Posts Tagged: xenophobia

The Perussuomalaiset could face a counter “jytky” in April

Then Perussuomalaiset (PS)* head Timo Soini celebrated the party’s historic 2011 election victory as a “jytky,” or a loud bang. We may witness in April a counter “jytky.” I live in a small city of about 53,000 people 230km north of Helsinki’s capital. It is a good example of the demographic challenges facing Finland. Occasionally,

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The PS’ extremism is poison for its election prospects

Living inside an Islamophobic bubble is like pissing in your pants during a freezing day. At first, it may offer relief, but then reality sets in. The PS’ tar-and-feather campaign against migrants and minorities is hitting new lows. Since the rise of the PS in the major leagues of Finnish politics after 2011, the present

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Sanna Marin: Bravo for stating that the PS is a racist party! Better late than never.

Politicians like Prime Minister Sanna Marin have offered long-overdue leadership when challenging racism in Finnish politics by stating what many know: The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is a racist party. “Looking at the speeches of individual [PS] MPs, these speeches have been racist and genuinely hostile to certain minorities,” said Marin in a debate with Petteri Orpo,

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Riikka Purra: I am a racist and proud of it!

After the leaders of the Social Democrats, Greens, and Left Alliance announced that they would not form part of a future government with the radical-right Perussuomalaiset (PS),* Riikka Purra has lashed out against her party’s critics. The latest racist taking points of the PS is excluding foreigners from getting social welfare and creating a modern

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No comment, silence, not even a squeak from Kokoomus about plans to officially disenfranchise foreigners in Finland

THE STORY WAS UPDATED Being a minority in Finland is being nearly always suspicious of official intentions. Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson Riikka Purra reiterated her party’s aim to exclude foreign residents from getting social welfare. According to her, the only ones who qualify for social welfare are Finnish citizens. The radical-right politician added that such plans

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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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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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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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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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Denmark takes another shot of steroids for its xenophobia

Denmark, the Nordic region’s most Islamophobic country, plans to tighten (again) its immigration laws by deporting all foreigners who are handed prison sentences, according to DR of Denmark. DR writes that the government wants to introduce changes in the law so that any foreigner slapped with an unconditional prison sentence will be deported. “Today, a

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Millions of Ukrainians are coming. How long will it take before our goodwill turns into open hostility?

Remember 2015, when some 1.3 million million asylum seekers came to Europe from countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia? Europe says welcome! Tervetuloa (welcome)! Meillä on tilaa (there is room for you)! After the initial outpouring of support and understanding for these people fleeing wars that we had started, attitudes took an abrupt turn for

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Ukrainians battle against the Russians but do little with the Poles to fight racism

Shameful and racist treatment. Ukrainian train conductors push back on Africans fleeing the war while Polish border officials don’t permit Africans to enter Poland, reports The Guardian.  Just like when Poland fenced out Middle East asylum seekers in November from entering the country, which even led to the death of children from hyperthemia, Africans are facing the same

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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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Twitter (Veikko Vallin): A racist lesson on types of migrants

Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Veikko Vallin gives us a lesson in racism by definIslamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Veikko Vallin teaches us racism by defining “harmful” and beneficial migration. Vallin, who likes being called the Tampere’s Trump and boasts about how he places his money in Estonia from the Finnish tax person, bases his political program

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Migrant Tales dedicates the following video to Finnish “let them drown” Euro election candidates

Here is a video Migrant Tales would like to dedicate to the “let them drown” Euro election candidates.  Did you know that 36.3% of Finnish MEP candidates who answered (85/234)  Alma Media’s election compass stated that they either “strongly disagree,” “disagree” or are “neutral” (have no opinion) about the following claim: “Is it the obligation

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Part 2: Mental impact and reality of everyday exclusion

In a Migrant Tales’ recent article based on a Maailman Kuvalehti report about the mental suffering of daily racism, we promised some “no filtered” outtakes from interviews with those affected. You can read the first piece, Part I: Racism causes trauma and mental suffering,here.  Eight cases, eight migrants, eight stories, about life in Finland:  “You

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Suva: A poster that says everyhing about xenophobia

Editor’s note: On behalf of Migrant Tales, I would like to welcome Suva to our blog community. His creativeness won’t abandon you. After seeing his work, you may feel like being part of a large community made up of Others. His artwork is powerful. It has such an impact on some that they crave to

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Facebook Léo Custódio: Racist party in Finland and the world’s happiest country

Migrant Tales insight: Remember when Finland was named the happiest country in the world by the UN? I am certain that factors like income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity may contribute to people’s well-being. Even so, Léo Custódio, a researcher, asks an important question in light of the latest opinion polls: A party that openly victimizes and which socially excludes migrants from being equal members of society is today the third-biggest in the “world’s happiest country.” 

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WARNING: RACIST CONTENT – Halla-aho announces that anti-immigration will be the PS’ main campaign theme

With parliamentary elections a heartbeat away on April 14, the populist far-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party announced that anti-immigration will be their main campaign theme. Are we surprised? Not in the bit.  PS Chairperson Jussi Halla-aho was quoted as saying in Yle that at the present rate, Finland’s immigration policy will destroy present levels of social welfare, undermine

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Islamophobia and xenophobia on steroids: Jussi Halla-aho’s latest column in MTV

The Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson, Jussi Halla-aho, who was convicted of ethnic agitation and breaching the sanctity of religion in 2012, is a columnist for television station MTV. Two matters emerge when skimming through his latest column: The media is part of Finland’s racism problem; and the PS is the first modern Finnish party to capitalize exclusively on immigration, especially Islamophobia.    

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White Finnish nationalism and racism reveal themselves on Father’s Day

Today people of all backgrounds celebrated Father’s Day in Finland. A Johannes Sipola, who is the chairperson for Lapland of the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Youth, had another opinion and tweeted: “A happy Father’s day to all white fathers.” It’s incredible to what lengths and ignorance some will dive in order get attention. Sipola is a good example

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Stop debating with fascists and racists

Migrant Tales insight: Aleksander Hemon states in his eloquent article about fascism that we should not waste any time debating but that “it is a set of actions to fight.” In the essay, he admits feeling guilty and ashamed of his cowardice and naivety that just talking to a fascist might bring him back.  In

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Xenophobic and pro-Russia online publication MV-lehti founder Ilja Janitskin slapped with 22-month prison sentence

Migrant Tales applauds the sentencing by the Helsinki District Court on Thursday of Ilja Janitski, the founder of the xenophobic website MV-lehti and Uber Uutiset, on 16 criminal charges. Janitski was handed a twenty-two-month prison sentence and with two others found guilty, was ordered to pay the biggest share of damages amounting to 136,000 euros. 

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The bad and good news after Sweden’s 2018 parliamentary elections

There is good and bad news after Sunday’s parliamentary elections. The bad news is that the far-right Sweden Democrat saw its support rise by 4.7 percentage points to 17.6% compared with the elections in 2014, according to Svenska Dagbladet. The good news – if it can be considered as such – is that the result was well below expectations. 

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(Migrant Tales 12.2.2017): Dear Sweden, don’t play ball with the Sweden Democrats – Finland is the best example of the disaster that awaits you

Dear Sweden,  In all of the Nordic region, we have seen far-right populist parties rise in this century with a hostile even vicious anti-immigration and anti-cultural diversity agenda. Of all the Nordic countries, you are the only one in the Nordic region where populist anti-immigration parties have not formed directly or indirectly a part of government. 

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Finland’s speaker of parliament stokes the white Christian flames of “us” and “them”

Conservative National Coalition Party speaker of parliament, Paula Risikko, was quoted as saying in Senäjoki-based daily Ilkka that she is concerned about the role of Christians in Finland. “Was it easier before to be religious,” she was quoted as asking in Keskisuomalainen. “For example, it’s not as easy today to bring one’s religious views at

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: How anti-diversity and Islamophobic is Finland?

