There’s an interesting opinion piece on Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter about the Swedish Democrats (SD) and the spread of fascism or neofascism in the Scandinavian country. While classifying a party as “fascist” may be problematic, there are certain ideological characteristics that expose its true political colors.
Historian and journalist Henrik Arnstad writes: “Fascism is a deeply problematic word…But it is the name of a specific political ideology, which for the first time represented today in the Swedish parliament.”
In Finland we have the Perussuomalaiset (PS), which is a close ideological relative of the SD. There are many factors that unite as well as separate both parties. Nationalism is one of these.
Another matter that draws them together is their suspicion of cultural diversity. As Arnstad writes about fascism, the SD (and many members of the PS) see cultural diversity as a threat to their perceived homogenous society.
The far-right in the PS, led by PS MP’s like Jussi Halla-aho, fear – like the SD – the loss of the country’s near-white society due to immigration.
Even if the SD and Counterjihadists in the PS bend over backwards to show their pro-Israeli stances, the Jewish community in Sweden fears that it is only a question of time when their true anti-Semitic nature is revealed.
“We know where these people are coming from,” Lena Posner, president of the Official Council of Jewish communities in Sweden, was quoted as saying on Haaretz. “They [SD] are Nazi sympathizers who, under their jackets, are still wearing their brown shirts.”
“They love Israel because that sort of rhetoric is in tune with their hatred for Muslims;” she adds. “That’s it.”
It would be naive to think that the PS does not house the same anti-Semitic and far-right feelings than the SD.
It’s a very good article and touches on most of the important points. I think that more could have been said about the role of ‘community’, which is tied up in the idea of ‘organic’ society, as opposed to a rights-based democratic government. It’s important because it explains a lot of the grass-roots appeal of its most committed followers, who feel it offers a ‘vision’ of society that opposes globalism, capitalism and individualism. In fact, these themes were very strong in the Occupy Wall Street movement. These are not bad things in themselves, in that they reflect genuine social values, that are often in conflict with the ‘dog-eat-dog’ values of capitalism. The problem is that while social values are not properly seen to inform politics, then this leaves a vacuum, into which modern fascism walks.
One point about which I think that Henrik is wrong: He said that we should not engage the extremists in debate, as this legitimises the topics of debate – so that we end up discussing particular social groups as ‘problems’. I absolutely agree that this should be challenged, and I personally did challenge it during local election debates on immigration. The danger is that it moves the agenda onto their territory and one can easily end up entirely on the defensive.
However,while this has been the fixed strategy of Left politics in Europe for the last 50 years, it leaves fascists an entirely free rein to enter the debate completely unchallenged in their key arguments. Indeed, the rallying cry is often that these politicians are prepared to talk about the things other politicians are too scared to talk about. It’s an awfully powerful weapon in the hands of extremists.
However, the methods for tackling and engaging with fascists are not well tested or understood in mainstream political circles. It’s almost such a shock that such arguments and opinions can be expressed that politicians are left bewildered and uncertain of their moral ground. Imagine trying to argue with people who still believed the earth was flat. You’d think it wasn’t necessary, until you realised that people actually started to believe them.
We really must engage these fanatics and reveal the weaknesses in their arguements and challenge their entire ideological frame, as well as making the very real historical connections with totalitarian fascism. For all that fascism attempts to cast off its totalitarian legacy, the intrinsic narrative of division and grievance and ham-fisted understanding of identity remains. And it’s just as ugly as it ever was in the repercussions for anyone who doesn’t fit the politically prescribed norms for identity, culture, art, religion, dress, etc. It’s nothing more than a God damn cult at the end of the day.
But let’s not underestimate its power or fail to challenge it.
“…reveal the weaknesses in their arguements…”
Please do this.
What I see in this blog is only Far-right, Far-right, Far-right, Far-right, Far-right, Far-right, Far-right, Far-right, Far-right, Far-right, Far-right, Nazi, Far-right, Far-right, Far-right, Nazi Spam.
“It would be naive to think that the PS does not house the same anti-Semitic and far-right feelings than the SD.”
And you are basing this on what? Your own opinion?
The answer is in history, Yossie. The Nazis, who blamed the Jews for all of their problems, allied themselves with the “Grand” Mufti. In the same way, anti-immigration parties in Europe, like members of the PS, blame the Muslims and immigrants for all of the country’s problems. In the same way Hitler used anti-Semitism to further his genocide and racial policies, parties like the PS and others use Israel to justify their hatred of the Muslims. Get it?
Here’s a good link that can help you smell the coffee.
In other words, the PS is everything they DENY being. What do they deny being? Racists, anti-immigration, anti-Islam and far right. The PS is a volatile cocktail that is ready to implode without warning.
