Posts Tagged: xenophobia

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

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

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

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

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Exposing white Finnish privilege #83: War doesn’t give a hoot if you are white or black

The war in Ukraine is like a sinister brew boiling over death, destruction, tragedy, hatred, and xenophobia. Apart from the shock and horror, our double standards and jingoism stand out as a stark reminder that we have done little to challenge the very social ills that caused the deaths of tens of millions of people

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Dismantle institutional racism and myths if you want people to adapt to Finland

The ongoing discussion in Finland about our ever-growing cultural and ethnic diversity is grounded on two misleading assertions that hide the core problem: language is the magic bullet to become a part of society, and white Finnish society is innocent – if you don’t adapt it’s because of you. Heikki Turkka of Children of the

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The magic word for Finland’s future success rests on change and inclusion

Finland is in a bind, and we have heard these for a long time: Finland’s population is aging, and there is an ever-growing need for foreign labor. Our answer to these challenges is not only disappointing but leaving our future to chance.  Why is there such a negative and suspicious attitude towards foreigners in Finland?

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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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Remember the Muslim youth violently attacked by a group of enraged townspeople of Teuva?

Remember Fares Al-Obaidi, 19, who was chased and violently attacked on Saturday, June 6, by a gang of angry residents of Teuva, a town in Western Finland? Six months have passed since that terrible incident, and no charges have been brought yet against the alleged attackers. “The fact that I know nothing about my case

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

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

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

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

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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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NCP’s Petteri Orpo and his infamous xenophobic and anti-immigration statements

Economy Minister Petteri Orpo, who is also the chairperson of the National Coalition Party (NCP), was and is instrumental for having tightened Finland’s immigration policy when he was the interior minister (2015-2016). As a minister in Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, he was instrumental in undermining the rights of asylum seekers and migrant community. 

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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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Finnish white privilege #59: In this country, you are guilty until proven innocent

Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen and the government are using the same tactics as the Nazis in World War 2 but in a different context. The government is not rounding up people and killing them in cold blood but punishing them severely for the crimes others did.  Imagine the migrant community of Finland, especially Muslims and

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Migrant Tales’ first-ever “WARNING: ISLAMOPHOBIC AND XENOPHOBIC CONTENT ON STEROIDS (Katie Hopkins, Tiina Wiik and Junnes Lokka)

Katie Hopkins, the former columnist who got the boot from the Daily Mail and who has had to pay exorbitant sums for defamation, visited Oulu this week and was the special guests of Tiina Wiik and Junnes Lokka, both who have made a name in the same way as Hopkins – by spreading bigotry and Islmophobia.

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European Agency of Fundamental Rights: Finland has the most racial harassment cases against PAD of 12 EU countries surveyed

A new study by the European Agency of Fundamental Rights (FRA) reveals that a third of people of African descent (PAD) surveyed have experienced racial harassment in the last five years. That’s not all: Perceived racist harassment was highest in Finland (63%) and least prevalent in Malta 20% (see chart below).

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Finland knows that it is in demographic hot water but leaves its future woes to chance

A new forecast by Statistics Finland tells us what we’ve known for a long time: We are in demographic hot water and our population will start to shrink and get older, according to YLE News. Net immigration will maintain present population levels at 5.6 million until 2035, but will decline to 5.5 million in the 2050s. 

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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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The PS and Blue Reform of Finland are an aberration and should be voted out in 2019

I have never believed or trusted the Perussuomalaiset (PS),* even if some were willing to give them the benefit of the doubt after their historic win in the 2011 parliamentary elections. Some claimed that it would only be a matter of time when they imploded. The implosion of the party happened in June 2017, or six

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Challenging Finland’s racism problem:Raise your voice, trust yourself, and don’t succumb to fear and self-censorship

When I moved to Finland over forty years ago, there were only about 10,000 foreigners living in the country. The biggest national group were the Swedes, who were mostly Finns who had become naturalized citizens of that country. One of the questions we asked back then was about the level of racism in Finland. 

