STATEMENT: The impact in Finland of populism on human rights and the rule of law

STATEMENT 7.3.2020

ANTI-HATE CRIME ORGANISATION FINLAND

SUOMEN VIHARIKOSVASTAINEN YHDISTYS RY

FINSKA ANTI-HARBOTTSORGANISATION RF

In recent days we have seen through the tragic events in Greece how the human rights of asylum seekers mean little. Such people, who have in many cases, fled war, are being used as political pawns by countries such as Turkey.

One matter is the far-right and Islamophobic Finns Party (PS) demanding that we pull out of international agreements that protect refugees and ditch human rights, another cause for concern is the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) willing to follow in the steps of the far-right party.

Kokoomus parliamentary group leader Kai Mykkänen stated after Greece decided to suspend asylum applications for a month that Finland should pass legislation to do the same.

“Finland must be prepared, if necessary, if we were exposed to pressure from a large number of [asylum] applications coming towards Finland,” he was quoted as saying in Yle and added that the country should be able to do what Greece did under exceptional circumstances.

The suggestion by Mykkänen is odd. Is there a threat to Finland from Russia? The answer is clear: Mykkänen is more interested in opinion polls than in the plight of refugees.

Ditching human rights even momentarily is the first step in restricting other civil rights that are supposed to be inalienable.

Kokoomus’ shameful suggestion reveals that human rights and democracy are expendable and can be shelved at will.

admin@nohatefinland.org

Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland was founded in September 2018 and registered as an NGO the following month. The aim of the NGO is to tackle and eradicate hate crime and all forms of discrimination in Finland such as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, misogyny and other forms of social exclusion through education and training, seminars, events, conferences, among others.

STATEMENT: The media must demand from populists of the Finns Party answers to their tough questions

STATEMENT 4.3.2020

ANTI-HATE CRIME ORGANISATION FINLAND

SUOMEN VIHARIKOSVASTAINEN YHDISTYS RY

FINSKA ANTI-HARBOTTSORGANISATION RF

Finns Party (PS) first vice president Riikka Purra reiterated on Yle’s A-studio Wednesday her party’s wish to end humanitarian-based immigration, which is code for Finland to ditch its international refugee agreements and respect for human rights.

If Purra and her party had their way, not one Muslim from a region like the Middle East could seek asylum in Finland.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Näyttökuva-2020-3-4-kello-22.00.54.png
PS MP Riikka Purra suspects that most of the people in Turkey’s refugee camps aren’t asylum seekers. Her solution to the Turkish-Greek border crisis is that millions of people should apply for asylum in Turkey. Source: Yle A-talk.

Article 14 of The UN Human Rights Declaration clearly states that,

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

There has been a lot of discussion in Finland about the role of the media in fueling a hostile environment against migrants, especially Muslims and people of color.

An example of the above was shown in the A-studio interview when host Anikka Damström didn’t care to ask what ending humanitarian-based immigration would imply for Finland and its international commitments.

Damström’s first question was if the 10,000-100,000 people at the Turkish-Greek border are in need of asylum. The question is a loaded one in a country that suspects asylum seekers all the way up to the president of Finland, Sauli Niinistö.

What kind of a country would be if it stopped respecting human rights? We only have to look at Poland and Hungary to get an answer to the question.

Finnish journalism should get real and start to ask politicians tough questions and demand answers.

Without vigilant media, we are doomed to maintaining and living with Finland’s hostile environment against migrants and minorities.

Without leadership from the media and Finland’s political class, populist and Islamophobic parties like the PS will continue to cast their dark shadow on the country.

admin@nohatefinland.org

Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland was founded in September 2018 and registered as an NGO the following month. The aim of the NGO is to tackle and eradicate hate crime and all forms of discrimination in Finland such as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, misogyny and other forms of social exclusion through education and training, seminars, events, conferences, among others.

STATEMENT: We need answers from the Finns Party and rapidly

STATEMENT 1.3.2020

ANTI-HATE CRIME ORGANISATION FINLAND

SUOMEN VIHARIKOSVASTAINEN YHDISTYS RY

FINSKA ANTI-HARBOTTSORGANISATION RF

After the Finns Party (PS) Youth leader Toni Jokinen scandal hit the fan hard after he admitted that he is “an ethnonationalist, traditionalist, and a fascist, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered.

One of these burning questions is if we want to allow our well-functioning social welfare society to be destroyed by ethnonationalism and fascism.

Before we get to the answer to that question, it would be important that our media grows more teeth and that politicians show more leadership in defending our values and way of life, which include social equality for all irrespective of one’s background.