Check this quote on Haaretz: “We know where these people are coming from,” Lena Posner, president of the Official Council of Jewish communities in Sweden, was quoted as saying on Haaretz. “They [SD] are Nazi sympathizers who, under their jackets, are still wearing their brown shirts.”
How many PS members are wearing their brown shirts?
Don’t be so naive.
“smell the coffee”
So the “smelling of coffee” is pick handful of people and generalisingly stigmatize the whole party? Fair enough, I have “smelled the coffee” of muslim immigrants.
That is simply not true. PS is not blaming muslims and immigrants for all the problems. You are generalising again. Maybe PS has blames muslims and immigrant for one or two problems, and now you make the conclusion that they blame muslims and immigrants for ALL problems. That is not correct way to make conclusions.
Could you write down here some examples of problems that PS has blames muslims and immigrants for?
–Could you write down here some examples of problems that PS has blames muslims and immigrants for?
Google, Hirvisaari, Halla-aho, Immonen, Eerola and many, many others. Check out the nuiva crowd and what Conterjihadists think of Muslims.
And what comes to blaming immigrants on some problems, in certain cases that is correct way to act. Here is an example of a problem, which truly is immigrants’ fault, so it is correct to blame them.
Immigrants brutally beat up and old 87-year old woman. In addition to that they kicked and beated an innocent small dog.
This is the reasons why I respect PS. They take these serious problems caused by immigrants seriously and are working to get rid of them.
Kids in gangs beating up on old ladies (or muggings or burglaries etc) is not the sole monopoly of immigrant kids.
Just telling us this story in the terms of ‘immigrants brutally beat up an 87-year old lady’ is itself showing a great deal of prejudice. Imagine if you wrote ‘Blacks beat up….’, don’t you think this would be the racist equivalent?
PS are not addressing the problem, they are exploiting it. And exactly how are they working to ‘get rid of them’? Keeping immigrants out? Exactly how do you identify the perpretrators here, apart from the fact they are immigrant?
I mean, do you really think the answer is just ‘keep immigrants out’? On the one hand, you are saying that you will accept immigrants, but now you are saying PS are going to somehow get rid of this problem.
I see PS creating an even bigger problem – increased social divisions, marginalisation and discrimination, and this is bound to feed back into youth behaviour. It’s not to say that is the only reason these things happen, because of poverty or discrimination, but it is part of it. Youth need to feel like they have a stake in society in order to respect it. Deliberate marginalisation and stigmatisation undermine that sense of civil ownership. You are telling them it’s not their society, and they are saying, ‘okay, to fuck with it, then’. That’s not an answer, on either side of this ethnic divide.
To hark back at some kind of society of ethnic purity in this day and age is just plain insane. You might as well hark back to ploughs and horsecarts.
In the case you cite, the perpetrators were foreign, but it is by no means clear what that means. They just spoke another language the woman didn’t understand. That could mean almost anything – they could even have been Finns, one would assume.
This whole approach of yours to paint immigrants as somehow more violent, more savage, more criminal and somehow ‘less’ than others is what is dangerous and dispicable. And this is exactly what Fascism is about. If you and that pub mate of yours Yossie don’t understand this, then there isn’t much that can be done to make up for your lack of education.
I asked for examples of PROBLEMS, not examples of the people who makes the blames.
Why can’t you provide any examples? Could it be that there are actually very few such incidents but this is just an easy accusation to use when bashing PS?
–I asked for examples of PROBLEMS, not examples of the people who makes the blames.
Problem? Racism, challenged when speaking of cultural diversity. Why do they do this? Because they are who they are and because they are political opportunists.
Still no answer. You exactly said that members of PS are blaming immigrants and muslim for all problems. I have 2 times asked for you to give examples of these problems that PS blames immigrants for. 2 times you have not given any examples, instead you try to dodge the question.
This is now third time. Either you provide some examples of the problems or then admit that you made false accusation towards PS.
So you don’t think that women wearing veils in Finland is a problem?
You don’t think that gays marrying in Finland is a problem?
You don’t think that gays adopting children in Finland is a problem?
You don’t think that family unification for immigrants in Finland is a problem?
You don’t think that rapes by immigrants in Finland is a problem?
You don’t think the Swedish language is a problem in Finland?
You don’t think that diversity and acceptance of different cultures in Finland is a problem?
You don’t think that immigrants experiencing difficulties in getting a job in Finland is a problem?
You don’t think reports of racism or discrimination against immigrants in Finland is a problem?
You don’t think that crime by immigrants is a problem in Finland?
You don’t think that increasing numbers of Muslims in Finland is a problem?
Now tell me that PS has not raised any of these issues as political issues front and centre in their campaigns? They are constantly, constantly framing immigrants (or other minorities) and immigration as a ‘problem’, and not as something that naturally occurs in all countries and throughout human history!
