Posts Tagged: intolerance

No disciplinary action to be taken against Helsinki substitute councilman who wants African men sterilized

Remember in May when Perussuomalaiset (PS)* substitute councilman called Olli Sademies commented that African men should be sterilized after having three children? While the decision by the police to not press ethnic agitation charges against Sademies was expected, it is the shameful attitude of the PS not to take any action against the substitute councilman that is the most worrying.

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Sending Finland to a retirement home

Parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and anti-immigration politicians like MEP Jussi Halla-aho should be thankful to migrants and multicultural Finns. Where would these anti-immigration populists be today without their near-constant attacks against our ever-growing culturally and ethnically diverse society?   Source: theinspirationroom.com.   While anti-immigration rhetoric has poisoned the air and made life difficult for

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The PS is a Finnish populist party that bases its popularity on bashing migrants and minorities

Think about a party that starts to get nervous about its poll standings and then its most popular anti-immigration politician, who has made his career on spreading suspicion and intolerance of certain migrants, states: We mustn’t forget that we are an anti-immigration party. In order to reverse our poor standings in the polls, let’s make

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UPDATE (Jan. 19): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Fame of poor journalism

Migrant Tales’2015 Hall of Fame of poor journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link.  Jan. 19 Perussuomalaisten Martti Mölsä: Maahanmuutosta ja kehitysavusta voi leikata kaksi miljardia (YLE) What was left out? YLE journalist Petra Ketunen was not on the ball when she

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Finland and the PS: The face of racism becomes uglier as it ages

The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* in general and specifically MPs like Juho Eerola, Olli Immonen and Teuvo Hakkarainen are, together with MEP Jussi Halla-aho, examples of the worst kind of extremism and racism we can find in Finland today in the halls of our parliament. They are permitted to spread their racist and bigoted views because they have

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PS youth league’s anti-Islam cartoon contest is all about Islamophobia in Finland

The Youth League of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* launched a competition to defend free speech in light of last week’s Charlie Hebdo attack, according to YLE in English. It is surprising that an anti-immigrant and especially anti-Islam party like the PS are the only ones who are organizing such a contest and so eager to defend

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Migrant Tales (September 14, 2013): The Finnish and European media still have a lot to learn about racism and intolerance

One matter that is interesting to note when looking at the media before the historic victory of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party in April 2011, is the present controversy surrounding the Youth League of the National Coalition Party’s program. Is the media giving racists, radical anti-immigration groups and voices inflated respectability and importance? The whole Susanna

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MEP Halla-aho wants a tougher PS stance on immigration

The popularity of the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* plummeted to a record low of 13.3% in December and this has caused visible cracks in the party’s leadership. MEP Jussi Halla-aho, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation, blames PS chairman Timo Soini’s too soft stand on immigration for the drop in popularity, according to Oulu-based daily Kaleva. 

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What do Jim Crow, Nuremberg Laws and Finland’s Restricting Act of 1939 have in common?

All forms of intolerance have one factor in common: They are violent ways to disenfranchise and control groups through social exclusion. Jim Crow laws in the United States sought to ensure that blacks remain marginalized in the same way as the Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany took away all power from the Jews. In Finland, foreigners

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Arson attack against mosque in Sweden is another red light flashing in the roaring silence

 A mosque in Sweden that was hit by arson on Christmas Day is the latest warning that we cannot stand idly to the ever-rising tide of Islamophobia and far-right violence griping Europe these days. Words are not regular bullets that kill instantly but are time bombs that can explode anywhere and anytime.  The attack against the

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Populist parties of Finland are a direct threat to our prosperity

A recent poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat reveals an important trend: How the National Coalition Party and the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* are in a semi-tailspin mode. The Center Party continues to strengthen its position as the most popular party among voters with the Social Democrats slowly but surely overpassing the National Coalition Party.  Certainly this is an

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Lieksa, Finland: Parents don’t want their children to be driven to school by Somali taxi drivers

Leiksa, a far-flung town in eastern Finland, has attracted a lot of bad publicity in recent years from Perussuomalaiset (PS)* councilmen who demanded a ‘Somali-free’ meeting room to a migrant taxi driver that was assaulted recently,  is once again in the news for all the wrong reasons. A group of parents from the town of 12,000 inhabitants don’t want their children to

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Challenging urban tales about migrants and ourselves should be our first and foremost priority

After contributing regularly for Migrant Tales and reading and answering some of the over 30,000 comments we have received in the past seven years, a bigger picture emerges. This has been reinforced by my work at a folk high school, where the majority of the students on campus aren’t white Finns. As Don Flynn of