“One of the big denials that one still hears a lot in Finland is its denial of the rise of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, an Islamophobic party that won 39 seats in the parliamentary elections of 2011 from just 5 MPs in previously. There was an ongoing debate after 2011 within the PS on what caused its historic election victory. Then party leader Timo Soini claimed it was anti-EU sentiment while its present leader, Jussi Halla-aho, claimed it was the PS’ Islamophobic stance. 

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Argentina’s issues with whitewashing and genocide. Like the crimes committed during the dirty war, they too should be addressed.

When I was young, I remember very well the racism of the Argentines. A friend of mine from Rosario highlighted this racism in the following example: An porteño (a resident of the capital Buenos Aires) told his friends that he was going to travel to South America as if Buenos Aires was surrealistically still a part of Europe. 

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Ahti Tolvanen: Defense Minister Jussi Niinistö’s announces legislative initiative to cleanse the ministry of foreign dual citizens

This brought me back to the days of my reckless youth when I arrived in Finland in the early 70s to study at university. At that time a foreign citizen was not allowed by law to hold any kind of “virka” i.e. permanent public job.  A foreign citizen was also not even allowed to marry a Finn.  There were also a host of  private sector and community jobs a foreigner could not hold like newspaper editor, city counselor, shop steward and board member in a company or association.

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The police should investigate MV for labeling people “terrorists” and publishing their pictures

MV-lehti is a racist trash publication that doesn’t care to put people in harm’s way by labeling them as “terrorists” as did happen in Murha.info. Migrant Tales believes that one of the many defamation cases and crimes investigated by the police involving MV should involve an Iraqi asylum seeker called Jihad Baghdadi. Baghdadi’s picture was published in MV-lehti

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Unspeakable politicians and their own gain

White Finns rarely consult migrants and minorities on anything important. They may ask them their opinion on x and y but the final decision on policy is made by them because you don’t really count. And then there are people like Jussi Halla-aho, Laura Huhtasaari, Timo Soini, Wille Rydman, and many others who pour gasoline

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Lack of empathy

The lack of empathy by politicians and the government for the suffering of vulnerable groups like asylum seekers came to light again when two refugees stabbed themselves in protest of Finland’s asylum policy. Lack of empathy is the first step or reminder that our society is dysfunctional and in trouble. War now seems a possibility.  “Old”

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Why do racists hate and target Muslims?

“Finland and Europe are suspicious of Muslims because their racism and hatred have ensured that their ‘integration’ polices have failed despite the fact that the majorty of Muslims are well-adapted. Instead of blaming their own prejudices for their failures, they scapegoat a religious and ethnic group.”

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Finland’s government to tighten again immigration and asylum policy

The desperation New Alternative* or Blue Reform, the faction that split from the Perussuomalaiset (PS) to keep their jobs as ministers, must be huge. Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sports Sampo Terho announced Thursday that the government plans to tighten immigration and asylum policy laws in the face of the Turku attack, according to YLE News. 

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Finland’s Draconian immigration policy today has its roots in the Cold War era

The quote sits well with Finland’s Draconian immigration and asylum policy. The number of undocumented migrants has soared from an estimated 300. Those who are lucky enough to get a residence permit can say goodbye to ever bringing their loved ones to this country because family reunification requirements have been tightened.  In sum, the Finnish government and the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) have done everything possible to make their lives as miserable as possible and expel them from here.

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PS’ Third Vice President Juho Eerola is suspected of ethnic agitation in Finland

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* third vice president Juho Eerola is suspected of ethnic agitation, according to YLE News. If convicted, only PS First Vice President Laura Huhtasaari would be the only board member of the party that doesn’t have a conviction for ethnic agitation. Chairman Jussi Halla-aho was convicted in 2012 and MP Teuvo Hakkarainen, the second vice president, convicted in January.

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Disingenuous Timo Soini should take a long look in the mirror

If there is a power-hungry politician who will do almost anything to gain power and lose it in an instant, that politician is Timo Soini. Apart from being a disingenuous politician who saw his populist creation inflate and implode, he is a sore loser as well. In an interview in Tampere-based daily Aamulehti, he claims

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A tragic weekend that encourages us to challenge social ills like racism, bigotry and inequality in Finland, Europe and globally

Over the weekend a lot of things happened: The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) hosted a seminar in Helsinki on anti-migration racism Saturday that was overshadowed by a closed Finnish police Facebook page with racist comments, a comprehensive story on ethnic profiling in Finland, and another terrorist attack in London that left seven killed and 48 injured.

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PS MP Ville Tavio: An Islamophobe that is bent on keeping white Finnish power and privilege at any cost and lie

When publishing anti-immigration rhetoric by politicians like Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Ville Tavio, it’s very important to lead with the following paragraph: “MP Talk gives members of parliament the opportunity to share their views on Finnish society with an international audience. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Helsinki Times.”

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The cheap journalism of Helsingin Uutiset and its editor’s long roots in the anti-immigration movement of Finland

Two of the worst complimentary publications in the Helsinki and Greater Helsinki area Helsingin Uutiset and Vantaan Sanomat. Since they don’t charge people to read their publications they depend heavily on advertising revenues. The way that they get such revenues and readers is by spreading xenophobia and suspicion of migrants and minorities.

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How Sampo Terho’s essay in 2007 is still the norm but in a different context to fuel fear and racism of migrants and minorities

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* parliamentary group leader Sampo Terho wrote a decade ago in Kanava an essay with the classic far-right populist rhetoric about the threat of migration. His point of view in the essay is not only sinister but was a central argument used by parties like the PS to attract voters and that their racism was “normal.”

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Timo Soini and the denial of Finland’s racism problem

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairman Timo Soini announced after being at the helm of the anti-immigration party for twenty years that he’ll step down as chairman in June. The narrative and the way that some newspapers and politicians are picturing Soini is a good example of Finland’s denial of racism.

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Defining white Finnish privilege #33: Appropriating our narrative to maintain the status quo, amass more power and privilege

One of the most important matters that one learns when reading about our ever-growing culturally diverse society in Finland is that there is fierce opposition from some circles against cultural and ethnic diversity. According to these groups, the only way that a multicultural Finn, migrant and minority can live in Finland is if they control the narrative.

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(Migrant Tales 12.2.2017) Dear Sweden, don’t play ball with the Sweden Democrats – Finland is the best example of the disaster that awaits you

Dear Sweden,

In all of the Nordic region we have seen far-right populist parties rise in this century with a hostile even vicious anti-immigration and anti-cultural diversity agenda. Of all the Nordic countries, you are the only one in the Nordic region where populist anti-immigration parties have not formed directly or indirectly a part of government.

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Seven months and no justice yet after a Kenyan woman was racially insulted and splashed by a bucket of water

Remember when a Kenyan woman was sitting outside her home in the Helsinki neighborhood of Helsinki one Sunday afternoon on May 22 and a white Finnish woman splashed a bucket of water on her, her children and their friends after shouting racist insults? Well, nothing has happened since then even if Ruth Waweru-Folabit pressed charges against the woman and complained to the non-discrimination ombudsman seven months ago.

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Will Halla-aho be the PS’ savior or the party’s political grave?

A while back I asked a friend what would happen if the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* implode as we’ve seen in the polls. What will emerge from the ruin of that xenophobic party will be another one that is more sinister and more dangerous. With PS MEP Jussi Halla-aho’s decision to challenge Timo Soini and run for chairman of the party is the birth of a radical anti-immigration party in the same league as the Islamophobic Danish People’s Party.

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Why did Finland allocate so much money on asylum reception centers that treated in too many cases refugees like “livestock?”