You have got to be kidding me with this question, Farang. Every time there is a political debate with PS, immigrants are front and centre as a key part of PS’s political manifesto – and the problems of immigration are presented in a way that far exceeds their size or impact on Finnish society.
Drink driving is a far bigger problem in Finland. Alcoholism is a far bigger problem in Finland. Hell, water quality is a far bigger problem in Finland (56 water-born disease epidemics were reported in 1998–2006 with about 16 800 persons fallen ill), in spite of Finland being ranked top in water poverty indexes. Are these the issues that PS put forward? Nope! Not a dicky bird. No votes in that. But feeding off racism and xenophobia in Finland – plenty of votes in that. Feeding narrow-minded and ill-informed bigotries, plenty of votes in that. You people make me sick. You feed this poisoned atmosphere and then you have no idea what it’s like to live in such a shit hole that you have helped to create!
Yossie, PS are a political party with specific policies. Politics revolves around the values and opinions of its party members. It is quite normal to identify a party on the basis of the views of its members. If a member’s views seriously contradict the views or values of the party, then the member should be kicked out. So, the fact that convicted racists continue to ride high in the party is telling the public one thing, and one thing only, racism and Islamaphobia are acceptable in the party, even while outwardly condemned occasionally and said with a forked tongue.
You cannot do the same thing with Muslims, take a few cases of either criminality or political extremism and use this to stigmatize the entire community. There is just no SANE reason to decide that these are shared characteristics of an entire population. Membership of a political party is by definition a ‘shared characteristic’, so you cannot reverse this argument, without revealing yourself to be a total racist, looking for any puny justification to defend your racism.
What has these got to do with immigrants?
Has some PS member claimed that these problems are immigrants’ fault?
Enrique made a claim, which I challenged. He was unable to answer, and you try something totally irrelevant.
Can you show me one example where PS member have blamed immigrants of some problem in Finland, which is actually not a fault of immigrants?
It has to do with the broader issue of minority rights and consistent opposition to minority rights practiced as a policy by PS. And I’m pretty sure it’s the same tired excuses trotted out – gays have a choice whether to be gay or have a gay parnter, but do not deserve the choice to marry or have children. It’s the fault of Swedes if they cannot get on in a Finnish speaking Finland. See the pattern? Of course it’s relevant.
You only picked up on three of the points that I’ve made, and they are relevant, because they show how PS approach minority issues, in much the same grievance-based, blame filled strategy with little interest in facts or basic rights, whether language rights or constitutional rights.
I just did, you idiot!
Talking of bigger problems than immigration, what do you say Farang, to the fact that 5.6 billion killers have been imported into Finland every year since 2005? They are called cigarettes, Farang, known killers (5000 a year) that are also costing the Finnish taxpayer an estimated EUR 300 million in unnecessary health costs, and not taking into account lost earnings.
That’s 5.6 million reasons to get your priorities right when it comes to threats that Finland faces.
How much of the profit from this fatal merchandising (4.7 million kg of total tobacco products sold annually in Finland) also then goes straight abroad? How much better off would Finland be if it outlawed the sale of cigarettes entirely? Yes, Finland has a goal of being smoking free by 2040, but that’s an awful lot of resources lost between now and then.
So, your best argument against problems caused by immigrants is to draw attention to tobacco 😀 Nice 😉
To be fair, if it was up to me, tobacco would be banned immediately and anyone who is caught with tobacco would be jailed.
But I still don’t understand what this has got to do with immigrants.
The goverment anyway will never outlaw tobacco, because they don’t want to lose the tax income it generates. They are just too stupid to understand that the taxes are very small compared to the negative effects tobacco has.
No, it’s not nice. It’s not nice that I make a point and that you absolutely refuse to see the connection to the argument. It’s hard work and it really doesn’t have to be this way and it really does make me wonder why I bother. I would like it if you would make at least some effort to connect the dots in the argument here, even if you still don’t agree. I’m sure you must know what I was trying to do, and deliberately twisting my point only shows a great deal of disrespect.
So, just to connect the dots for you this time. When I am bringing tobacco into the argument, it should be obvious that I’m not talking about problems caused by immigrants, but elaboration on an idea I already gave in a previous comment on this thread about PS picking on immigrants as problems when there are clearly other rather more signficant problems faced by Finns in Finland. Does that make sense in that dumb fuck brain of yours now? Let’s see, shall we.
Of course, you cannot be serious. Which again makes me wonder why you think people should take you seriously in anything you say. If you are serious, then you are a fucking moron for even beginning to suggest the answer to tobacco addiction is to criminalise some 20% of the population. Not only criminalise them, but send them to jail. But then it wouldn’t be your fault would it, it would be theirs for smoking, no doubt.
That’s okay, it’s just because you are not very bright, are you! No problem.
It is now official government policy to completely abolish smoking by 2040. Me thinks you don’t know much about this topic.
