Reactions to multicultural Finnish society: Fear of social marginalization of ethnic Finnish men and bad vibes about sports

The newly report of the Finnish Government dealing with Finland’s internal security was discussed in the plenary session at the Parliament on the 24th of May. During the discussion, MP Teuvo Hakkarainen (Finns Party, Perussuomalaiset) expressed his concerns about the connection of Islamization to the internal security of the country. In his speech, which can be found in its full length in the verbatim transcriptions of the Parliament plenary session, Hakkarainen posed a question to the Minister of the Interior Petteri Orpo, asking, whether Orpo had considered the fact that due to the resettlement policies of immigrant refugees to certain rural areas the ethnic Finnish bachelors there could be marginalized in the society where as the immigrant Muslim men would take their place.

Furthermore, Hakkarainen argued that the biggest threat to Finnish internal security is the spread of Islamization. He doubts possibilities of integration for current Muslim immigrants, of whom most are men, based on demographic discrepancies between men and women especially in rural areas. Hakkarainen advocated in his speech rejecting further immigration and continued to argue, that the best way to fight Islamization is to secure the borders with barbed wire.

In May, Finnish media’s attention was also on another politician from the Finns Party, Seppo Huhta. The Green Party (Vihreät) and a local sports club in the town of Espoo announced a sports event, to which participants regardless of their national, political background were invited to enjoy a “multicultural baseball day”. Baseball in its Finnish version, is a very popular sports in the country and thus the event is aimed at teaching foreigners about this piece of Finnish culture.

Following the announcement, as a news article notes, Huhta had commented on the events facebook-page that the whole idea of a multicultural baseball was ridiculous since baseball, rather than ice hockey, is a national game. Moreover, in his comment – which, he maintains, he had made as a private person – Huhta wonders, how is it then even possible to make out of such a national game “multicultural” or “Mohammedean”. He claims that in reality the word “multicultural” now is restricted to mean only events and activities targeting Muslims and hence such events would not attract any Russian or even German immigrants.

Representatives of the Green Party noted that the object of the event is not to politicize sports. Huhta was criticized for his choice of words which allegedly have been harsh also before, for instance he is said to use the word “beard-child” to speak about Muslims. Afterwards Huhta commented that has nothing against anyone playing any sports, and actually sports would do good to Finns as well.

In Germany, a new wave of demonstrations against Muslims and refugees

A new alliance called “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the occident” (PEGIDA), have initiated demonstrations in the city of Dresden.

PEGIDA on a Monday "evening walk" in Dresden, November 10, 2014. (Image source: Filmproduktionen video screenshot)
PEGIDA on a Monday “evening walk” in Dresden, November 10, 2014. (Image source: Filmproduktionen video screenshot)

According to police authorities, more than 5000 people participated at the demonstrations. These demonstrations mark a further wave of protests against Muslim immigrants and refugees after the right-wing initiative “Hooligans against Salafists” (HoGeSa), which were demonstrating in Hannover and Cologne last month.

Nathan Lean: The Islamophobia Industry Strikes in Kansas

Just like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Republican Governor Sam Brownback had a feeling he was not in Kansas anymore. At least not the Kansas that he once knew. His Sunflower State was teeming with unfamiliar creatures and though not tin-men or scarecrows or wicked witches, they were nonetheless outsiders and were apparently so unsettling that a law was required to prevent their influence: They were Muslims.
Last Friday, Brownback signed a bill prohibiting local courts from relying on sharia, or Islamic law, as well as other non-U.S. laws when making decisions. The fact that such a thing had never occurred in the Midwestern wheat capital did not matter. The bill was approved in a landslide vote: 33-1 in the Senate and 120-0 in the House.
Like other similar bills in 20 states, including recently enacted laws in Arizona, Louisiana and Tennessee, the blueprint for the controversial Kansas legislation comes from a familiar and influential source: a growing right-wing network of anti-Muslim fear mongers. They are the Islamophobia industry and laws such as this are hallmark achievements in their quest to frighten the American population about a minority group they view with great suspicion and scorn.
Spencer and Geller co-founded Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) in 2010, an American offshoot of Stop the Islamization of Europe (SIOE), a hate group that the European Union calls a “neo-Nazi organization.” They also led the protests in 2010 to the Park51 Community Center (remember the Ground Zero Mosque?) in New York City. Yerushalmi and Gaffney serve as their legal counsel. When the Kansas bill was signed, Geller reacted with her usual flamboyance: “U Da Best,” she wrote. “What a disaster defeat for Hamas-CAIR,” she added.