In 2015 and 2016 some 38,000 asylum seekers came to Finland and scores of asylum reception centers were established rapidly throughout the country to house so many people. Even if the government’s ever-draconian view of migrants was “not make Finland attractive to asylum seekers” at any cost, asylum seekers helped expose our ineffective immigration and integration policy.

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A letter of apology for the disgraceful treatment of asylum seekers in Finland by the government

The cartoon below by Ville Ranta could apply to Europe as well. Instead of having politicians like Perussuomalaiset* Defense Minister Jussi Niinistö, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and other government ministers stating that “you can’t come in because there’s no room for you,” it’s our hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy that has been exposed to the tee.

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Finnish PS MP Hakkarainen is charged (alas) for ethnic agitation

Perussuomlaiset (PS)* MP Teuvo Hakkarainen, who has made numerous racist and bigoted statements against Muslims, Somalis and gays finally got charged for ethnic agitation by the state deputy prosecutor. Hakkarainen isn’t the only politician being charged for ethnic agitation. On that shameful list are Mertsu Merivireta, Terhi Kieumunki and Olli Sademies.

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Finland rolls back the clock and flirts with the cold war when every foreigner was seen as a potential threat

In another move to punish former migrants who are naturalized Finns, the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, which shares power with the National Coalition Party and anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset,* plans to introduce a new law to parliament within weeks that will prohibit dual citizens from holding certain jobs that involve national security, according to Seijnäjoki-based daily Ilkka, which cites Finnish News Agency (STT).

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Finland’s blind spot of racism and the incitement of violence against migrants and minorities

July was a busy month for hate speech with the usual bunch of politicians from a particular party hurling insults at migrants and minorities. If we look at the pyramid of hate below, we can see politicians like Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Teuvo Hakkarainen and PS youth leader Sebastian Tynkkynen venturing with their comments to the bias-motivated-violence phase, which openly incites violence against migrants and minorities.

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Brexit proves (again) that Europe’s biggest threat was and still is nationalism and xenophobia

We speak of external threats like globalization and others like asylum seekers as threats challenging this great Post-World War 2 experiment called the European Project. While the achievements of the European Union are formidable taking into account that we’re not going after each other’s throats after 1945, there is one threat that is the greatest of them all and one we should pay more attention to: nationalism and xenophobia.

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Brexit: Stoke the fires of natonalism and you’ll get burned

After the United Kingdom decided Thursday to exit from the European Union, the question remains: why? In many respects, the answer to that question is a similar one that you hear in some European countries why such-and-such country has seen the political rise of populist anti-immigration party. Finland is a good example of the latter. The

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Finland tightens family reunification laws and denies migrants the right to a family

The Finnish parliament didn’t vote Friday to tighten even further family reunification guidelines but effectively socially excluded and relegated migrants, especially asylum seekers, to second- and third-class citizens. The news ironically coincides with the death of former Rural Party MP Sulo Aittoniemi (1936-2016), a person who was against refugees and cultural diversity.

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Racism, bigotry, ultranationalism, neo-Nazism are nothing more than ourselves staring back at us from a mirror

Why aren’t we surprised and shocked by what we see today in Europe? Populism, racism, bigotry, ultranationalism, isolationism, and fascism spread thanks to the media and the tacit support of many who nod in approval and silence. Colonialism, wars, and exploitation of non-white Europeans through slavery are some of the windfall profits that gave us our present standard of living, populism, fascism and bigotry.

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An official apology for the racist and bigoted things politicians say and write today in Finland

What do politicians like Timo Soini, Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo, James Hirvisaari, Jussi Halla-aho, Juho Eerola, Olli Immonen, Jussi Niinistö, Maria Lohela, Tom Packalén, Olli Sademies, Freddy Van Wonterghem, Pentti Oinonen, Laura Huhtasaari, Terhi Kiemunki and many, many others have in common? They write a lot of racist and bigotted stuff. They are as well all or

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The foreign minister of an island called Finland

Finnish foreign minister, Timo Soini of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, was on the Embuske, Veitola ja Salminen talkshow on Thursday. On the program he showed his bigotted views with a smile by taking credit for stopping the flow of asylum seekers to Finland.

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Finnish PS speaker of parliament blames migrants for high unemployment

Anti-immigration party Perussuomalaiset (PS)* speaker of parliament, Maria Lohela, states in an interview in Helsingin Sanomat that the jobless rate among some migrant groups is many times higher than the national average. True. But the question the reporter should ask Lohela is “why” and “what she’s doing to change the situation” instead of parroting her views.

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Finland’s bigoted and perilous path

Finland has become in a short time a country that has lost its way. The police service, public officials like politicians and even ministers, who should know better, don’t. The most shameful matter that exposes these wretched times is that we’ve allowed xenophobia and nationalist populism to not only enter through the back door but through the main and wide one as well.

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Police study on immigration paints a threatening and bleak picture of Finland’s ever-growing culturally diverse society

Weird things happen when an anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* get power and partner with two other mainstream parties, the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP), which have done too little to tackle racism and discrimination in Finland. One of the many things that can happen is a study, “Immigration, Security and Foresight,” published with the blessings of the council of state.

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The face of fascism in Finland: Before and after

There is a fascinating book published by Olli Silvennoinen, Marko Tikka and Aapo Romelius titled Suomalaiset fasistit (Finnish fascists). One of the authors, Silvennoinen, states in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat that the same arguments used in the 1920s to feed fascism are used today.

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Scaremongering by the PS of Finland is always at full swing

Finland’s Perussuomalaiset (PS)* defense minister, Jussi Niinistö, believes that up to one million “illegal” immigrants could come to Finland, according to YLE News. Niinistö, a historian who has played down the role of fascist associations like the Lapua Movement (1929-32), fear-mongers to shore up support for his ailing party.

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Finland’s xenophobic Denmark slippery slope

Considering that the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is in government and that the two other ruling partners, the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP), need the support of the PS to downsize the welfare state, it’s clear why Finland is tightening its immigration policy.

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When racism in Finland becomes “normal”

Migrant Tales insight: As the politicians and media in Finland turn their backs on the ever-increasing racism in this country, there are a few brave people who don’t remain silent. A brave young woman in Lahti preferred not to remain silent at a bar as two black men were being harassed at a bar in

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Nobody in Finland seems too concerned about the ever-xenophobic and hostile climate against asylum seekers, migrants and minorities

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä of Finland when he announced in September that he would offer his home to asylum seekers but has now put on hold such plans due to security reasons, reports the BBC. What is surprising is that nobody seems to care too much why it’s no longer safe to house asylum seekers in the prime minister’s home in Kempele.

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The Perussuomalaiset decade (2011-19): Finland’s rendezvous with xenophobia and nationalism

Here’s the question we all know the answer to concerning the rise and fall of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party during this decade: We accomplished nothing, absolutely nothing, polarized society, scapegoated migrants and Muslims and lied through our teeth with poker faces. Our decade-long rendezvous with right-wing populism and xenophobia has had a negative political and

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The “Denmarkization” of Finnish immigration policy

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) are eager to pass legislation that will not only hurt asylum seekers but all migrants and minorities that live in Finland. After breaking almost all of their campaign promises and after their poll rating have plummeted to single-digit percentages, the PS only have one trump card left in their political bag of tricks: anti-immigration rhetoric and policy.

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A Finnish government that bolsters anti-immigration populism and nationalism

It’s sad to watch how the present government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä is not only destroying our welfare state but bringing out the worst form of anti-immigration fear and political cowardice. When asked on YLE’s Ykkösaamu talk show about the attacks against asylum reception centers, the only thing Interior Minister Petteri Orpo had to say was that he was “saddened” by such illegal attacks and that the 80-point plan to tighten immigration policy would help calm matters down.

