Sunday, August 7, 2011

Finland: Stop using racist hate speech to win votes

Over the years, Muslims and immigrants have been used as punching bags in Finland, but the situation is gradually spiraling out of control. Extreme right-wing politicians have hijacked the immigration debate and taken to the internet to incite hatred against immigrants and Muslims. The 22 July massacre in Norway has put the spot light on some politicians who have made a name for themselves by targeting Muslims and immigrants. The surge in extreme right populism and incitement of hatred online has prompted some prominent Finns to speak out - urging politicians to stop using racist hate speech to win votes.

On 3 August 2011, Finland's deputy Prosecutor-General, Jorma Kalske, condemned politicians in Finland for using racist hate speech to appeal to voters, pointing out that it is illegal to openly discriminate against minority groups.

Finland's Ombudsman for Minorities, Eva Biaudet, has expressed concern about hate speech both online and offline in Finland. According to Eva, the law should come down more heavily on hate speech and anonymous comments should not be published in online discussion forums. The use of pseudonyms should be limited to exceptional cases.

The president of Finland, Tarja Halonen has also expressed concern about hate speech and hardening attitudes in Finland.

Others who have spoken out include Finland's Culture and Sports Minister, Paavo Arhinmäki and Foreign Minister, Erkki Tuomioja.

These are just a few of the many people of good conscience who have spoken out on behalf of voiceless immigrants in Finland - many of whom cannot speak for themselves due to language barrier.

The True Finns, a far right-wing political party that is gaining followers, has come under fire for spreading hate. The party's members of parliament make no secret of their extreme views about immigrants and Muslims. One particular Member of parliament for the party, Jussi Halla-aho (see photo), has come under fire in the wake of the politically motivated July 2011 Norwegian killings.

Jussi Halla-aho has been on the headlines in Finnish media and has been described by Helsinki Times as "the most articulate immigration critic in Finland today." Helsinki Times reports that the Member of Parliament "isn't afraid to make comments that many people describe as incitement to hatred."

Hate speech and racism has no place in a free and democratic society. The authorities in Finland should keep an eye on growing right wing extremism, championed by extremist elements of the True Finns. Those who incite racial hatred and use hate speech to score political points should be held to account.

In 2009, Jussi Halla-aho was fined 330 euros for defamation of religion. A charge for inciting racial hatred was overturned.

Tougher sanctions should be considered to stop incitement of hatred against Muslims, immigrants and other vulnerable minority groups in society.

Photo of Jussi Halla-aho: YLE.


  1. The only way to stand up to the growing menace of racism to our society is be facing it. There has been too much acceptance of racism and vacillation. After the tragic events in Norway on July 22 we cannot afford to be that blind any longer.

  2. Well said..but the same way you put down some facts i can put down others.. The word immigrants has a very flexible meaning and people like you are using it to build a view of a person from another country who for one or another reason moved abroad.. Well..,the fact is that the majority of those immigrants are looking for a better social life..,better job..,better opportunities which they cant achieve in theyr own countryes..,right? Nobody likes to go to Kongo or Iran as immigrant,isnt it? I dont see nothing wrong with that..except one thing! Moving to another country by trying to integrate yourself..,learning language..,finding the way the people live is something which even the worst nationalists would support..But lets face the TRUTH!! The vast majority of the immigrants are moving here just becouse of the social benefits!!!!!! There is no selection of what you are..,christian,muslim,budhaist or whatsoever!!! People on the age of 50 and more are coming here,in Finland!! What fore??!! To learn the language? To start a new life?! Or to get every month over 1000 euro which he cannot earn for a decade back to his country!! Specially me,i m living in Lahti i m watching these people(muslims,perhaps from Iran or Iraq) sitting all day,every day in the bar lobby of "SOKOS" drinking and eating sweets!!! KELA pays theyr rent..,theyr bills..,plus pocket money and free tv and internet...who pays for that??!! TAXPAYERS!! So my dear friend from Cameroon..,i see you like to play with the ethnik card..,showing it allover..,BUT remember that this ethnik card has 2 faces! WE DONT WANT UNEDUCATE CRIMINALS FLOADING OUR COUNTRY AND LIVING FROM OUR TAXES!! No matter from where and relligion!! And we wellcome people young,willing to educate,work and go by our rules!!! And by the way..the example with Norway is not legitimate..,i m sure you can figure out something better! Cheers

  3. Alex, thanks for leaving your thoughts here on the blog. I appreciate your input.

    That said, you seem to have completely ignored, or are unaware of the fact that there are many law abiding, educated and/or hardworking immigrants in Finland who are equally taxpayers. These men and women, who deserve respect, are adversely affected by derogatory statements from anti-immigration right-wing extremists.

    Mention of the massacre in Norway holds water because the heinous crime was committed by a man who shares views advocated by the so-called "True Finns."

    Immigrants in SOKOS is no justification for hate.

    @Nemoo, keep up the good work at Migrant Tales. Do not be silenced.

  4. I totally agree with Zuzeeko. And by the way, there are a lot of immigrants that move to Iran, a rich country with vast energy resources. Do you really feel there is a big difference between Finnish emigrants and immigrants that move to Finland? Very little. Most immigrants are employed, pay taxes and lead normal lives. It sounds as if you think they don't. Let's build bridges and let these words ring out: mutual acceptance, respect and equal opportunities! It would be a good start in the right direction.

  5. Finland does not want to suffer the same fate as other European countries can you blame them?

    I am a native to Britain and my ancestors have been here for thousands of years, over the last 50 years we have seen our country completely transformed by mass immigration, every single town in Britain was built by native people of European origin, and now there are entire towns where there are no native people left.

    What a crime this multi cultural ism and mass immigration is, the hatred that creates monsters like Brevik is when you reading in the newspapers day in day out your people getting murdered rape robbed by immigrants that should not even be in your country.

    In the end you just want to get away from the multi cultural areas with high crime and so the white people move away to other areas.

    There are parts of Britian now which resemble a 3rd world slum and no British people live their, mass immigration has no benefit to native people only serves as a form of colonization to slowly rob them of their own country, almost of form of genocide

    1. You're looking at such a complex situation as if it's simple. And it's not. Do you know why such multicultural places are poor and criminalized in the first place? You have to keep in mind that above other races, Whites have been the luckiest, in all and if not, most aspects of lives, whereas other races such as Blacks, Indians, etc, aren't due to racism, segregation, etc from the past, because they have suffered the most from that than white races. Resulting in multicultural communities not being as advanced as white communities. Just think, they have the burden of racism, while the Whites do not. That's says something.


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