Well, given that the government well understand this fact and publish figures on it annually, I rather think your label ‘stupid’ probably belongs more to the man in the mirror, Farang. 🙂
So, no serious points to make today and no defence of the fact that PS portray immigration constantly in terms of problems, problems in integration, problems in regard to crime, problems in regard to women’s rights (hahahaha on that one) and problems in regard to Finland’s beautiful and snow white pure culture.
How long are you going to keep in your head in the sand and ignore the fact that you were given a realistic and accurate response to your question of how do PS blame immigrants for problems. The ball is in your court Farang. Are you capable of responding, or is it to be more of the same, ‘what has this got to do with immigrants’, as if this was the only thing we were discussing.
I don’t even have to go to the part where I’m supposed to connect dots because you have already side tracked the discussion.
Point 1: You try to use the idea “because there are bigger problems, nobody can talk about any other (smaller) problems”. That is very common argument nowadays. Usually that is used when person has no real arguments to defend his opinions. I understand that you don’t see any problems in immigration, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else must be quiet about them.
Point 2: We were initially not talking about immigrants BEING a problems. We were talking about the claim that Enrique made about PS. He claimed that PS is accusing immigrants of all problems in Finland. Do you understand the difference?
And then you posted a list of some problems in Finland. Some of them had nothing to do with immigrants. So what was the purpose of that list? Do you also claim that PS is blaming immigrants for those problems that you listed? If yes, then you are making the same false claim. If no, it still has nothing to do with the debate here.
I was discussing here simply about that claim that Enrique made. You dodged that subject totally and started to talk about everything else. And then you expect that I should continue to discuss with you about all that offtopic, while you still haven’t given me answer to the actual question I came here for.
I am not interested about veils used by immigrant. I am interested about the false claims about PS which you cant back up.
With all due respect, these things are important to me and to a great many other people. It is not a distraction to ask whether the issues put forward by PS are significant in the wider context of Finnish society. Are the problems put forward exaggerated, for example? Is it a big deal whether Finland takes in Muslim immigrants or whether Muslim women should be allowed a veil? Is it important to stop Swedish being spoken in Finland? These are issues, for sure, affecting people in different ways, but in the big scheme of politics, are they big enough to take centre stage? This is where most people would normally say no, until PS start getting busy scaring people and feeding the sense of grievance. That’s a legitimate criticism to make of any political party – how relevant is their platform to society?
No, that’s not true. I have not criticised you for talking about the issues of immigration. On the contrary, I’m very happy for you talk about the issue because I think that I know a thing or two about it and I’m always interested to learn more too.
The point I think is when immigration issues are hijacked for another purpose, and presented to the public in such a skewed and biased way that it actually leads to higher levels of prejudice against immigrants and less tolerance towards diversity, of ALL KINDS, not just that which is visible in the lives of immigrants.
I know for a fact that I have made this clear to you in the past, but you persist in refusing to see the basic point here. Interestinlgy, you often talk of loathing welfare shoppers and yet are happy for Finland to be a ‘migrant shopper’.
The movement of people is stripped of its great complexity and oftne its humanitarian dimensions, and reduced to a matter of economics, and not very good economics at that. PS push a strategy of exploiting the labour skills of other countries’ citizens, with no payback or return. In fact, for those citizens that would come here, PS would like to create a second-class citizenship. It’s immoral and it’s indefensible. It’s not even economically viable, as we are creating exactly the conditions that will lead to greater migration in the future from those countries where we are stripping away the human assets, thus slowing the development of these countries. Then we are surprised when these citizens decide the only option is to move to Europe!
Well, you can take up the issue with Enrique. As far as I’m concerned, you’re getting too hung up on the word ‘all’. What is clear is that many supporters think that Finland’s most important problems, shall we say, relate to immigration and Finnish identity. That’s the issue, just how far PS go in turning immigration, which is a vast issue covering a great deal of public services and individual circumstances into a straightjacket of an issue with PROBLEM written in bold letters all over it. That’s the gist of what Enrique was saying, and it’s true. The clear outcome of the local elections was that the most vocal anti-immigration candidates scored the highest in the local elections. That’s the point.
How many fucking times do I have to explain this to you, Farang? The other problems I mentioned related to minorities. That was why I included them because I think they are relevant. PS doesn’t just have a problem with immigrants, but with several minorities in Finland, including gays, Swedish speakers and Muslims. If you don’t see the link, then you are plainly too thick to have a conversation with. I’ve spelt this out at least three times now.
The other point is that you only went after the points that were not specifically about immigration. You said nothing about the points I specifically mentioned in regard to PS attitudes to immigrant issues that have clearly been problematized by PS. Nothing, diddly squat….now who, I ask you, is attempting to distract from the main argument?
No. How many fucking times do I have to say it. NO! It’s to do with how PS approaches the whole issue of minority rights.