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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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Blue Reform’s Sampo Terho of Finland and his politically ambidextrous misbeliefs

Blue Reform* minister for European affairs, culture and sports, Sampo Terho is politically ambidextrous: He can say one thing and state a totally different thing. It is like coming out of the closet and going back in. The opportunism in such ambidextrous behavior is believing that others don’t notice. And we do.   In the statement

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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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Finland’s ministry of the interior will (alas) launch an independent inquiry of Migri

Conservative National Coalition Party Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkänen announced Friday that an independent inquiry of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) will be launched, according to YLE. The minister said, however, that the independent inquiry should not be seen as a lack of trust in Migri’s work, which has had to process some 45,000

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Brexit-inflicted UK is so racist that even white Europeans are targets of racism and rage

It would be wrong to conclude that Brexit is the cause of the racism we are witnessing today in the United Kingdom. Surprised? Not really. What would you expect from a country that has a dark history in global domination, exploitation, and genocide?  The common thinking of some people about the United Kingdom is that

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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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Dutch foreign minister offers excuses for racism and “failures of multiculturalism”

The interview below with Dutch foreign minister, Stef Blok, is another prime example of why racism, bigotry, and discrimination continue to list high on the European shame board. The interview, where Blok tells us how “multiculturalism has failed,” reveals another excuse why racism is deeply ingrained in Europe. . 

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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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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Tightening of immigration laws in Finland and the exploitation of migrants

The near-constant negative labelling of visible migrants like Muslims and minorities by too many Finnish politicians and society has not only weakened their civil rights as Amnesty International pointed out, but led to their exploitation by dishonest and greedy employers that promise them a job and a ticket to a residence permit. 

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After the Perussuomalaiset-Blue Reform, the National Coalition Party is the most anti-immigration party in the Finnish parliament

If you ask anyone in Finland which party thrives on anti-immigration sentiment and bigotry, the answer is simple: Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and Blue Reform. The difference between these two is that the former is a racist party that came out of the closet and the latter one which went back to the closet. Here’s the question:

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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: Päävo Väyrynen is Finland’s cold war foreign minister

If there is one politician in Finland that gives some heartburn, that politician is without a doubt Paavo Väyrynen. It is unfortunate that the Finnish media doesn’t return to the cold war era and look into Väyrynen’s record when he was the foreign minister most of the time from 1977 to 1993. During that period there were

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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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MTV: Normalizing racism and bigotry in Finland with Jussi Halla-aho’s help

After attending a European Network Against Racism in Brussels that ended Saturday, I discovered on my arrival to Finland that Perussuomalaiset (PS)* Chairman Jussi Halla-aho, who was convicted for ethnic agitation in 2012 and who built his political career on Islamophobia, is now a columnist in MTV, Finland’s largest privately owned television station. 

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Migrants suffer from the Ulysses syndrome, societies from the Cyclopse syndrome

I wrote a story in Migrant Tales nine years ago about the Ulysses syndrome, an illness that affects migrants, which speaks volumes about the lives of asylum seekers in Finland and how officials and the government contribute to their misery. If the Ulysses syndrome explains the suffering of migrants what would we call a society that is indifferent to their suffering?

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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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Old or new Perussuomalaiset or new or old Perussuomlaiset – it’s a new Cadillac model!

We saw on Tuesday quite a political show in Finland with 22 MPs ditching the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and forming a new party called for now New Alternative. But don’t hold your breath because nothing has changed it’s just a marketing of the same thing – right-wing populist nationalism and all the toxicity that goes with it.

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The Finnish media gives a lot of space to Halla-aho and the PS but none to us

It’s clear that the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is a different party after this weekend, when Jussi Halla-aho, Laura Huhtasaari, Teuvo Hakkarainen and Juho Eerola were elected to lead the anti-immigrant and anti-EU party. Halla-aho spoke of in his policy speech of “nationalistic forces,” which is code for anti-immigration, anti-cultural diversity and anti-EU policies. 

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The PS steers further right exposing its shameless Islamophobia, racism, bigotry and ultranationalism

Like rubbing salt on Finland’s wound, Perussuomalaiset (PS)* newly elected chairman Jussi Halla-aho’s far-right anti-immigration policy got reinforcement after three Islamophobes were elected to lead the PS: Laura Huuhtasaari, Teuvo Hakkarainen and Juho Eerola were elected first, second and third vice-president, respectively.

