The National Coalition Party should stop bullying asylum seekers and migrants

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Finance Minister Petteri Orpo and Interior Minister kai Mykkänen reiterated calls for asylum seekers to “integrate” and embrace Finnish values. Mykkänen was quoted as saying in Helsingin Sanomat that there are plans to offer asylum seekers at reception centers courses on Finnish society. 

As everyone knows, 32,476 refugees, mostly Iraqis and Afghans came to Finland in 2015. At many asylum reception centers there were visits by the police and other officials to tell the newcomers about how Finnish society functions.

Read the full story (in Finnish) here.

In the city of Mikkeli, which is no different from other cities in Finland, held meetings with young men of Muslim origin warning them that 16 years was the age of consent.

Whether these talks were effective or not is a good question. If Orpo and Mykkänen want to offer courses to asylum seekers about Finland then it suggests that the first effort was a failure.

A little information about Finland won’t hurt anyone. Even so, the interesting question is why the National Coalition Party (NCP) pushing for new courses on Finnish society and sex education?

One reason is the parliamentary elections of April 14, which are only 63 days away. Another reason is an opinion poll that shows the Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* gaining 1.8 percentage points to 12% versus a 2.3 percentage point drop by the NCP to 17.3%. The NCP, which hopes to come on top in the parliamentary election, trails 2.8 percentage points behind the Social Democrats, which are the most popular party with 20.1%.

Another reason is that the NCP, after the PS and Blue Reform, are the most anti-immigration party in Finland.

In order not to look to soft on asylum seekers in light of the sexual abuse cases of Oulu, Mykkänen has gone as far as to suggest changing the law to strip persons of citizenship if convicted of a serious crime. Even NCP Paula Risikko, the speaker of parliament, suggested that migrants would lose their permanent residence permits if convicted of a serious crime.

Finance Minister Orpo, who is NCP chairperson, also took a swing at asylum seekers over the weekend by saying that people who come from Iraq may “bring challenges” to Finland.

What are these “challenges” Mr. Orpo or are you stating that all Iraqi women are oppressed and Iraqi men the oppressors?

“One must want to adapt to Finnish society,” he was quoted as saying in Verkkouutiset. “We don’ have to change our society just because there are different people. One must tolerate difference, tolerate different backgrounds, but in Finland, we follow Finnish law.”

It is so disheartening seeing how low politicians like Orpo, Mykkänen, Risikko stoop and how they bully migrants and asylum seekers to get more votes in April. What about those migrants, the majority, that follow the law and are good members of society? Why do you pick on them?

The message you send to these people is loud and clear: You can stay in our country but with a short leash.

The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13, 2017, into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity never mind Muslims and other visible minorities. One is more open about it while the other says it in a different way.

A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.