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Ongoing debate on asylum seekers in Finland: Lawmakers who play or are ignorant of our laws and basic human rights

As I watched the A-studio: T debate about the record number of asylum seekers in Finland, I thought about Kadar Gelle, a Somali anti-racism activist who watched Monday’s A-studio debate, where Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Tom Packalén, who has tried to build a political career on anti-immigration rhetoric, debates with Somali Finn Mukhtar Abib about the tightening of immigration policy.

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UPDATE (December 5): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link. December 5 Lähde vahvistaa: Suomessa majailee kolme kovan luokan terroristia (Iltalehti) What’s wrong with this story? Finland’s two tabloids, Iltalehti and Ilta-Sanomat, are not an example of

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Perussuomalaiset politician states “god has answered his prayers” after an asylum reception center was burned due to a suspected arson attack

Finland saw probably for the first time an asylum reception center in Niinisalo, which was going to house asylum seekers next week, being razed to the ground by a suspected arson attack Tuesday. While such an attack should be condemned by everyone, there’s a Perussuomalaiset (PS) politician called Juha Maenpää who is rejoicing at what happened.

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Let’s have a frank talk about rape and xenophobia in Finland

I don’t usually begin an opinion piece with a quote by an Islamophobe like Hirvisaari in November 11 that was sentenced for ethnic agitation. This will be an exception because I’d like to answer the claim that the former Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP made in parliament: Islamophobes like you usually dress up hate speech and racism with so-called criticism of immigration policy.

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Defining white Finnish privilege #25: This land is my land, this land isn’t your land

It’s disturbing to watch in Finland journalists who maintain and promote urban tales and racism. One of these is Tuomas Enbuske who invited Lenita Aristo to his television talk show to speak about Muslims. When Aristo opens her mouth and gives her opinions about cultural diversity, it’s evident that she still lives is a provincial and stuffy time warp of pre-1990s Finland.

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How will the far right and anti-immigration parties in Europe try to exploit what happened in Paris today?

Terrorism is a sign of how dysfunctional our society an countries are at dealing with global conflicts. I’m so saddened by the violence and watch with manifest unease how the far right and anti-immigration populist party will exploit what happened for their own benefit. We still haven’t got confirmation on which group is behind the attacks. My condolences go to the victims and their families.

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YLE poll: Support for PS of Finland takes another dip to 9.8%

A poll commissioned by the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) revealed more pain for the nationalist populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, which saw its support plummet below 10% to 9.8%. The party that gained the most in the poll were the Social Democrats, which saw their support rise by 2.4 percentage points to 20.7%.

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YLE poll: PS sees its support nosedive to 10.7%

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

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Naming and shaming Finland into action

Parties that use racism and xenophobia to attract voters play a dangerous game. It’s like having a rapid dog on a short leash that some are interested to see. What those parties don’t want to know is that the rapid dog can bite back at its supposed owner, and hard.

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Europe has been put in harm’s way by Europeans

Can Europe honestly look at itself in the mirror today and say it is still a beacon of hope, cultural understanding and respect as we bar refugees, permit the children of these people fleeing war to die on our beaches while thousands die trying to reach our shores?

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A cemetery called the Mediterranean

This will be one of the shortest posts ever published in Migrant Tales thanks to a picture published on the front page of El País of Madrid. Those dots on the water are people who got shipwrecked off the coast of Libya.

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UPDATE (August 28): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link. August 28 Joka seitsemäs suomalainen on rasisti – tässä tuntomerkit (Suomen Kuvalehti) What’s wrong with this story? Here’s a question to Suomen Kuvalehti: Why when speaking of immigration,

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Matti Putkonen takes the Perussuomalaiset to the Twilight Zone

Here’s what happened Wednesday. Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Olli Immonen, who’s been pictured with neo-Nazis and recently declared war on “the nightmare of multiculturalism,” gave a press conference where he promised to write clearer text so that nobody could interpret them as racist or having neo-Nazi overtones.

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Finnish PS MP Olli Immonen takes swipe at asylum seekers, migrants and minorities

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Olli Immonen is at it again after his xenophobic Facebook posting about “the nightmare of multiculturalism.” This time he is taking a swipe at asylum seekers. He uses terms like “uncontrolled” and “avalanche” to promote his brand of xenophobic and far right hostility not only against asylum seekers, but against Finland’s ever-growing culturally and ethnically diverse community.

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Finland’s Rosa Parks moment and crossing the line

For those of us who have been anti-racism activists for many years, Tuesday, July 28, offered us something we hadn’t seen before in Finland: A spontaneous 15,000-20.000-strong demonstration against racism and fascism in Helsinki. Was that very important demonstration a Rosa Parks moment and an important watershed to make Finland a more inclusive country?

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Marshall Niles: Everyday racism can break a person’s heart

Migrant Tales insight: Our newest associate editor, Marhsall Niles, is very outspoken about migrant rights. We are happy that we have a person like Marshall on board since it makes sailing in Finland’s sometimes turbulent waters easier.  Marshall is a good example that one can make a difference with his example. What he wrote a

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Migrant Tales (June 23, 2012): What is the fine line that separates Anders Breivik and PS MP Olli Immonen?

This week we heard Anders Breivik’s closing statements in his defense for killing 77 innocent victims. In his final tirade of how multiculturalism is responsible for fuelling the Islamization of Europe, the mass killer showed no remorse. “The attacks on July 22 were preventive attacks to defend the indigenous Norwegian people,” he said. “I therefore

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July 28, 2015: Finland’s Rosa Parks moment

On December 1, 1955 the late Rosa Parks refused to give her seat to a white passenger on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama. That historically important incident was for many the spark that ignited the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

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UPDATE (July 22): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity please go to this link. July 22 Miksi mamulla on varaa merkkivaatteisiin? (Suomen Kuvalehti) What’s wrong with this opinion piece? While the intentions of the journalist, Sami Kuusela, are noble he falls

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UPDATE (July 20): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link. July 20 HOK-Elanto bouncer under discrimination investigation (YLE) What else could have been said? While this story is pretty clear and to the point about a discrimination

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Eva Biaudet: Finland’s ever-culturally and ethnically diverse society in the new century (Part I)

Swedish People’s Party (SPP) MP Eva Biaudet has made a name for herself defending those that don’t have a voice in society and those who are most vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation. If there is a person that can give a picture of where Finland is or should be heading in this century as our country becomes ever-culturally and ethnically diverse, that person is certainly Biaudet.

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The PS, like the Confederate flag, is a symbol of racism and hatred for most migrants in Finland

In states like South Carolina, where Dylann Roof mass murdered nine people on June 18 at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, there is an ongoing debate about taking down the Confederate flag from senate house grounds. Instead of starting a race war which Roof wanted to ignite, his killings awoke us to the oppression and suffering that the Confederate flag continues to represent.

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UPDATE (July 4): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link. July 4 Bloggaja väittää: Huhtasaari liittyi rasistiseen Facebook-ryhmään itse (Satakunnan Kansa) What’s wrong with this story? This story by Pori-based daily Satakunnan Kansa is a good example of

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Danish People’s Party Pia Kjærsgaard: Inte min talman, or not my speaker of parliament [1]

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Speaker of Parliament Maria Lohela no longer is alone after Denmark’s new center-right government elected the founder of the xenophobic Danish People’s Party (DPP), Pia Kjærsgaard, as the new speaker of parliament, according to the Copenhagen Post. Like her counterpart in Finland, Kjærsgaard has built her political career on Islamophbobic fear-mongering.

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Is the Danish People’s Party advising the PS on how to become the biggest party in Finland?

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Helsinki substitute councilman, Olli Sademies, is creating Islamophobic waves again. Right, he’s the substitute councilman who suggested in the end of May that Africans should be sterilized after having three children. Now he wrote on his Facebook wall a “business idea” to create a pig’s blood spray that would be used against Muslims.