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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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Finland’s blind spot of bigotry and white privilege is the Perussuomalaiset

If there is one party that has brought out bigotry, racism and populist far-right ideology as of late it is the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*. But Finland is so much in denial about its bigotry and white privilege that it sees no harm in the PS. This means that the government will do little, except offer lip service on how to challenge social ills like racism.

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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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Shamsul Alam is one of the new brave faces of Finland that nobody can make go away

Racism and hate speech are social ills that have spread like wildfire in Finland. Racists in Finland come from the same place than other racists in other countries. It is unacceptable that in a country like Finland, which prides itself as a modern Nordic welfare state, that racism and hate speech can see another day with near-impunity.

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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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Giving into to racist violence against the #righttolife protestors is handing a carte blanche to commit more hate crimes

Today at around 4:30 am the camp where the Iraqi and Afghan #righttolife demonstrators have been protesting since February were a target of an attack that set alight one of the tents. One person got his hands burned while trying to put out the fire and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

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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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Behind Timo Soini of the populist Perussuomalaiset party is a hefty and mini #socialmediafrankenstein called Jussi Halla-aho and Sampo Terho

One of the biggest questions some observers have asked in Finland is what house of horrors will appear after the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* return to the minor political leagues. We got the answer today when PS MEP Jussi Halla-aho announced that he too is vying to chair the xenophobic party.

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How the Perussuomalaiset party permit racism to see another day in Finland

As almost everyone knows in this country, Finland will hold municipal elections on April 9. The right-wing populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* are in shock for a number of reasons: their chairman, Timo Soini, who has run the party for 20 years is stepping down in June, and recent polls suggest that they will suffer a stinging defeat in the municipal elections.

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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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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s poor track record on challenging xenophobia and hate speech

The government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä not only has tightened immigration policy but is complacent and near-silent about the rise of xenophobia and hate speech in Finland. Sure, we’ve heard so many times the familiar “we’re against racism” affirmations, which are only catchphrases that are not supposed to change anything.

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Finland’s deep denial of racism coupled with exceptionalism make it susceptible to right-wing populism and fascism

If the latter claim above is true, it explains and reveals why Helsinki District Court judges agree with most of the decisions by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri). The fact that only a very minor amount of decisions by Migri are rejected by the district courts speaks volumes about our country.

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The creation and death of the Perussuomalaiset and its #socialmediafrankensteins in Finland

We once wrote about #socialmediafrankensteins and how Timo Soini and the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party had created such demons to victimize, attack and label migrants and minorities in Finland. Soini, a “good-cop” PS party chairman, is in reality no different from people like Jussi Halla-aho and his band of bigoted followers.

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

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

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Johan Bäckman and Jussi Halla-aho: Two public figures that are hated differently by the Finnish media

Below are two public figures that are treated differently by the Finnish media. On the left is Johan Bäckman, who gets a rough ride from the national media for his pro-Russian stances, while Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MEP Jussi Halla-aho gets a more benign reception even if he has the dubious honor being Finland’s number one racist.

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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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Undocumented migrants in Finland: Päivi Nerg lives in denial, politicians live in denial as do the media and most of the country, too

Finnish immigration policy in general and asylum policy, in particular, is a good example of the decades-long suspicion that Finland’s political establishment has of outsiders. If some words could be used to describe the present state of things, it could be “not my problem” and “denial.”

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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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Remember when PM Juha Sipilä offered his home in Finland to asylum seekers?

In September 2015, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä offered his home in Kempele to asylum seekers. Even so, the tone and position of the prime minister and the government changed by December when Sipilä said that he couldn’t offer his home to asylum seekers any longer because his hometown in northern Finland wasn’t safe for refugees.

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Am I surprised that Finnish fiction sees migrants as unhappy victims? Not!

Researcher Pasi Saukkonen tells us in a YLE story that “not one content immigrant is found in Finnish fiction.” One may ask how come? The answer reveals the constant issue that undermines the narrative that white Finns construct about migrants and our culturally diverse community: It’s their view, their narrative, full stop.

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Here we go again with the anti-immigration rhetoric – it’s election time in Finland!

Here we go again, folks, it’s election time in April 2017 in Finland. The populist-nationalist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is picking up its hostile attacks against migrants, minorities and our ever-growing and proud culturally diverse community. Their partners in these attacks are their government partners, the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP).