A good way of challenging parties like the PS is to demand some straight questions. Here are some I would ask:

  1. The PS wants to bar Muslims and people of color from coming to Finland. Does this mean that you will ditch international agreements like the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Declaration of Human Rights?
  2. Does the PS believe that these radical changes, which would imply Finland leaving the EU, are possible?
  3. The PS wants to scrap hate speech laws. How will you assure that migrants and minorities won’t become victims of racist harassment and hate crime?
  4. Could the PS define what is racism and social equality?
  5. What does social equality mean? Is it only a white Finnish right?
  6. Your party clearly states that it does not want Finland to be culturally and ethnically diverse. (Duh. It already is). If this is the case, and it is, what are you going to do about all those who are not white like you and live in Finland?
  7. Is the PS going to put them in camps, islands and/or send them back to where they, their parents or grandparents came from?
  8. When the PS speaks of making radical changes in immigration law, does this mean that migrants and minorities will become officially treated as second- and third-class citizens before the law?
  9. Tell us specifically what would Finland look like if you had your way in changing immigration law and the constitution? What would you do to people who oppose such changes?

There are many other hard questions that could be asked to PS politicians.

It is our hope and wish that not only the media but many other sectors of Finland wake up to the threat that the PS pose.

One more question to Halla-aho: Do you believe that you will succeed in changing society to fit your ethnonationalist and far-right world view?

admin@nohatefinland.org

Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland was founded in September and registered as an NGO in October. The aim of the NGO is to tackle and eradicate hate crime and all forms of discrimination in Finland such as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, misogyny and other forms of social exclusion through education and training, seminars, events, conferences, among others.

STATEMENT: Alternate reality or getting real

STATEMENT 28.2.2020

ANTI-HATE CRIME ORGANISATION FINLAND

SUOMEN VIHARIKOSVASTAINEN YHDISTYS RY

FINSKA ANTI-HARBOTTSORGANISATION RF

This week has been a very sobering moment for some circles in Finland after former Finns Party (PS) Youth second vice president Toni Jalonen admitted that he is “an ethnonationalist, traditionalist, and a fascist.”

But that was only a part of the PS’ circus show. We heard PS MP Ano Turtiainen justifying a civil war if a Christian Democrat MP were convicted of ethnic agitation. There was also PS MEP Laura Hutasaari who labeled members of right-wing parties like the National Coalition Party as communists.

With the PS Youth holding a do-or-die meeting on Saturday to change the bylaws, it may well be that the youth organization may implode and break away from the PS if the bylaw changes do not materialize.

The disconcerted situation of the PS should not surprise us. What can you expect from a party whose only ideology is Islamophobia and other far-right “goodies” like ethnonationalism and massive deportations of Muslims?

The PS lives in a state of an alternate reality upheld by racism and myths. Even so, the rest of society should not look away and bury its head in the sand to challenge the menace that the PS poses on our way of life.

It’s time to get real, assess the threat and act.

admin@nohatefinland.org

Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland was founded in September and registered as an NGO in October. The aim of the NGO is to tackle and eradicate hate crime and all forms of discrimination in Finland such as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, misogyny and other forms of social exclusion through education and training, seminars, events, conferences, among others.

Whose hands are joined in the picture of our unofficial logo?

The joined hands in the picture below have become the unofficial logo of our NGO, Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland. Do those hands have a story to tell?

I met a man a few years ago who was distraught by what had happened to him during a visit to Poland. He visited a small town in the east of the country, where he was harassed by locals. When he complained to the police, they threatened to throw him in jail.

“Can I take a picture of you to go with the story?” I asked.

“No,” he responded. “I don’t want my picture taken because I fear for my safety.”

Real hands and that reveal a story that speaks volumes about Europe today.

Photo: Enrique Tessieri

Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland was founded in September and registered as an NGO in October. The aim of the NGO is to tackle and eradicate hate crime and all forms of discrimination in Finland such as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, misogyny and other forms of social exclusion through education and training, seminars, events, conferences, among others.

STATEMENT: Residential periods for citizenship should be lowered, not increased

The Islamophobic Finns Party (PS) has submitted a draft law that will raise the residential period to get Finnish citizenship to ten years from five years now, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

While wishing to raise the residential period to ten years is nothing new, it is a good example of how the PS wants to retard non-Finns from being full members of society.

The solution to integration is very simple: The faster you grant citizenship, the faster people can become full members of society. If you are a foreigner, you cannot vote in parliamentary and presidential elections.

The PS’ draft law is disingenuous. It states that Finnish citizenship should be granted only to people who we can be sure of that they integrated and that they won’t commit crimes.

PS parliamentary group leader Ville Tavio stated in Helsingin Sanomat that citizenship too quickly. It would be a pull factor for people who cannot find work to bring their families.

Tavio forgets conveniently to state that only about 10% of all foreigners living in Finland came as refugees.

The draft law proposed by the PS has nothing to do with ensuring safety in Finland or saving taxes spent on migrants but to perpetuating the injustice that non-Finns face and who are the mercy of anti-immigration parties like the PS.