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What we should learn from the Tapanila sexual assault case

The Tapanila rape case is a good example of how the Finnish media permitted again its prejudices to get the better of itself. Those who committed the crime had everything against them: They were “Somalis,” or youths with “foreign backgrounds,” who committed “gang rape.” In today’s Finland, where xenophobia is thick in the air, those two words are sure to unlock your darkest prejudices.

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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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A letter from a Finn to a Swede

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

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UPDATE (June 10): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link. June 10 Suurlähetystö joutuu selittelemään Timo Soinia: “Ymmärretään usein väärin täällä Saksassa  (Ilta-Sanomat) What’s wrong with this story? The headline offers us an answer to the latter question

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Juha Sipilä’s government is one of the few in the world that still ponders whether immigration is good for the host country

The Finnish government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä must be one of the few if not the only one in the world that is still pondering whether immigration is good or bad for the country. Even if the new government decided to carry out such an assessment by an independent body, thanks to pressure by the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, it’s universally accepted by economists that immigration is good for the host country.

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Swedish People’s Party Carl Haglund: Who wants to move to Finland knowing that a price tag will be placed on your forehead?

Imagine a country that needs skilled labor due to the rapid graying of its population and whose new government still doesn’t know whether immigration brings benefits or not? Well that country, folks, is none other than Finland. Yes, the country that saw over 1.2 million of its people emigrate between 1860 and 1999 to the world and which saw the rise of an anti-immigration party from the minor political leagues to become the second-biggest party in parliament.

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Xenophobia and Islamophobia get to first base in Finland: And now, what?

Living in Finland after the April 19 parliamentary elections is like witnessing a coup where xenophobia and Islamophobia have strengthened their stranglehold on our country with the blessings of the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP). With the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* in government and the election of PS MP Maria Lohela as the new speaker of parliament send a disturbing signal to many Finns and especially to our ever-growing culturally diverse community.

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Facebook: Thumbs down to Maria Lohela and hurray for our side!

When big mainstream parties play along with populist and anti-immigration parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, which base their campaign on one part hot air and two parts xenophobia and nationalism, you get the government we have today and a speaker of parliament called Maria Lohela.  Christian Thibault has been a tireless activist for migrant and

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The violent and hostile language of Finnish populists against Others

For those that sighed with momentary relief and claimed that the new government’s immigration policy won’t be as bad as they expected haven’t seen anything yet. Behind the populist and nationalistic rhetoric coming from people like Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairman Timo Soini, there’s nothing but suspicion and hostility against Finland’s migrant and ever-culturally diverse community. What

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An apology from a former Islamophobe

Kathrin Oetrel of Pegida, which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, formally apologized for her role as spokeswoman in the far-right Islamophobic movement. When will Islamophobic and xenophobic politicians in countries like Finland apologize in the same manner as Pegida’s former spokeswoman?  Don’t hold your breaths, however. There will be no

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Treating immigrants in Finland as the problem IS the problem

What’s wrong with the ongoing debate in Finland concerning immigration, refugees and cultural diversity? The problem is that they are treated as a problem by politicians, the media and public.*  Instead of treating these three matters as “a problem” we should make an effort to think outside of the current anti-immigration political climate and see them

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Finland 2015 is a sinking ship: Throw overboard excess weight like migrants, refugees, minorities and our Nordic values

What destiny can befall a country or a political party that retreats into its own fears and scapegoats migrants for its own blunders and inaction? As one friend pointed out, Finland resembles today a sinking ship that is throwing overboard excess weight like migrants, refugees, minorities and Nordic values.  The situation is dire, very dire.

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Christian Thibault: Don’t let fear intimidate you but watch your back!

Christian Thibault, chairman of Rasmus, an anti-racism NGO, asks how safe are our streets for migrants and minorities after Sunday’s parliamentary elections? Thibault is concerned but doesn’t want anyone to live in fear. “Don’t withdraw into safe ghettos,” he continued, “but be careful especially this coming weekend [when people of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* will be celebrating the

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PS MP Immonen wants “a nationalistic revolution” in Finland

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Olli Immonen appears to be on a crusade lined with pipe dreams. Immonen, who is chairman of the far-right Suomen Sisu association, which discourages white Finns from marrying foreigners, wrote that “the people” should grab power and start “a nationalistic revolution.” Pekka Venamo, the former leader of the Finnish Rural Party (SMP), has linked

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Finland’s scapegoating culture and climate

A good example of Finland’s xenophobic climate is a citizens’ initiative that would hasten the deportation of sentenced foreigners, according to YLE in English. The minimum number of signatures required for such initiatives to be debated and voted on in parliament is 50,000. On Wednesday morning the citizens’ initiative had 52,037 signatures.

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When the term immigrant becomes a red herring

If there is a report, a story or some tale that sounds fishy it may suggest a red herring. One of these types of stories that should have received more scrutiny from the media was a report published Thursday by Perussuomalaiset (PS)* thinktank Suomen Perusta, which attempted to place a price tag on immigration.  There are a lot of

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PS MP wants Finland to exclude refugees and migrants according to national background

The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* announced Thursday that immigration costs Finland at least 700 million euros a year, according to YLE in English, which cites PS thinktank Suomen Perusta. Basing his conclusions on the report, PS third vice president Juho Eerola said he would consider restricting migration to the country based on national origin. The report suggested that Germans

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Perussuomalaiset ad stresses “us” versus “them”

The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* ad below (in Finnish) is the pits. The only mention it makes about our culturally and ethnically diverse society is picture of a Muslim woman. All of the people in the ad are white Finns. It uses slogans like: “Let’s build a good Finland” and “the Perussuomalaiset are on the side of (white)

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Migrants are not a burden to Finland

The letter to the editor below could be perfectly well applied to Finland. In Finland, migrants and minorities are tired of being called a burden by opportunistic politicians that want to gain with xenophobic sound bites voter attention.   Sensible Europeans know better and more of their voices are needed in the face of this

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Politicians who fuel and support opportunity segregation in Finland

Tanja Hartonen-Pulkka is a Perussuomalaiset (PS)* candidate in April’s parliamentary elections. Last year she was noticed by Migrant Tales for all the wrong reasons. Hartonen-Pulkka lives in Mäntyharju, a small town in Eastern Finland with a population of 6,200 people that has a handful of foreign residents. She claimed in fall that at the present

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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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UPDATE (Feb. 26): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link.  Feb. 26 Koraaninluku radiossa nosti raivon – “Sotkee nuorten päät ja vihasoppa on valmis” (Helsingin Uutiset) What’s wrong with this story? Helsingin Uutiset is a community paper

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The rise and fall of the Perussuomalaiset of Finland

As support for the Perussuomalaiset (PS)[1] wanes with parliamentary elections only a heartbeat away on April 19, we are seeing a very different party  from four years ago. Back then, PS chairman Timo Soini was self-confident and campaigning confidently. He was the darling of the media, the new kid on the block, the underdog, the only

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Timo Soini and the PS: “What goes around comes around”

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairman Timo Soini has good acting skills and a poor memory. At a press conference Thursday he told us about the death threats he’s received. I know how he feels because I too have received such death threats possibly from people inspired by the PS’ populist and hateful ideology.  Even if I’ve lived in

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UPDATE (Feb. 19): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link.  Feb. 19 Soini: Perussuomalaiset ei “flirttaile” rasismin kanssa (Helsingin Sanomat) What’s wrong with this news story? The Finnish media has asked over and over again Perussuomalaiset (PS)[1]

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Declassified documents about Somalis shed light on how Soviet asylum seekers were treated in Finland

This story published by MTV3, about a secret agreement to return Somali asylum-seekers back to the then Soviet Union, forgets to bring up a very important question: Was there another secret document with Moscow to return Soviet citizens to the USSR if they sought asylum in Finland?  The 1990 agreement, which was never enforced, became public knowledge

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UPDATE (Feb. 14): Migrant Tales’ 2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism

