Two bullying cases in Finland, two standards by the police and society

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Who can forget the 10-year-old girl allegedly bullied and physically attacked in a Northern Espoo school by her classmate(s) for wearing a hijab? When the incident occurred, the police quickly denied that racism was a factor in the bullying.

Considering that too often the police months, if not years, to resolve racism cases, in the particular case of the Muslim girl the police stated three days after the incident “that no such motives have come up in the investigation by the police.”

When it comes t racism and discrimination cases, due process in Finland has different actions, priorities, and timelines.

Picture of the bullied child posted on Instagram by her brother.
The posting states: “What do they teach [children] at Finnish homes? That Muslims are terrorists? The little girl [in the picture above] is spending a normal day at school when four boys [classmates] tried to rip off her hijab from her head and kicked her unconscious. We are not talking now about a migrant but about a victim. @iltalehti [tabloid] I want you to write out loud that racism must stop once for all, this girl is an angel!”

The recent case of a white Finnish boy bullied in Vantaa, and whose case has received a lot of public attention, there is a vibrant ongoing debate about bullying at schools. A good letter to the editor was published Saturday by Helsingin Sanomat.

It is a positive matter that this social ill is put out into the open and debated.

An interview (in Finnish) by the sister of an 11-year-old who was bullied and physically attacked at a Vantaa school. Source: Iltalehti.

A month after what happened in Espoo to the Muslim girl, we read about another case of a 10-year-old Muslim girl being allegedly racially harassed and “fiercely” beaten by a group of adolescents in Vantaa, according to MTV.

As in the December case, the police put out a statement denying racism as a motive by stating that “they cannot say anything about the motives of the physical assault.”

For some reason, we have not read any new information about the alleged Islamophobic attacks in Espoo and Vantaa.

Why not?

One factor that comes to light is double standards. It is clear from these cases and how the police and media treat them that there are two types of Finnish children: the white ones, who are privileged, and the non-white ones who are not.