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Jussi Halla-aho: France the football giant

  Migrant Tales insight: We get a lot of email and tip-offs from our readers. The latest one we got is of three blog entry translations in English of Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MEP Jussi Halla-aho, who was convicted for ethnic agitation. This second one, France the football giant, was published in Scripta on July 2, 2006. Apart from understanding

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Healthy advice: Don’t flirt with racism, include don’t exclude, involve and we’ll learn to live together

One of the matters one learns after answering thousands of comments on Migrant Tales and posting near daily on this humble site is the language and arguments used by anti-immigration groups, which are openly against a Finland that is international, multicultural and open.  By multicultural I mean treating everyone in this country, irrespective of their background, with

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Sarcastic and humorous politicians should seek new careers in comedy

Imagine the following predicament: Politicians who should know better capitalizing on a country’s racist streak in order to further their careers and narcissism. Adding salt to social injury, these politicians claim to be “patriotic” but in fact are far from it. Is promoting nationalism, hatred, racism – no matter how passionately or subtly – so-called “patriotic” behavior?

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Passage of gay marriage law will benefit all minorities in Finland

The ongoing passionate debate in parliament on same-sex marriage reveals, in my opinion, something we’ve known all along about Finland: How we accept and respect people who are different from us. Alongside the present debate on gay marriage is another one being contested in public about our ever-growing cultural diversity. A draft law to legalize gay

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Should Finland’s Uncle Toms be called mamus?

Alarm bells go off inside of me whenever I hear migrants, who should know better, claim that racism isn’t a major issue in our society many times standing next to or speaking to white Finns. There are many reasons why a migrant may play down such a social ill. These may include ignorance, prejudice, lack

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Higher unemployment and economic woes spell big trouble for migrants and visible minorities

Finland got shocking news Thursday when postal company Itella announced that it may shed up to 1,200 jobs, according to Yle in English. Taking into account that unemployment shot up in 2013 to 7.9% from 6.9% in the previous year, what do these two news stories mean for the migrant and visible minority community? Those

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Comment: Finland & Cultural Diversity 2013

This year’s Finland & Cultural Diversity 2013 report by Migrant Tales reveals something that we’ve known all along but had difficulty challenging: Accepting others who are different from us as equals.  This is unfortunate considering that we have all the legal means to do so. Our Constitution guarantees cultural diversity and sees discrimination as a crime.

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Finland & Cultural Diversity 2013 will be published on December 28

Finland & Cultural Diversity 2013 will be published Saturday. The review of the year will look at cultural diversity and intolerance in Finland.  Read previous reports from 2012 and 2011. News published by the media this year reveals that 2013 was worse than 2012. Taking into account that an anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset must

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Maryan Abdulkarim: “Finland is a very racist country”

Is there racism in Finland? In order to find the answer to that question, we’d have to ask visible migrants and minorities.  Maryan Abdulkarim, 31, is a Finn who was born in Somalia, had the opportunity on Friday’s Helsingin Sanomat to answer that question. “Finland is a very racist country,” she said. “It always has been.”

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A guest of the Finnish PS gives a Nazi salute in parliament

We all know how a political party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) has declared war against immigrants and other minorities in this country. The latest attack by the PS was against the Finnish parliament by a guest of MP James Hirvisaari, who was pictured giving a Nazi salute.  UPDATE: Hirvisaari confirmed Thursday that it was him

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Does Finland promote two-way or one-way adaption of immigrants?

Our integration law promotes two-way adaption as opposed to assimilation, which is a one-way process. Section 17 of the Finnish Constitution states that each person living in this country has the right to maintain and develop their own language and culture. What do these two important laws mean in practice and how are they applied? Sensible Finns

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Helsingin Sanomat poll reveals Finns’ opposition to cultural diversity

A poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomt, Finland’s largest-circulation daily, reveals that 53% of those polled agreed (22%) or partially agreed (31%) that immigrants should aim at becoming as Finnish as possible. That compares with 18% and 30%, respectively, in 2011. If there is something worrying that the poll shows, it’s Finland’s growing opposition to cultural

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The Finnish and European media still have a lot to learn about racism and intolerance

One matter that is interesting to note when looking at the media before the historic victory of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party in April 2011, is the present controversy surrounding the Youth League of the National Coalition Party’s program. Is the media giving racists, radical anti-immigration groups and voices inflated respectability and importance? The whole Susanna

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The Jews of Finland

The Jewish side of our family was never discussed openly when I was young. If it was, the matter appeared as a fleeting question: Is it true that part of our family is Jewish? Read full column here on page 14. Silence always followed that question. In retrospect, our silence and answer revealed a lot about

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Old Finnish national social constructs still fuel intolerance and exclude visible minorities

The Association of Finnish Culture and Identity (Suomalaisuuden liitto) is an association founded in 1906 to “strengthen the sense of national identity, to promote Finnish education and culture.” While this statement may appear innocent at first, the association endorses the intolerance white Finnish speakers have today against Swedish speakers never mind immigrants and visible minorities. In

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Why aren’t we outraged enough by intolerance?