Migrant Tales’2015 Hall of Poor and Sloppy Journalism will be updated separately. To see other examples of opinionated journalism in Finland about cultural diversity, please go to this link.  Feb. 14 “Suomessa on jatkuva sadekausi” (Ilkka) What’s wrong with this news story? If one follows news about immigrants and cultural diversity in Finland on Uutiskynnys.fi, one

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A young black woman in a small Finnish city

Finns are adamant that there is no racial discrimination in their society. Josephy Wandera Owindi* For some white people it’s difficult to comprehend how a black woman could be treated in a small city like Mikkeli, located 230km northeast of Helsinki. Is she a victim of microaggressions and/or of outright sexism and racism?  The aim of a

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Racism as PS immigration policy

The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* recently published their party program on immigration, which breaches human rights, is unconstitutional and outright racist.  Even if Social Democrat MP Johannes Koskinen was quoted as saying on Oulu-based daily Kaleva that parts of the PS’ party program were in conflict with our constitution, there’s been too little reaction by mainstream political parties and

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Defining white Finnish privilege #15: Case Halla-aho and the PS

It’s clear that the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* are trying to regain their balance as their popularity in the polls continues to plummet. This week MEP Jussi Halla-aho, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation, tells his party that a tougher stand on immigration is needed to regain voter confidence.  “It would be good that the party leadership understands

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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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Homophobic Finland? Thank the Perussuomalaiset

Some weren’t too worried when the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* won their historic parliamentary election victory in 2011 by raising the number of MPs to 39 from 5. “They’ll implode like the Rural Party did in the 1970s,” and “This is only a passing [political] fad” was what one heard.  One matter is clear after almost four

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The PS of Finland: When a morally bankrupt party crosses the line

The Tom Packalén case is not only a reminder of what Finland can expect if the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* ever get into government, there is the real threat that we are in danger of forfeiting our successful Nordic welfare state for populism, nativist nationalism and xenophobia. In the face of this threat, it is the near-silence

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

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

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Defining white Finnish privilege #12: Case Tom Packalén

Just like his colleague Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Teuvo Hakkarainen, MP Tom Packalén is another good example of white Finnish privilege. His example is in the same questionable league as National Coalition Party MP Pia Kauma, who falsely accused migrant mothers of buying new baby carriages with social aid while Finnish mothers buy used ones.  If you are

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The PS has found its political role model in the Sweden Democrats

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Tom Packalén is an example of how the good election result of the Sweden Democrats has invigorated him and the PS to start scapegoating migrants in Finland. Taking into account the poor result of the PS in the last presidential, municipal and EU elections, it’s clear that some PS MPs will do anything to get attention and hopefully votes.

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Too many Finnish politicians and parties are ignorant of their country’s migrant and refugee history

-titta, en finne igen i fyllan! -satans finjävlar! -look, (a) drunken Finn! -damn Finnish devils! The infamous saying, en finne igen, yet another Finn, can be found in Urban Dictionary. The statement was used by Swedes to claim that Finns are “violent, primitive savages” because some have issues with learning Swedish and alcohol. After World

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Defining white Finnish privilege #11: Case Teuvo Hakkarainen

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MP Teuvo Hakkarainen is a good example of white Finnish privilege. Here’s an MP that has issues with alcohol, racism and now dates teenagers as well as allegedly takes minors to bars. He has sent on his work phone pictures of his phallus and Image magazine claims in its latest issue that the PS MP drove

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Will the Sweden Democrat victory give a boost to the PS in Finland?

The Swedish election result not only showed a shift and set for a minority-left government, but historic gains made by the far-right Sweden Democrats. Conservative Moderat Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who conceded defeat late Sunday, said he will hand in his resignation Monday after eight years in power. Just like the anti-immigration Peerussuomalaiset (PS)* in

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National Coalition Party and Perussuomalaiset lead anti-immigration drive in Finland

With parliamentary elections nearing in April, topping the anti-immigration rhetoric list are two parties with representatives in parliament: National Coalition Party and who else but the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*.  We’ve been reading almost daily about National Coalition Party MP Pia Kauma’s crusade against migrant women with baby carriages. The PS are another hostile party to migrants

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Finland’s parliamentary elections of April 2015 have begun

Even if parliamentary elections will take place on April 19, 2015, it’s clear that they’ve begun. Rumbles can be already heard from political parties such as the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, Muutos 2011 and the National Coalition Party, which are vying for media attention and voters. Who are they targeting? Who else but migrants and minorities.  National Coalition Party

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Finland President Niinistö’s “information-gathering exercise” about dual citizenship should worry us a lot

President Sauli Niinistö has asked Christian Democrat Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen, an anti-gay an anti-immigration politician, to look into the possibility of tightening Finland’s dual citizenship laws or ending the practice altogether, according to YLE in English.  Prime Minister Alexander Stubb was, however, quoted as saying on YLE in English that plans to end dual citizenship are not

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Helsingin Sanomat poll shows the PS heading south

A poll published today by Helsingin Sanomat reveals that the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is at its lowest point (15.9%) in two years. The most popular party in Finland continues to be the National Coalition Party (22.1%) followed by the Center Party (19.9%). The Social Democrats, which are still struggling, are in the mid-teens (14.9%) with

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The PS of Finland once again reveals its hostility towards migrants and cultural diversity

One of the most interesting matters to watch about the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is how their explanations and arguments change to hide their hostile and xenophobic stances against migrants and Finland’s ever-growing cultural diversity. PS party secretary Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo was quoted as saying on YLE that Finland should stop development aid and end welfare to refugees

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Four in five Swedes express concern over xenophobia

Swedes are more worried about the rise of xenophobia in their country than the ever-growing number of immigrants, according to The Local, citing a study by the SOM Institute of Gothenburg University. The survey revealed that while 49% expressed concern over immigration levels, 78% were worried about the rise of xenophobia.  Read full story here.

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Is Finland a good country for migrants and minorities?

Finland gets a lot of international recognition for being one of the most competitive countries in the world, for press freedom, women rights, scores high on the good country index, having one of the best educational systems in the world and the likes. The latter raises a question: How inclusive of a country is Finland to

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The PS of Finland makes its post-election debut in the European media with labels like “xenophobic,” “far right” and “MEPs with criminal records”

It has been quite a rough two weeks for the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party after the May 25 EU parliamentary elections: accusations of being far-right in the company of neo-Nazi parties like the Golden Dawn of Greece; and speculation by a senior Finnish official in the Financial Times that it was unlikely that the PS would

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

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

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Financial Times: Finnish and Danish MEPs “with criminal records” join Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s group

While some speculated that the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and the Danish People’s Party (DPP), both with MEPs with criminal records, would be given the cold shoulder by UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group,  the opposite happened, writes the Financial Times.  The two MEPs with criminal records are PS MEP Jussi Halla-aho

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Counterpoint: How to compare European populist parties

There’s been a lot of talk as of late in the media about far-right and populist parties that were elected to the European parliament. One way to assess these parties is a chart by Counterpoint, a research group. Gathering from the chart below, European populist parties are mostly racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic and sexist. Their democratic

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Migrant Tales insight on EU elections: Win some, lose some

As the political dust settles after the Euro elections last Sunday, can we claim like the media that the hard right made important gains?  How did anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* of Finland fare compared with the previous elections in 2009?  Apart from the UKIP and National Front of France’s impressive

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

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

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The EU elections are a call for migrants and minorities to raise their voices and take charge of their future in an ever-hostile Europe

What does the election victory of anti-EU and anti-immigration parties reveal for the future of the EU, immigrants and minorities in Europe? The bad news is that matters will get worse before they improve, even if these parties didn’t get a clear mandate in the EU elections. Writes the Guardian:”But not by as much as

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Pew Research Center survey: Anti-immigration and anti-minority sentiment runs high before Euro elections

Pew Research Center, a Washington-based “fact tank,” reveals in a survey just before the European parliamentary elections on May 22-25 that anti-immigration and anti-minority sentiment runs  in countries like Poland, Germany, France, UK, Spain, Italy and Greece. Euro MEP candidates like Jussi Halla-aho and Juho Eerola of the PS have used anti-immigration sentiment to attract

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Sune Kymäläinen: How some politicians try to capitalize on anti-Russian sentiment in Finland

MPs throughout Europe are opportunistically using the xenophobia card to boost their chances of getting reelected. This is the case of Suna Kymäläinen, a Social Democrat (SDP), who is eyeing the April 2015 parliamentary elections in Finland. Read full story (in Finnish) here. Kymäläinen is a sad example of how politicians who don’t belong to anti-immigration

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Institute of Race Relations: UKIP – legitimised by the media?