Bullshit. It has nothing to do with it because you are too fucking lazy to join the dots and follow someone else’s argument? The broader issue that I brought up was how PS deal with minority issues, from language, to sexual preferences, to foreign culture and integration – the pattern is the same, a refusal to appreciate or to seek to protect minority rights.
Look you fucking moron, you complained three times that you weren’t getting an answer. I gave a specific answer that also placed the discussion into a broader context. You didn’t reply to specific points made about immigrants, but have gone on to complain over and over about the other broader context, when the connection is one that a fucking five year old could grasp!
I did not dodge the subject. I gave you an answer. Here is the same answer without the other minority issues. You gave no response to this so far:
There you go, 8 specific points that address PS’s fucked up attitude to immigrants and immigration issues, where they only see immigration as A PROBLEM. And what do you do, you try to focus on the 3 points I made in refernce to other minority rights.
I don’t think I ever met anyone so fucking slow when it comes to a debate, who nevertheless tries with every breath to attack the intelligence and approach of those he’s debating with.
I don’t think that Enrique put it very well, saying that PS make out all the problems are caused by immigrants, but I certainly know what he was getting at. They put the immigration front and centre and they talk about it only in terms of its problems, thus adding to stigmatization and increased bigotry and zenophobia. Now if you don’t want to argue this point with me, fine, but I cannot answer for Enrique about this – I can only offer you a perspective on this question and if you really cannot be fucking bothered to process it, then I won’t fucking bother to reply to your stupid fucking comments about what i write.
Why should I know about it? I’m not interested in that topic. It was you who brought tobacco to this discussion and I simply replied you what I think about tobacco. Why do you expect that I should know about any politics related to tobacco?
You are not intersted in an issue that kills 5000 Finns a year, costs the Finnish economy 300 million EUR a year over and above the profit they make on tobacco taxes? Nope. But you are interested in slagging off immigrants and Muslims. You are a sad fucking human being, Farang.
I already told you my opinions about tobacco. Why should I be interested in what government is doing about it?
you can’t say tocabbo kills anyone. It’s the smokers who uses tobacco to kill themselves. That’s not by problem. I have no sympathy to people who dies by smoking. They get what they deserve. Nobody forces them to smoke.
Just out of interest. If someone stabs someone to death, do you blame the stabber, or the knife?
If someone shoots someone to death, do you blame the shooter, or the bullet?
Similar analogy, you can’t blame the tobacco, it’s the person who smokes who is to be blamed.
Veils: I don’t see it as a problem. Has PS claimed that this is a problem caused by immigranst?
Family unification: I don’t see it as a problem. Has PS… ?
Rapes: Yes, they definitely are a problem.
Diversity/acceptance: Why would that be a problem? Has PS claimed…?
Getting a job: Yes, it is a problem. I think everyone agrees on this one, so what is your point?
Racism: Yes, it is a problem, but nobody has claimed that it’s immigrants’ fault
Crimes: Yes, they are problem and everyone should agree.
Increasing number: It’s not a problem yet, but it will become.
Your questions just don’t make any sense.
Personally, I don’t see immigration a problem yet, but we can all see that it is a problem in other countries in Europe. So, we don’t want it to become a problem here in Finland. That’s why we want to stop it.
Why is it difficult to understand for you that we should not wait until it becomes a problem before we can act.
So you decided to finally come back to the point:
You are in the minority of PS suporters if you don’t see this as a problem. PS supporters generally trot out the women’s rights arguments on this one, while at the same time advocating for women to stay at home having babies. Their take is yet again to tell women what they ‘should’ do. This has been a very strong thread in the anti-Islam narratives coming from PS and PS politicians and supporters.
Apparently they have. They have been pushing for a tightening of family reunification laws and it has appeared in several PS policy documents and is pretty much a staple of their immmigration policy.
You offer only a vague opinion about the rape issue, so perhaps best not to comment further until you are brave enough to offer a fuller opinion. We all know PS’s position in elevating immigrant crime to the front of the stage and their utter total ignorance when it comes to statistical weighting. Immigrants are constantly stigmatised by constant refernce to ‘immigrant crime’ by PS in their policy documents.
PS has convicted racists in its party. Not only that, but these are among the most popular party members. The typical line in regard to hate crime is that immigrants are ‘too sensitive’ about the issue and should just ignore it. Even police officials have come out and said that immigrants shouldn’t bother reporting it (I wonder if he voted PS!). Hate crime statistics are constantly challenged for over representing the problem and yet the statistics on immigrant crime are accepted without question, despite their much more obvious skew. The fact that Finland doesn’t have an accurate and reliable measure of hate crime is a disgrace to equality!
Exactly. You demonstrate quite well the general attitude within PS and it’s support. As you have said, you are trying to ‘avoid’ the problems of other countries in regard to ‘multiculturalism’, even while those other countries remain among Europe’s strongest economies and immigrants have contributed tremendously to their economic competitiveness and access to global markets.