Finnish department store J. Kärkkäinen’s Magneettimedia writings are a disturbing sign of how anti-Semitism, like anti-immigration and anti-Islam sentiment, have gained a foothold in Finland. And why shouldn’t it find fertile ground to grow in this country? During the past years, the genie of intolerance has been let out of the bottle and it shows.  We’re

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Why we must challenge anti-immigration parties across Europe

A political party that bases its popularity on anti-immigration and populist rhetoric is like playing a risky political game of Russian roulette. The game continues until the only bullet in the revolver goes off in your head. Higher bets are placed each time that the revolver doesn’t fire: more xenophobia, more hate speech, more racist

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New PS party secretary Riikka Slunga Poutsalo “demands” tighter immigration policy

As Migrant Tales correctly pointed out, it didn’t take long for the new party secretary of the Perussuomalaiset (PS), Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo, to show her far right anti-immigration credentials. Interviewed by YLE’s 8:30 pm news, Slunga-Poutsalo “demands” Finland should tighten immigration policy further.  Migrant Tales wrote Saturday that one of the aims of the PS annual congress

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Annual congress: The PS aims to become the biggest party in Finland with anti-EU and anti-immigration platform

The first day of Perussuomalaiset (PS) annual congress in Joensuu (July 29-30) did not produce any surprises but reinforced the party’s anti-immigration, and especially its anti-Islam and anti-cultural diversity stand. The party leadership, starting from Timo Soini to its new secretary, Riikka Slunga-Putsalo, confirm this.  Soini, who was reelected chairman of the party by a

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We must go to the source if we want to challenge intolerance in Finland

Even if the Continuation War (1941-44) and our military alliance with Nazi Germany ended 69 years ago, much of the ethnic ideology that sprung from that period is still alive and kicking. If we are serious about confronting intolerance in our society, we must challenge its many sacrosanct sources.  When I think of Finland’s short-lived

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Calling Timo Soini’s bluff

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) is a desperate party and Timo Soini’s claim over the weekend, that the Social Democrats had abandoned working-class men, is another example of how this populist anti-immigration party bluffs at the political poker table. The type of attack by Soini on the Social Democratic Party is in line with how the party

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Go GO PS MP Hirvisaari! Let all of your intolerance and racism hang out!

We have written so much about the outbursts of far right Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP James Hirvisaari that it isn’t funny. One of his latest statements on Facebook, where he considers using the Swedish language in parliament as “ridiculous,” is not an attack on this language minority but serves to expose the intolerance and loathing that the

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Finland’s tolerance for cultural diversity is being tested to the limit these days

Finland’s tolerance to Otherness is being tested to the limit these days. If we look at it from a political perspective, the knee-jerk reaction is clear. Denying that there isn’t a connection between the stellar rise of an anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-Islam party and our ever-growing cultural diversity is understanding a little or erroneously the

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Council of Europe: No hate speech movement

This campaign, No hate Speech Movement, is long overdue and in great need. It’s a good matter that we are waking up to this menace even if politicians shamelessly play it down. The reason why hate speech exists is because we permit it. In Finland we have politicians who have been sentenced for hate speech.

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Our response to intolerance in the EU and Finland must be first and foremost a response

Every great journey challenge begins with a single step. A Chinese proverb slightly changed A study by the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), reveals how racism and intolerant attitudes are becoming more prevalent in the European Union. What to do? Read ENAR study here.   A recent example of how racism and intolerance spread roots in

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City of Joensuu: Challenging and beating intolerance one step at a time

Our reaction to intolerance in Finland has paid off. At least it did for me late-Friday night in downtown Joensuu when I was about to parallel park my car.  Thanks to associations like JoMoni working in close cooperation with local authorities like ELY-keskus, Joensuu have challenged intolerance. In many respects, it’s like the success of

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Nipping prejudice in the bud with our example

We must find effective ways to nip prejudice in the bud. The worst matter we can do when it happens is our silence, which emboldens and strengthens intolerance to see a new day. How you may ask can we challenge such social ills? The answer is simple: our example and leadership.  Racist rants are usually

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