ANTI-HATE CRIME ORGANISATION FINLAND

admin@nohatefinland.org

Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland was founded in September and registered as an NGO in October. The aim of the NGO is to tackle and eradicate hate crime and all forms of discrimination in Finland such as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, misogyny and other forms of social exclusion through education and training, seminars, events, conferences, among others.

STATEMENT: The killings in Germany are a warning to Finland and the rest of Europe

The killings that took place in Germany and which caused the murder of nine people at two hookah bars not only sends shock waves in Germany but to the rest of Europe. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the gunman, whose murderous deeds were apparently fueled by far-right extremism.

She stated:

“However, most currently indicates that the perpetrator acted out of far-right, racist motives fueled by hate against people with different backgrounds, a different religion, or different appearance. Racism is poison. Hatred is poison.”

With the rise of parties like the Finns Party (PS) since 2011, minorities in Finland have also witnessed hate because they may be of a different religion or look different.

Demonizing groups like Muslims and labeling them as “an invasive species” by a PS MP or spreading fear about how white Finns will become a minority in their country is the same type of poison that Merkel warned.

Hatred against Muslims, people of color, Jews, and other visible minorities has not unfortunately subsided in Finland but picked up speed.

Even if we saw home-grown terrorist attacks against asylum reception centers and the rise of the far-right as a result of a large number of asylum seekers that came here in 2015, we should take what happened in Germany as a wake-up call.

ANTI-HATE CRIME ORGANISATION FINLAND

admin@nohatefinland.org

Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland was founded in September and registered as an NGO in October. The aim of the NGO is to tackle and eradicate hate crime and all forms of discrimination in Finland such as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Afrophobia, misogyny and other forms of social exclusion through education and training, seminars, events, conferences, among others.

What the SAS Airline ad forgot to mention: Racism was also copied

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 15, 2020

Recently SAS Airline made a video about how everything Scandinavian is copied culturally. What the video forgot to tell us is that even if it copies everything, it is selective about what it copies.

Remember the story about a Muslim Swede called Aye Alhassani, who was told flat out that she would have to take off her hijab if she wanted to work as a flight attendant?

Read the full story here.

Certainly, the SAS ad did not mention this. It didn’t even mention how different Scandinavian and Nordic countries like Finland copied racism.

“Thank you, colonialism, for being one of the roots of our present-day racism,” the SAS ad should state.

But the ad is right: Everything in our culture, everyone’s culture, is copied.

All of the anti-immigration populist parties in the Nordic region have grown strongly and even been in government.

The Progress Party of Norway recently exited the government because a woman and her two sick al-Hol refugee camp children were brought for treatment to the country.

The Danish People’s Party suffered a big blow in the last election but has succeeded at turning Denmark into one of the most Islamophobic countries in Europe.

Finland and Sweden, both, supposedly, examples of Nordic social equality, have the far-right Sweden Democrats and Perussuomalaiset leading in opinion polls.

No, SAS, there are some things Scandinavia and Finland would have been better off not copying.

Originally published by Migrant Tales.

SAS Airline ad: What is truly Scandinavian? Absolutely nothing.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 13,2020

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED

The far-right populists in Scandinavia like representatives of the Islamophobic Danish People’s Party are having a fit about a SAS Airline ad that was taken down because it said the truth about culture: everything is copied.

SAS said in a statement: “It is regrettable that the film is misunderstood, that some choose to interpret the message and use it for their own purpose.”

The good news? “We are now continuing the planned campaign, and we hope that it emphasizes the core message that travel enriches us,” the airline said.

One reason why far-right populist groups are going nuclear due to the ad is because it exposes their lies and fake nationalism.

The video asks what is truly Scandinavian?

The answer: “Absolutely nothing…Everything is copied.”

And continues: “Every time we go beyond our borders we are colors, innovation, progress…[we] bring the best of everything to here…in a way Scandinavia was brought here piece by piece by everyday people who found the best of our home away from home.”

This was originally published in Migrant Tales.

Iltalehti does it again: Spreading hatred and degrading asylum seekers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 19, 2020

Finland’s tabloids, Iltalehti and Ilta-Sanomat, are part of the country’s racism and Islamophobia problem. Back in 2015, Ilta-Sanomat stated on a billboard that 10,000 “illegal refugees” will come to Finland.

This biased and racist journalism exposes how biased and unbalanced some Finnish media is.

In their ever-alarming way to boost sales, Iltalehti led a story with the following headline:

“This is how Finland prepares if a lot of illegal migrants cross the eastern border: ‘People can sleep safely,” Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo is quoted as saying.

The question: Are people crossing the eastern border “illegal migrants” or asylum seekers?

Read the original story (in Finnish) here.
See the original posting (in Finnish) hereIla-Sanomat claims that “this year 10,000 illegal refugees will come to Finland.” Illegal refugees? No such thing. Source: Facebook.

This story was originally published in Migrant Tales.