MT insight: UKIP’s Nigel Farage and Perussuomalaiset party’s Timo Soini are close ideological allies. The only difference between these two politicians in the cultural and national context. If Farage lived in Finland he’d speak like Soini and vice versa. Thus to understand the PS you would have to understand the UKIP.  _________________ John Grayson examines

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

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

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Passage of draft bill to prohibit real estate purchases by non-EU citizens would expose Finland’s xenophobia of Russians

Politicians that fuel nationalism and intolerance forget to tell you one important fact: They carry a high price tag in the form of lower economic growth and less jobs. If passed, a draft bill spearheaded by Social Democrat (SDP) MP Suna Kymäläinen would not only hit businesses in eastern Finland that depend on Russian tourists,

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Espoo city council votes against racism

A proposal by the Perussuomalaiset (PS) to rewrite the City of Espoo’s multicultural programme because it stated that city residents “don’t tolerate racism” were voted down 64-10, reports Länsiväylä.  Two PS councilmen, Simon Elo (left) and Teemu Lahtinen,  loathe Muslims and cultural diversity. Read full story (in Finnish) here. If one reads closely the position of the PS, an anti-EU, anti-immigration

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

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

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The new look of anti-immigration parties: Over-simplify complex social issues like cultural diversity and racism

Observing for a number of years the language and behavior of how anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam parties operate in Europe, it’s clear that the codewords used by such parties has changed in countries like Finland. Eyeing power, the compromise that parties like the Perussuomaliset (PS) have made recently is to look more mainstream by toning

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How to tell someone they sound racist

Here’s a very good video clip with Jay Smooth that I found thanks to Racism Review that will help you challenge a person who makes a racist remark. The first and foremost thing you must do is stick to the that-sounded-racist conversation as opposed to they-are-racist conversation, according to Smooth. Read original blog entry here. The

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The Ukraine-Russia crisis can spark ethnic hatred across Europe

The crisis and standoff between the Ukraine and Russia is worrying for many reasons. One of these, which isn’t being covered enough by the European media, is how the crisis is fueling xenophobia and age-old diehard ethnic hatred.  There has been, however, a lot of coverage of the ethnic crisis between the Ukrainians and Russians.

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MPs fear that the Ukrainian crisis could fuel anti-Russian sentiment in Finland

The present crisis between the Ukraine and Russia could fuel anti-Russian sentiment in Finland, according to Social Democrat MP Pauliina Viitamies and MP Lenita Toivakka of the National Coalition Party, reports Mikkeli-based daily Länsi-Savo. Read full story here. “I fear that [the Ukrainian-Russian crisis] could raise anti-Russian sentiment especially in the eastern border area,” said

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Burst the hate bubble of anti-immigration groups

When you listen to anti-immigration politicians and groups, there’s one matter that exposes them to the tee: Constant whining without any solutions. They don’t give you the solution to the problem because they simply have none to offer. Read full story here. The Nazis were questionably pro-active on ethnic issues. As we saw from 1933,

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Draft law that aims to prohibit Russians from purchasing land is a sad sign of the times

In a country like Finland, which has a small migrant population compared with other European countries, intolerance and xenophobia usually reveal themselves as déjà vu. One of these real illusions came in the form of a draft bill in parliament that aims to prohibit real estate purchases by Russians, according to Joensuu-based daily Karjalainen. The same fear-mongering to

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Is Suomalaisuuden liitto a narrow-minded, hate-mongering, one-sided association that spreads hatred of minorities?

Perussuomalaiset (PS) Euro MP Sampo Terho, who is also the chairman of Association of Finnish Culture and Identity (Suomalaisuuden liitto), claims in a recent blog entry that his association has been the target of vicious attacks by the media, which have accused it of being narrow-minded,  hate-mongering, one-sided association that spreads hatred of minorities. Surisingly, Terho

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How does the PS plan to keep Finland “white?”

Even if an anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) is trying its hardest to look as mainstream as possible with the Euro MP and parliamentary elections of 2014 and 2015 approaching, respectively, a crucial question is being left out of the picture: How do they plan keep Finland white and undermine our ever-growing

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The story behind “Finland is a racist country” is in the comments

There were quite strong reactions among some Finns and immigrants to Maryan Abdulkarim’s interview on Helsingin Sanomat. Those who strongly objected to the article, appear to want to deny Abdulkarim’s right to express herself on a touchy subject like racism.  It’s ironic, but those who want to deny Abdulkarim her right to speak out are

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How does Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) empower us?

The death of Nelson Mandela, who was branded a terrorist by countries like the U.S. and Great Britain, is a sad day full of mourning but full of hope as well. His struggle and triumph over apartheid, a toxic offshoot of white European colonialism, proves that no matter how oppressive a government is, change is

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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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Finland and Europe must not be lured into populism and xenophobia

Denials by party leaders like Timo Soini that the Perussuomalaiset (PS) isn’t a xenophobic party, and the meek response of Finland’s mainstream parties to such a threat, speak volumes of the present state of this country. Who helped the political careers of xenophobes like Jussi Halla-aho, James Hirvisaari and others? Soini and the PS.  Why

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Henrik Dettmann: Finland is an “extremely intolerant” country

Is Finland a racist country? Henrik Dettmann, head coach of the Finnish national basketball team, agrees and claims that Finland is an ”extremely intolerant” country that isn’t a favorable place for foreigners. Read full story here. “Yes [Finland is a racist country],” Dettmann is quoted as saying on Verkkouutiset. “If I compare what I have

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Lieksa, Finland, councilperson who wanted a “Somali-free” meeting room gets sacked as the PS’ town council leader

Esko Saastamoinen, the Perussuomalaiset (PS) councilperson from Lieksa who demanded that a ”Somali-free” meeting room for his delegation, has been sacked as the PS’ town council leader, according to Karjalainen, a Joensuu-based daily.  Saastamoinen was, however,  able to retain his post as the party’s Lieksa town board first vice president. The PS councilperson faces as

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Is silence an effective response to racism?