So, what you are saying is that you don’t mind a handful of foreigners, but the minute you start to actually ‘notice’ that there are foreigners in Finland, then that’s too many. Oh, but rather than wait for that time, you want to ‘stop it’ now. That’s pretty much the line throughout the PS.
The issue for me, Farang, is that PS and PS supporters see immigration as a problem because they are xenophobic and racist and latch onto anything to try to justify that. The things they do latch onto though cannot hide that basic fact but rather, actually reinforce it, simply because it comes across as desperate attempts to discredit immigration, immigrants and multicultural realities. Most people see through it, but there’s always a handful that applaud a party that actually supports and defends their racism and tells them what they want to hear – your not racist, you just love Finland, as if the rest don’t love Finland.
You idiots haven’t a clue how to act on immigration. You farm around Europe looking for the most stringent examples of restrictive immigration policy and try and jump on the bandwagon. I’ve spoken to your candidates and they haven’t a clue about the real challenges facing immigrants, in terms of the job market, facing discrimination or trying to integrate. They just repeat the same tired, ethnothentric and condascending mantra of ‘when in Rome…’.
Finland deserves mass immigration. I say that not because I think that is happening or will happen, but because idiots like you hide their racism behind nationalism and patriotism and in the process, you attempt to hijack Finland’s core identity. As one old Finn remarked to me once about the rise of intolerance and the PS in Finland – “that is just not Finland”. Indeed it isn’t, as most of the ideology of PS is imported from abroad. What did Ahtisaari say, ‘We solve problems, we don’t create them’. So people like you deserve to come face to face with this enemy you have created, this challenge of living in the modern world, where normal people have learned long ago to transcend cultural differences and recognise people as people. I really hope you will end up being the bitter old man (if you aren’t already) watching as the young Finland full of diversity rushes ahead eagerly to meet its destiny, to take its place among the modern societies of this world, championing rights and tolerance! I hope for that because you deserve to be miserable, because your philosophy on life, culture, identity and society is a rancid, stagnant bloated corpse of worn-out and bigoted ideals, and we’ve all suffered your poisonous thoughts on ‘immigration’ for long enough. The best we can hope for is that eventually you will just stew in your own vitriole.
No, that’s where you are wrong. It’s not about racism. It’s about the fact that people from too different cultures can’t live together without conflicts. It has been seen all over Europe. It’s not about racism, it’s about cultural differences, don’t you get it?
We don’t have to go any further than in our neighbour country, Sweden. There we already have areas populated by muslims, which are not safe anymore for Swedish people. In Uppsala university there was a riot which was caused only because muslim culture is too different and they considered Lars Vilks presentation so offending that they started violence. That’s what I call cultural incompatibility. Same issues which are OK for Swedish, are extremely offending for muslims.
This causes either one or both of following:
1) Swedish would need to change their behaviour and way of living. And that is not acceptable that immigrants come in to country and starts to dictate how natives should change their way of living
2) Violent incidents are caused because muslims get offended of Swedish behaviour. That is also not acceptable.
Both of the above problems becomes more evident when the muslim population increases. In Finland it’s not yet a problem, but we have proof what happens when the population increases. That’s why it needs to be stopped now.
Says the man creating the conflict! It is about racism, but of course, it’s more than just about race – it’s about ‘othering’, about creating a sense of ‘difference’, where in reality the differences are superficial. When people talk about the challenges of multiculturalism, the absolute obvious thing to me is that they are talking about the problems of ‘culture’, not ‘multiculture’. People disagree. People have different values. People wear different clothes and eat different foods. People commit crime, people follow other people, people get passionate and they disagree. People pick sides, they follow teams, they demonise their opponents, they convince themselves they are better. Sometimes, all it takes to create these arbitrary divisions are beign born north or south of the same river! Sometimes, the divisions are more clear cut; they are divisions of wealth and privilege. Society is fragmented at the best of times. People constantly disagree. Hell, even family members argue till the cows come home. It’s the norm, not the exception!!!!!!!!
Do these issues become problems? Often, yes. But they are not problems of a ‘multi-‘ culture, they are problems of culture, of people just finding it difficult to get on, getting bogged down in lazy thinking and labelling other people. So trying to place exclusive boundaries around these problems of differing opinions and habits and calling them problems of ‘race’ and ‘culture’ or ‘national identity’ or even ‘history’ is lazy and dangerous and leads to other actual and very real problems, problems of discrimination in the workplace, in public spaces, in institutions. Indeed, it is true that on one level, talk of race is what creates racism.
