Here is a story you would never expect to read in a country like Finland, which bases its values on social equality, human rights and mutual respect. The decision to ban asylum seekers and refugees from visiting schools and daycare centers in Oulu due to the suspected sexual abuse cases raises a lot of questions.
Writes Yle News: “Mika Penttilä, the city’s Head of Education and Cultural Services, said the decision was driven by parental concerns. ‘We have agreed with the organisers that no such visits will take place at the moment. People have approached us about these visits to find out whether they pose a security risk,’ he said.
Penttiläs cites “parental concerns.” Does this mean that in the future I can exclude whole groups that are innocent from going to schools and daycare centers? Can I exclude white teenage Finns because they have participated in school shootings?
One of these questions that the decision by the City of Oulu raises is if it isn’t outright racist to exclude whole groups due to the suspected crimes committed by a few people who have the same religion or come from the same country?
It is not only racist, in my opinion, but outright counterproductive. What we are witnessing is another tragic chapter of the racist history of this country.
A question: If an asylum seeker becomes a resident, can he or she visit schools and daycare centers? Why doesn’t the City of Oulu show an ever bolder racist face by banning all Muslims from going to such places? That is what they are really saying, right?
If you want to know what it feels like being singled out and banned from society, why not ask Finland’s 10,000-strong Roma community.
If the racism that the Roma suffered before impacts their lives today, imagine the harm city officials and society in general cause on Muslims in Finland with the ban.
We know from the Oulu police, politicians and city officials that they have gone to great lengths to racialize what happened in that city.
Do they understand, never mind care, how their actions impact Finland’s Muslim and migrant community?
We have heard that matters are in such a questionable state in Oulu, in great part by the statements of the police and politicians, that Muslims avoid going to the city center at night. Why isn’t anyone bringing up this issue?
Read the full story here.
While we are all outraged and saddened by the sexual abuse cases of Oulu, the labelling and victimizing of asylum seekers and Muslims is keeping our eyes off the ball and the real culprits.
Why aren’t we talking about the police, social workers, parents and city officials who failed in protecting these minors from sexual abuse?
It is easier to place the blame on a group to hide your own negligence.