stayhome is in trend. Unfortunately, for many women, home doesn’t mean safety. On the contrary. According to a 2012 study by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA),

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NoHateFinland: Rashid and Sobia commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

On this date of March 21, 1960, the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire on a group of peaceful protestors demonstrating against that country’s apartheid laws. In commemoration of the 69 people that were killed on that day, the United Nations called on in 1966 the international community to intensify its efforts to banish

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PS MP Purra is as phony as the fake news she maliciously spreads

Populists like Perussuomalaiset MP Riikka Purra are desperate for attention in the face of the coronavirus pandemic because fewer are interested in their Islamophobia broken record. MP Purra, who is also the PS’ first vice president, pulled a fast one on Yle’s A-talk by stating that she has doubts about Finland’s health infrastructure. “I have

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Shame on the Finnish media for stereotyping Muslim women. It’s called biased and racist journalism.

Why are Muslims, especially women, usually pictured covering their faces? Do these types of images in the media reinforce our stereotypes about Muslim women? Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s leading daily, is one representative of the media that reinforces stereotypes about Muslim women. While the article is important because it talks about forced marriages, why can’t it

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Living in the PS Outokumpu bubble – beware of Muslims even if there are hardly any foreigners

There is one matter that bonds all the Perussuomalaiset (PS) MPs in parliament: They use migrants, especially Muslims and asylum seekers, to get votes. Their ads and rhetoric reflect well their racist disposition. Take, for instance, the ad below that promises that she will make “Finnish well being and security” priorities. Some of her pet

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Kokoomus’ perilous path, caving into far-right populism and xenophobia

Conservative parties like the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) are on a dangerous path putting in peril human rights and the rule of law. The latest suggestion by Kokoomus parliamentary group leader, Kai Mykkänen, to pass legislation so Finland could suspend asylum applications like Greece is worrying. The Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party clutched political power in

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(Part 2) At the mercy the faculty process: Staff well-being in the University Of Helsinki

By Dr. Gareth Rice* The Urbaria Document The URBARIA document delineates the results of a workplace well-being survey conducted by the occupational healthcare provider Mehiläinen. It is bulletproof evidence that those who abused their power were not held accountable. The results were shared with staff in an “info coffee session” on 12th June, 2019. The

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Jussi Halla-aho and PS press kit is now available

Check out our constantly updated page about Jussi Halla-aho and the Perussuomalaiset. The aim of the page is to keep in the spotlight the racist and far-right matters that Halla-aho and the PS say on a weekly basis. We will also publish anti-immigration quotes from parties like the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), and Christian Democrats.

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Wake up Finland! Is the PS far-right political agenda who we are?

The Toni Jalonen story of the former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* second vice president who resigned because he said he was a fascist, is an opportunity for Finland to take a long and deep look in the mirror. Above all, it is an opportunity to look at the hypocrisy within the PS and political culture. It also

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PS Youth’s candid racism and fascism forces it to split from the party even if both adhere to the same far-right agenda

Not obtaining the two-thirds majority needed to change the bylaws, the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Youth turned down a motion from the party to change its bylaws 56 votes in favor to 45 against. The vote was a definite setback to PS chairperson Jussi Halla-aho. Even if the party will make a decision in early March on

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Abdisalam Mohamed Abdulah: Returning to Finland’s Black February 2012

Migrant Tales insight: The story below was one that was published in February 2012 about “Black February,” when three Muslims died and a Finn committed suicide after killing one Muslim and wounding another. As with the Pakistani who was viciously attacked in February 2018, there were a lot of question marks about how the police

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The PS’ and Jussi Halla-aho’s “circus” tour continues after fascist Toni Jalonen resigns as PS Youth vice president

THIS POST WAS UPDATED Some may believe that the big news from the weekend is that the former second vice president of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Youth, Toni Jalonen, admitted publicly to being “an ethnonationalist, traditionalist, and a fascist.” Reaction to what Jalonen affirmed came fast and hard after it hit social media. National Coalition Party

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Disingenuous Jussi Halla-aho, disingenuous fascist-spirited Perussuomalaiset

It is justified to consider the Nürnberg trials a farce. Guilt was decided in advance, and the justifications for the sentences were absurd.[1] Perussuomalaiset* (PS) chairperson Jussi Halla-aho (2010) Isn’t it incredible how PS Youth second vice president Toni Jalonen put himself in the eye of a political storm when he admitted over the weekend

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The PS playbook of how to spread racism, disinformation and fake news

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* first vice president and MP, Riikka Purra, is at it again. During the postal strike, she misled people by stating that 98% of early morning mail carriers were migrants. Early morning mail carriers are a small part of the postal company’s services. According to Posti, 80% of postal workers in Finland and 70%

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PS Youth vice president: “I am an ethnonationalist, traditionalist, and a fascist”

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED Toni Jalonen, who is the second vice president of the Perussuomalaiset* (PS) Youth and member of the Nazi-spirited Suomen Sisu, states openly in a speech below that “I am an ethnonationalist, traditionalist, and a fascist [clapping].” Yes, you heard, right. Politically matters appear spinning rapidly out of control in the PS

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MP Ano Turtiainen: A shovelful of PS violence and rage

I doubt that anyone of us wants to see a [civil] war in our country. PS MP Ano Turtiainen The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP with a curious first name, “Ano,” [1] Turtiainen is another dangerous example of how the Islamophobic party fuels the hostile environment against migrants and minorities like Muslims. Recently we saw a deadly

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Iltalehti does it again: Spreading hatred and degrading asylum seekers

Finland’s tabloids, Iltalehti and Ilta-Sanomat, are part of the country’s racism and Islamophobia problem. Back in 2015, Ilta-Sanomat stated on a billboard that 10,000 “illegal refugees” will come to Finland. This biased and racist journalism exposes how biased and unbalanced some Finnish media is. In their ever-alarming way to boost sales, Iltalehti led a story

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