One of the questions we should ask ourselves is what should our response be to those that are hostile to migrants, visible minorities and our ever-growing cultural diversity. Should silence be the answer?  One of the matters that I have learned through my many years of studying and writing about cultural diversity, is that silence

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Reija Härkönen: Jussi Halla-aho’s actions in parliament

Reija Härkönen When Jussi Halla-aho was getting prepared for the parliamentary elections, on the last day before the election day on April 16, 2011, he once again urged the anti-immigrant voters to act, thanked his own people (meaning the anti-immigrant circle) for their good work and the True Finns (Perussuomalaiset) of Helsinki and the neighborhood

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Alleged white Finn attacks Helsinki church dressed as a Muslim

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

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Well-groomed politicians and making racism in Finland “normal”

In general terms, there are two types of politicians in Finland that spread intolerance: those that let it all hang out and another type that speaks to you politely and is well-groomed. In the latter group, you’ll find PS MPs like Jussi Halla-aho, Juho Eerola, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Juho Eerola, even Timo Soini; James Hirvisaari is

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Magneettimedia editor and owner fined 45,000 euros by court for anti-Semitic writings

Magneettimedia editor and owner Juha Kärkkäinen has been fined by a Finnish court 45,000 euros for publishing anti-Semitic writings of Ted Pike, David Duke and others as well as cartoons that bear a striking resemblance to the former Nazi tabloid, Der Strümer (1923-45), reports Lahti-based Etelä-Suomen Sanomat.  Read full story here. The court ruled that the writings

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Jussi Halla-aho gets cold feet – another lie exposed

Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Jussi Halla-aho announced that he will not take part in a live A2 televised debate on Islam, reports YLE. The MP, who has been convicted for ethnic agitation, said that the debate doesn’t serve the issue. He would, however, be ready to take part in a debate with fewer people. Read full

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Pressiklubi exposes MP James Hirvisaari’s fabricated lies and ignorance of immigrants and minorities

MP James Hirvisaari, who got expelled from the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party last week, appeared on Ruben Stiller’s Pressiklubi Friday. Compared with his appearance on Enbuske & Linnanahde Crew’s talk show the previous day, the new Muutos 2011 MP’s fabricated lies and ignorance were exposed in the raw. See full program (in Finnish) here. Just like the

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Two important stories this week that may have far-reaching implications for Finland

This week was marked by two important news stories that will could have far-reaching consequences on our country: Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP James Hirvisaari’s expulsion from the anti-immigration and anti-EU party, and positive words about immigration by Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen.  Verkkouutiset is published by the National Coalition Party. See full story here. While the first

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How Syrian refugees fleeing war show how the Finnish media gives (again) racists inflated respectability and importance

Migrant Tales published a while back a story about how the media gives racists and radical anti-immigration groups inflated respectability and importance. Why should we care what a Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP like Jussi Halla-aho, who was on top of it convicted for ethnic agitation, thinks about giving asylum to Syrian refugees?  Verkkouutiset is run by the

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Government talks in Norway are a preview of what may happen in Finland in 2015 with the PS

Take a close look at Norway if you want to see what may happen in Finland after the 2015 parliamentary elections, when the right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS) may be in government.The populist anti-immigration Progress party (FrP) of Norway will form part of a coalition government with the Conservative Party (Høyre), Christian Democrats and Liberals. If the Conservative Party

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The shadow of Anders Breivik’s mass killings hang over coalition talks after Norway elections

The landslide victory of Norway’s opposition Conservatives  (Høyre) on Monday was short-lived after the country’s next prime minister, Erna Solberg, faced tough coalition talks with the anti-immigration and populist Progress party (Fremskrittspartiet) of which Anders Breivik was a member and whose cold-blooded killings continue to haunt the country, reports Reuters. Visit Wikipedia site here. Outgoing Labor Party

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Zuzeeko’s blog: MPs ignore bigger fish to fry in Finnish society

Zuzeeko Tegha Abeng Public discourse in Finnish online forums and blogs written by far-right elements and Finns Party MPs suggest that immigration is the biggest problem in Finland, but a closer look at Finnish society reveals more pertinent issues that people on the far-right of the political divide ignore, including domestic violence, family killings and

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Racism in Finland: The media is part of the problem

A party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS), which has capitalized politically on xenophobia and racism, claims that the Finnish media picks on it unfairly. The fact is, however, that the PS could have never achieved what it did in the April 2011 election without the help of the media, which gave its racists inflated respectability and

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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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Institute of Race Relations: The shameful ‘Go Home’ campaign

By John Grayson The rhetoric on migrants shows how politicians and the media have created, and embedded, racism in British politics. Read original blog entry here. Recent controversy over the Home Office ’Go Home’ campaign on ‘illegal’ immigrants highlights the way in which politicians try to outdo each other to win over the ‘racist’ electorate

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PS MP Hakkarainen of Finland launches new attack against immigrants and Muslims

Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Teuvo Hakkarainen, who suggested two years ago that homosexuals, lesbians and Somalians should be relocated to the Åland Islands, has launched a fresh attack against immigrants and Muslims on a blog entry. Sensible people understand that generalizing about different groups, like Hakkarainen does, is not only wrong but racist. Migrant Tales strongly condemns

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Victimizing and labeling immigrants for political profit

UK’s David Cameron is one European PM who is using immigration to bolster his Conservative Party’s poll ratings. It’s a recurring and worrisome political story across Europe: let’s get tough on immigration so we can gain a few percentage points in the polls. This type of campaigning is not only cowardly, but racist and disgraceful.

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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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Death threats and the PS threat to our Nordic way of life

Perussuomalaiset (PS) chairman, Timo Soini, reveals in a recent blog that he got four death threats recently. Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen’s Christian Democratic party received a bomb threat as well, which was reported by tabloid Iltalehti. The death threats are similar to what Swedish-language journalists received a while back. Migrant Tales has been a victim of

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When will the PS sack MP James Hirvisaari?

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

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Interior Minister Räsänen disagrees with findings of police report on the Romany minority

Migrant Tales asked Monday what kinds of arguments will politicians now come up with to criminalize begging after a police report didn’t reveal any links between Romany beggars and human trafficking and organized crime. The police report not only exposed  shameful urban legends used to victimize poor Romanies from Romania and Bulgaria, who make 10-20 euros a

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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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What does the PS’ new party secretary mean by “tightening [Finnish] immigration policy?”

Left Alliance MP Risto Kalliorinne asks Perussuomalaiset (PS) new party secretary Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo to elaborate what she means by ”tightening immigration policy?” Apart from labeling herself a chauvinist, Slunga-Poutsalo “demanded” that Finland should tighten immigration policy. Read original story here. While Left Alliance MP Kalliorinne poses an important question, we all know the answer that Slunga-Poutsalo

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Finnish Defence League strikes Mikkeli, Finland

I was quite surprised to find this rude sticker of the far right Finnish Defence League (FDL) near my home today.  That follows another one placed on a lamppost in front of my house in March 2012 by the neo-Nazi Kansallinen vastarintaliike (SVL).  The good news is that the FDL stickers, which erroneously claim the

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PS’ Slunga-Poutsalo is “extremely concerned” about Finnish immigration policy

In a short interview on A-Studio Monday, the new party secretary of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) reinforced her anti-immigration stance. “I’m not annoyed by anything concerning immigration,” said PS secretary Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo, “but extremely concerned about the immigration policy we pursue in Finland.”  Don’t be fooled, the PS’ new party secretary, Riikka SLunga-Poutsalo, is in the

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When Timo Soini and the PS cross the political point of no return

When do you know when Timo Soini and the Perussuomalaiset (PS) have crossed the line and passed a political point of no return? The 50,000-euro ad on the front page of Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest-circulation daily,  blasting the government’s euro bailout policy is one of many examples. While more voters are turning their backs to the

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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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Statement by the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner: “Europe must combat racist extremism and uphold human rights”

Migrant Tales comment: This statement by the  the Council of Europe’s Human Rights commissioner, Nils Muižnieks, is a good example of  how racist anti-immigration groups are gaining more power in Europe. In Finland we saw the spectacular rise of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party in 2011. Finland’s anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-Islam voice got stronger in parliament.  Matters

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DNA, Saunalahti, IF, Nordea: “Backward-looking” rules and laws mirror Finland’s anti-foreign sentiment

A comment on Migrant Tales by Chef summed up pretty well how “several backward-looking” rules used arbitrarily by mobile phone and insurance companies continue to discriminate and make life difficult for immigrants. Why does this still happen in Finland, a Nordic welfare state country that promotes and bases its values on social equality (tasa-arvo)? The suspicion that

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Does PS MP James Hirvisaari have any idea what racism is?

Migrant Tales aims to publish on the same day news that appears in the media. There was one opinion piece written on March 21 by Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP James Hirvisaari commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that should have received our attention.  Our intention is not advertise James Hirvisaari, who was

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