Talking about the ‘problems of multiculturalism’ threatens to ‘dis-locate’ us from the real problems, to move the problems of difference into an abstract arena where the conflict continues as much because we can never get out from behind the labels to actually deal with the real issues, such trying to find a way to live together with our differences, and with differing interests and differing levels of wealth and opportunity. Hell, brothers and sisters can fight like cat and dog over their differences – it’s just part of life. It’s time to grow up, Farang, and stop trying to make out that ‘multi-culture’ is any kind of special problem. Of course, if you insist, then it will become a problem, for sure, YOU will become a problem, because you insist on getting hung up over this idea of ‘multiculture’, YOU create the problem, where for everyone else, it’s just human stuff, and not always pretty.
That’s just lazy Farang. That’s just the Far Right discovering the internet and sharing their xenophobia across borders and suddenly realising they can claim ‘it’s all over Europe’. Of course it is. But don’t think for one second that talking about ‘the problems of multiculturalism’ in some way represents the total reality here. I’ve lived in a truly multicultural society, in London, for the best part of a decade and seen how it works, in all its manifestations. My work took me to all sectors and areas of society, from rich to extremely poor, from dyed in the wool natives to completely dislocated refugees without hardly a word of English. I’ve shared the ‘problems’ and challenges and worked towards solutions. I’ve seen families put down roots and the kids grow up alongside natives, making their new home and language their own. I’ve seen people of very different backgrounds simply getting on as people, and the obvious characteristics and cultural clues as to people’s origins become part of the normal and quite unremarkable tapestry of everyday life. I’ve seen that, and it’s no great mystery, no great disease, no big issue, my friend, so that when you start blowing the horn and calling the faithful to war over this kind of stuff, I really just shrug my Gallic shoulders and wonder what on earth has persuaded you that you should live your life in a state of fear and seige?!
So what. You sound hysterical. Are you afraid the Muslim is going to put a bomb under your bed? Grow up Farang. People get offended every day, and we just move on, looking for compromise or accepting our differences. The more hysterical your reaction, the more likely it will be that it WILL become a problem, to which you are the greatest obstacle to solving.
Well, I fundamentally disagree with this analysis. But tell me, has Sweden always had the same behaviour all through its history? Have there been any cultural or social changes in Sweden, such that we would imagine that ANY change in Swedish society would somehow be an enormous revolution and great loss? Second, immigrants do not dictate how natives should change their way of living. But when foreigners come to Finland for example, and the chorus of the reception committee is ‘When in Rome…’, then clearly there might be room for some people to say, “perhaps you need to change the tune, because we are as proud of our heritage as you are of yours!”
Grow up. Most violence is because somebody got offended at something. Trying to make out that Muslims are more sensitive than others is just plain false. Yes, they are sensitive about their religious ideals, though while most would be offended, likewise most would not dream of becoming violent. I guess you never lived through the miners pickets in England, where whole communities became internally conflicted and offended by Thatcherism and it’s headlong march towards ‘modernity’ and closing down whole industries. Were all the miners violent? No. Were they offended? Yes. That’s the challenge when someone threatens your ‘way of life’.
But is your way of life truly threatened here in Finland? The miners lost their jobs, their communities had the heart ripped out of them. But what really is the challenge of immigration? That you have to share a seat in the Metro? That you might have a neighbour with a slightly different skin colour? What is it about immigrants that STOPS you being Finns or celebrating your Finnish culture? I just don’t get it. But what I do get is that if you start trying to dictate to Muslims and start trying to provoke them by desecrating their sacred symbols, then I do see a problem with that, I do see the potential for violence, and I see you as the cause of it!
Listen, mate, I’m old enough to have lived through multiculturalism in different phases, before the ‘War on Terror’ and the sudden fear of Islam, when the biggest problems of bigotry was not geared towards Arabs and Asians but actually Africans. And it was the same old crap, about them not being ‘civilised enough’, about them being different, about them being inherantly violent, rapists etc. In those times, there was a great deal more tolerance of Arabs and Asians, who while darker, where not seen as being that different – because the criteria of difference, the flavour of the month in terms of bigotry, was the shape of nose. Nowadays, the wheel has turned and suddenly the enemy is ‘the Muslims’. Well, the Muslims have been here for aeons and Europe did not go up in flames.
Now, a lesson on culture. There have been arguments in Europes towns and cities for absolute decades about what the Church can and cannot, should and should not tell people to do. The idea that this is a society where people don’t argue about what is the right way to do things, how much the religious can tell the irreligious how to behave, in school, on television, in public life is just plain fantasy. The names might change, even the religion might change, but the arguments and disagreements, the politics and the advocacy remain the same. And talking about Muslims as somehow inherantly violent is just plain old ugly bigotry. Deny it all you like, but it’s as plain as the words on this screen, Farang, when you talk about Muslims the way you do. It’s ugly and it’s evil and you are a far bigger threat to the peace in Finland than any Muslim immigrant, because you peddle hatred.
