Who are the most “notable” figures of Finland’s Islamophobic network in 2019? In the list below, 13 are members of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, 3 are National Coalition Party (NCP) members, 2 are Christian Democrats (KD), and three others are political “freelancers:” Marco de Wit, Junnes Lokka, and Tiina Wiik.
The list, which is far from complete, was published in the European Islamophobic Report 2019, the most comprehensive report on anti-Muslim racism in Europe.
So who are they?
Jussi Halla-aho: an old-timer Islamophobe convicted in 2012 for ethnic agitation and for breaching the sanctity of religion. Halla-aho recently said that nobody would have no reason to masturbate if there were no news about migration and asylum seekers. He aims to end Muslim immigration to Finland.
Riikka Purra: An Islamophobe who commonly blames all of the country’s problems on migrants and especially Muslims. Her political career relies strongly on Islamophobia. She commonly uses the term “harmful” immigration to describe Muslims and other people of color but doesn’t understand that she is a “harmful” MP to Finland’s growth and health.
Sebastian Tynkkynen: Convicted two times for ethnic agitation, he is usually the first one to cast the Islamophobic stone at Muslim victims. Tynkkynen was one PS politician who profited from the Oulu sexual assault cases and got a ticket to parliament.
Ville Tavio: One wonders if this politician is a lawyer or not when he talks about Muslims. One of the many things he has proposed is changing the Finnish Constitution so that Finns would have greater rights over foreigners. He has a hard time accepting that everyone, irrespective of one’s background, is equal before the law.
Laura Huhtasaari: The far-right Islamophobic rhetoric of this MEP appears to have supercharged in Brussels. Like Purra and other PS women politicians, she too sees Muslims under her bed and believes we will all be reading from the Koran soon. She commonly praises US President Donald Trump and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán.
Juha Mäenpää: It’s evident that this MP does not like Muslims. In 2015, he said God had answered his prayers when an asylum reception center was razed to the ground. In 2019, he got in trouble by comparing migrants to an “invasive species.” The PS politicians usually speak in code. Mäenpää meant asylum seekers and Muslims when he mentioned invasive species.
Ano Turtiainen: This politician has gained national and international notoriety for a tweet that mocked the death of George Floyd. Before the tweet, Turtiainen has published a lot of racist posts on social media.
Jari Ronkainen: Is a politician who loathes Muslims and multiculturalism. It’s no surprise that he, therefore, lobbies for tighter migration laws and faster deportations of migrants. A racist video that denigrates migrants in a video is only a part of his Islamophobic repertoire. He supported in 2018 an initiative to prohibit young girls from using veils.
Matias Turkkila: If there is a person in Finland who has facilitated and given Islamophobes a platform to voice their racism, that person is without a doubt Matias Turkkila. In a recent Tweet, he cried about Katie Hopkins’ permanent suspension from Twitter. Editor of the PS’ Suomen Uutiset and Halla-aho’s former campaign manager.
Sanna Antikainen: This MP’s Islamophobia from Outokumpu (population 6,803) resembles the town’s name, which means “strange hill.” Even if her hometown has hardly any foreigners, Antikainen is a fervent Islamophobe and supporter of US President Donald Trump. She is a trained nurse, but would she attend to Muslims or people of color if she were working at a hospital? One of her favorite lines is that Europe “isn’t the social welfare office of the world.”
Asseri Kinnunen: The PS Youth politicians is a member of the far-right and Nazi-spirited Suomen Sisu association. He likes to wear fascist shirts and ties of the Lapua Movement of the 1930s. Does Kinnunen house Islamophobic views? Guess.
Johannes Sipola: After the Christchurch massacre in March 2019, Sipola tweeted: “The New Zealand case show ever-convincingly that multicultural society does not work. When other people [of other backgrounds] rape and kill enough [people], it is only a question of time when there will be a reaction from the opposite side. First and foremost, everyone defends their own kind.”
Wille Rydman: For some in his party, Rydman is considered the Halla-aho of the National Coalition Party due to his Islamophobic and far-right views. He warned last year that the ethnic composition of Europe is changing due to low birth rates and that such ethnic diversity is harmful to the region.
Atte Kaleva: Selfies with Jussi Halla-aho and spreading Islamophobic soundbites is what Kaleva does in the belief they will get him elected to parliament. The good news is that such tactics haven’t worked. Like Rydman, Kaleva would be more at home in the PS. An Islamophobe populist opportunist.
Kai Mykkänen: The Oulu sexual assault cases in 2018-2019 that caused hysteria to spiral out of control in Finland, Mykkänen, who was then interior minister, lobbied for stricter laws, faster deportations, and even tests to asylum seekers to prove that they understood Finnish values. Mykkänen forgot to mention that Finnish men are also guilty of sexual assault and violence.
Sari Essayah: This conservative politician is a strong supporter of Israel’s settlement expansion in Palestine. Under her leadership, the Christian Democrats have moved politically closer to the PS’ and NCP’s on immigration and asylum issues. She has demonized Muslims and blamed sexual crimes on cultural factors. In one election compass, Essayah had “no opinion” whether it was the EU’s obligation to save asylum seekers from drowning in the Mediterranean.
Päivi Räsänen: This homophobic politician does not usually have kind things to say about Muslims from the Middle East unless they are Christians. As interior minister, she denied that ethnic profiling was carried out by the police even if studies proved the contrary. In January, she spread a rumor that a school in Helsinki had substituted Mohammed for Jesus Christ at a Christmas celebration party.
Marco de Witt: A loudmouth Islamophobe who desecrated the Quran in public last year. He was so obnoxious that he was kicked out of the Finland First (Suomen Kansa Ensin) political party and movement.
Junnes Lokka: A Moroccan-born Islamophobe who hates Muslims and asylum seekers. During the Oulu sexual assault cases last year, Lokka and Wiik were Katie Hopkins’ hosts in Oulu. Hopkins was recently banned permanently from Twitter because of her “hateful conduct.”
Tiina Wiik: She hosts with Lokka Vihapuhe FM or Hate Speech FM. During these transmissions, you will hear the views of Finland’s most questionable far-right politicians and Islamophobes. The couple organizes far-right events in Finland as well.
This story was originally published in Migrant Tales.