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A small far-right Suomi ensin! demonstration again and the media cherishes a story

Suomi ensin! (Finland first!) is a far-right group that goes to different places in Finland to stir up anti-immigration sentiment and hatred for migrants. Even if their demonstrations attract few people, they get a lot of attention in the national media. On Saturday afternoon their demonstration attracted 300* people to the eastern Helsinki neighborhood of

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Will Donald Trump breathe new life into a doomed party called the Perussuomalaiset?

Donald Trump’s election victory has emboldened our own group of populists, racists, and bigots in Finland who pray what happened in the United States will breathe new life into a political disaster called the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*. There are many reasons why copying and pasting populist rhetoric in the United States won’t work in Finland.

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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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The Finnish Immigration Service, with the blessings of the government, aims to separate migrant parents from their children

In August, the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) is reported to have given asylum reception center instructions that only the children can stay at the reception center if the parents have their asylum application turned down and refuse to leave the country making then undocumented migrants, according to MTV.

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Finnish government party Perussuomalaiset MEP claims ethnic profiling needed to fight terrorism

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MEP Jussi Halla-aho, who hungers for public attention, tries to surprise us with the following suggestion: The police should be allowed to ethnically profile Middle Easterners, North African and Central Asian people irrespective if it is in infringement of these people’s fundamental rights and human rights.

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YouGov survey reinforces what we’ve been seeing in some EU countries: authoritarian populist sentiment

A recent YouGov survey on authoritarian populist opinions in 12 European countries revealed something that we all knew. Authoritarian populist opinions are defined by the survey as people who have anti-immigration, anti-human rights, anti-EU institutions, and power as well as strong opinions on foreign policy.

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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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Our new message to the world: Finland doesn’t like you so don’t even think of moving here!

It’s clear that the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä doesn’t like asylum seekers never mind cultural diversity. In the last few months, we’ve seen a tightening of immigration policy by the government, which sends out a clear message to would-be asylum seekers and migrants: Don’t even think of moving here!

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Two words that shed light on what the Perussuomalaiset party is: racist bravado

If there would be two words that define what the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party is all about, it would racist bravado. By the way, the PS is no common racist party but a member of the government. It shares power with the Center Party and National Coalition Party, which usually look the other way when the PS has one of its racist fits.

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Finnish interior ministry report: violence against migrants hasn’t grown significantly in 2015

The Finnish interior ministry reported in a statement Monday that there hasn’t been a spike in violence last year perpetrated by extremist groups despite some 32,500 asylum seekers that came to the country in 2015. The ministry cites Sweden and Germany as countries where violence against migrants committed by extremist groups have apparently grown.

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Asylum seekers’ rights in Finland to appeal will be severely undermined thanks to a new law that will come into force on September 1

President Sauli Niinistö, who has done little to challenge xenophobia in Finland because he is eyeing a second term, will sign Friday a new law that will shorten from 30 days to 21 the rights of asylum seekers to appeal negative residence permit decisions by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri).

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Not even a xenophobic lifesaver can save the Perussuomalaiset from sinking in the polls

Support for the anti-immigration populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party has hit a new all-time low of 7.6%, according to the latest poll by YLE, according to YLE News. The poor showing of the party reveals that its strategy to target and increase attacks against migrants, asylum seekers and minorities in July has badly backfired.

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Finance Minister Petteri Orpo and his disingenuous statements about racism and bigotry

National Coalition Party (NCP) chairman and Finance Minister Petteri Orpo was quoted as saying on YLE News that he won’t tolerate racist speech. The comment comes after two Perussuomalaiset (PS)* politicians, MP Teuvo Hakkarainen and PS youth leader Sebastian Tynkkynen, are being investigated by the police service for ethnic agitation.

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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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PS MP Kike Elomaa’s response to the party’s racist statements is disingenuous and insulting to Finland

It’s not only disingenuous but insulting to Finland, migrants, and minorities that an MP and vice chairperson of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party parliamentary group, which has been on the racist rampage in July, states publicly that we shouldn’t be so touchy about comments that don’t intent on being “really racist.”