What are you talking about??? If muslims come here and get offended of something and then they start violence, how come that is anyone else’s fault than the muslims? How would that conflict be my fault?
There are two things here. There is the issue of offending Muslims and then there is the issue of what I have referred to as you creating conflict. I think the two are to an extent probably different things.
Let’s take them separately. Many things are said and done deliberately to offend Muslims in Finland and in Europe. Drawing cartoons insulting Mohammed or Islam and Mohammed at the same time are just one example. But let’s get it clear, the absolute vast majority of Muslims in Europe let it go. I guess they are not happy, but they are pretty thick skinned too, and what’s the point in getting dragged into a fight about things like that?
Second, when some Muslims get so fed up with this provocation and baiting that they start marching through the streets in protest, again, the vast majority will do so in a relatively peaceful manner, as far as demonstrations can be described as ‘peaceful’. However, there will be a handful of hotheads who will want to express their disgust in more physical and visible ways. This same thing happens when people demonstrate against injustice, against corruption or against poverty. Sometimes, it even happens that people march through the streets fighting over nothing more than whose football team is best.
Nevertheless, I didn’t hear of any serious breaches of the peace in Europe as a result of that stupid film from the US recently, which basically illustrates me point about what is normal for Muslims and what is not.
Finally, the issue about you starting conflicts comes from your insistence on constantly linking Muslims with violence and using this to declare them ‘incompatible’ with non-Muslim Europeans.
You seem to expect that ordinary Muslims must be the spokespersons for their religion, defending it at every turn from any Tom, Dick or Harry that demands that Islam declare itself a peaceful religion. For most Muslims, that is such an obvious reality that it really does not need stating, at least not by every Muslim ten times a day and certainly not because religious bigots and racists demand it of them.
You take the violence of some people, make no effort to understand it or compare it to other forms of violent protest and then demand that all Muslims are to be made responsible, with the very questionable conclusion YOU draw that this MUST mean that our two cultures or religions are not compatible and somehow bar Muslims from entering Europe. Now who is being a fascist and extremist here?
Again, you haven’t addressed my key point – that culture is already diverse in even ‘mono-cultures’ like Finland. People disagree. Women have had to fight for their rights, as have gay people and the disabled. People have demonstrated on behalf of religion, democracy, against corruption, against job losses, against injustice etc., and sometimes, things have got out of hand. Such is culture. Such is the passions of people. Such is the emotion of anger and frustration at injustice. It often boils over. Are you saying that when it happens to Muslim people, it’s somehow different?
Would you have us believe that when Muslims feel a sense of injustice, it’s a special case? – they are not being ‘cultural’ in the way that we are, they are not even being ‘violent’ in the way that we are. No, somehow, they are less than us and that is what you mean by incompatible.
That’s just plain old bigotry, Farang, and nothing you’ve told me really has given me any reason to think otherwise.
It doesn’t matter if it’s small or big amount. If they cause problems which were not in the country earlier, then it is an issue. And it’s totally their fault.
Here you take the attitude that muslims are victims, like it’s their right to act against whatever they find offensive.
And it’s not only marching, in Uppsala university they tried to kill Lars Vilks, but gladly police intervened. And you call this peaceful, give me a break.
No, that’s just silly. Any ‘new’ population will bring problems of different kinds to their new situation, in the same way that an existing population will bring problems. It’s just extremely stupid and cynical to demand that foreigners would be somehow perfect human beings or not bring any ‘problems’. And anyhow, problems for who? It seems the biggest problem with the veil is from others who have to see it and not from those who necessarily wear it. The issue is one of choice. Women should not be forced to wear a veil and likewise they should not be forced to not wear a veil. When some people are so offended by the sight of someone else’s simply clothing that they would ‘ban’ that kind of clothing, it really does sound hypocritical when you start harping on about Muslims being offended by stuff.
It’s not totally their fault if someone is going out of their way to be obnoxious to them.
Actually, that wasn’t my point at all. Where did I mention it was their right? My point was to draw attention to the fact that they are no different to the rest of us. However, now that you mention it, it IS our right to march and protest peacefully.
NO, that’s just you twisting my words to be obnoxious. Peaceful protest is peaceful protest – someone trying to kill someone is someone trying to kill someone. There is no confusion in my writing, only in yours.
They tried to kill him? From what I read, his glasses were broken in a scuffle, and it wasn’t the police that intervened, it was security guards who escorted him out of there! lolol. Still, he has had an arson attack on his home (he was away), and two Kosovans were sent to prison for that. Justice done! But that’s hardly any reason to imagine that Muslim protestors are any different to other kinds of protesters. What do you say about animal rights activists, or anti-abortion activists, who likewise can be quite obnoxious in registering their protest? Do you think that we should be talking about the evils of people involved in child or animal welfare? If not, why not?
Sometimes, Muslims are victims.