Fr

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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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MP Jo Cox’s death revealed and reminded how important our struggle against barbarism is

On Thursday, we heard about the tragic killing of Labor MP Jo Cox, which was a stark reminder of the things she warned us about like hate speech, racism and outright hostility towards migrants and minorities. All we can do when such a heinous act gives us and our democratic institutions a blow is to stand strong.

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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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The role of the Finnish media and politicians who spread their racist statements

The Perussuomalaiset (PS)* is a horrible party for migrants and minorities. They have the dubious “honor” of being the first modern party in Finland to capitalize on voters’ racism and bigoted views. Certainly they couldn’t have done it alone. All the major parties have the same type of politicians who state and write the same type of things.

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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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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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Statistics that expose how bigotry and prejudice are alive and kicking in Finland

It shouldn’t surprise us that during an economic recession some will expose their racist views. Add to the latter weak politicians, a complacent media, and a party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* in government, which base their popularity on xenophobia and populist nationalism, and you end up with a perpetuating brew of hate.

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Human trafficking – get ready for another onslaught of xenophobia and labeling

Should we be surprised that YLE is planning another one-sided “debate” in April concerning human trafficking. The problem with this type of “debate,” like the one before that on March 2 on how asylum seekers have fueled uncertainty in Finland, is that it follows a common narrative that white Finland has of Otherness: You are a threat and a problem.

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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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Tighter family reunification laws spearheaded by the PS with the government’s blessing are an example of the Denmarkization of Finland

It’s a good matter that government plans to tighten family reunification guidelines have met a stormy reception. We all know that the Perussuomalasiet (PS)*, who base their popularity on anti-immigration rhetoric, are spearheading new tighter guidelines that will make family reunification much harder.

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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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President Sauli Niinistö claims that asylum seekers threaten Finland and Europe

Speaking to MPs at the opening of parliament’s spring term, President Sauli Niinistö didn’t surprise a lot of people by stating that the amount of asylum seekers coming to Europe are putting under threat our values, reports YLE News. He even went as far as to suggest that if the Geneva Conventions were written today they’d be stricter.

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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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Call the Loldiers of Odin if you see anti-immigrant vigilantes patrolling the street!

Thanks to the mixed statements by the police, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government and President Sauli Niinistö concerning asylum seekers, we have today as well vigilante groups like the Soldiers of Odin and neo-Nazi Kansalinen Vastarinta patrolling our streets. Many of the members of these vigilante groups have criminal and far-right backgrounds.

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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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Finnish police service of Häme give the green light to vigilante gangs in Asikkala

THIS POST WAS UPDATED If the comments and actions of politicians and the police service in 2015 are any indication of what we’ll expect this year, then asylum seekers, migrants, and minorities will see another shameful year of  hostility and violence. On Saturday, a detective chief  inspector of southern Finland, Markku Tuominen, was quoted as

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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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What ever happened to the PS politician who said god had answered his prayers after an asylum reception center was a target of arson?

Remember Perussuomalaiset (PS)* substitute MP Juha Maenpää who said god had answered his prayers after a reception center that was going to house asylum seekers was razed to the ground on December 1? It appears that all he got for writing such a comment was a lot of publicity and soft slap on the hand.

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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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UPDATE: Finnish asylum center in Kempele is intimidated by local residents and moves to an undisclosed location

It is shameful that an asylum reception center in Kempele, where an alleged rape of a minor took place on Monday by a suspected 17-year-old asylum seeker, has caved in to pressure. Kempele is the hometown of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, who offered in September his home to asylum seekers.

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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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Finland’s and fortress Europe’s razorblade chicken feed response to the refugee crisis

Finland and Europe are looking more lost than ever concerning the refugee crisis and this has been shamelessly exposed in the raw at the EU’s Malta summit. If we fail in resolving the crisis as a region we will face another problem that will be many times worse than what is happening now: Fuel and stoke the fires of xenophobia at the cost of our values.

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YLE A-studio: The PS reveals its anti-democratic credentials and loathing of press freedom

Watching Thursday’s A-Studio talk show gave a very disturbing picture of what the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* think about democracy and the role of the media in society. Researcher Markku Jokisipilä exposed with a diplomatic statement what is wrong with Finland when debating our ever-growing culturally and ethnically diverse society.

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