National Front Party gains Ground on Anti-Islamization Platform

Upcoming French regional elections are marked by a particularly incendiary campaign poster that targets the so-called “Islamization” of France. Ahead of the first round of French regional elections, much of the talk on the airwaves is about the drubbing President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party is expected to receive in the polls. But the far-right National Front party has also managed to cause debate – with a new campaign poster featuring the Algerian flag, a veiled woman, and half a dozen minarets shooting out of a map of France. The tagline – “No to Islamism” – apparently targets extreme manifestations of the Muslim religion.

In a recent campaign speech, the National Front’s 81-year-old leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, denounced mosques that were “growing like mushrooms” in France. Le Pen said the poster was not against Islam and Algeria but against Islamism – and the fact French youth of North African-origin do not appear to be patriotic. The Algerian government has protested against the campaign poster – as has a Swiss advertising agency, which claims the National Front plagiarized from its campaign for a minaret ban in Switzerland. Rights and anti-discrimination groups like SOS Racisme and the Representative Council of Black Associations have also expressed outrage.

The integration of Islamic people

Giovanni Sartori, considered one of the most important political scientists specializing in the study of comparative politics in Italy and internationally, has suggested that Islam is impossible to integrate.

He gives historical examples to support his thesis: the Moghul Empire that dominated India from the XV century for two hundred years, the recent Islamization of Turkey and Indonesia, all demonstrate that Islam, unlike Buddism (considered pacific and “pacioso”) and Induism ( polytheistic, hence more open to diversity) is a theocratic monotheism, that has just reborn and inflamed.

For this reason, as shown by the English and French case, trying to integrate Muslims by “Italianizing” them is a political mistake that Italy doesn’t have to make.

Dutch anti-Islam politician Wilders plans new film

Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders says that he plans to make a sequel to his anti-Islamic film Fitna, that sparked protests and condemnation from Muslims and others last spring. Wilders said in a Dutch interview, that the sequel would likely come out next year, and that it will be different from ‘Fitna.’ His new film will apparently focus on the threat of Islam and the impact of “Islamization” on Europe and the United States, and cover such issues as the freedom of speech.

Wilders is being prosecuted in the Netherlands for his anti-Islam remarks, and was barred from entering Britain and attending a British showing of ‘Fitna’ earlier this year.

Vlaams Belang carries out anti-mosque protest in Sint-Janswijk

About 250 protesters participated in an anti-mosque protest organized by Vlaams Belang in Sint-Janswijk. The right wing political party protested against the recognition of the Attakwa mosque in the neighborhood.

While the protest was mostly without incident, one person was arrested after trying to throw a jar of white paint on Vlaams Belang leader Filip Dewinter; the politician, who recently introduced his new book “Inshallah,” was not hurt. Dewinter’s book is a plea against what he calls the Islamization of Flanders.

Freedom of religion should be given to orthodox Muslims

Ahmed Marcouch, chairman of the Amsterdam neighborhood of Slotervaart, said that Dutch politics and society should give orthodox Muslims space to practice their faith, and subsequently, show that the values of freedom of religion are high on their agenda. According to Marcouch, freedom of religion in modern society is demonstrated by its connection with the orthodox believer. Marcouch added that politicians who are afraid of Islamization are mistaken, and that the opposite is taking place – the Dutchification of Islam.

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Anger at Europe’s far right ‘anti-Islam’ conference

A German far right group has stirred Muslim anger worldwide by holding a three-day “Anti-Islamisation Conference” to protest against the construction of mosques and Muslim immigration.

Prominent members of Europe’s far right, including French “Front National” leader Jean-Marie le Pen and Belgian far-right politician Filip Dewinter, have said they will attend the meeting in Cologne which is aimed at forging a European alliance against “Islamisation.” The conference will include a rally in the centre of Cologne tomorrow which police say could lead to clashes with left-wing groups that plan a counter-demonstration. Trade unions, churches and other groups have also announced plans to protest against the conference. The conference organiser is a local protest group called “Pro-Cologne” which campaigned against the city’s recent decision to allow the construction of a large new mosque with two 55-metre tall minarets. Around 330,000 immigrants live in Cologne, about a third of the city’s population. “Mosques are shooting out of the ground like mushrooms, the muezzin call and headscarves are flooding our streets,” Pro-Cologne said on its website. It said 150 “politicians and publicists” from all over Europe and 1,500 other participants will attend the conference at which it plans to launch a petition “against the Islamisation of our cities”. The meeting has drawn fierce criticism from German politicians and city leaders in Cologne. The premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Juergen Ruettgers, said: “Those who abuse the cosmopolitan and democratic city of Cologne as a meeting place for right-wing radicals are against tolerance, against reconciliation, against humanity.” David Crossland reports.

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Anti-Islam rally canceled

Police in Germany canceled an anti-Islam rally scheduled for Saturday amid safety concerns after leftists clashed with police, officials said. The rally in Cologne was called to protest a decision by local authorities to allow the construction of a mosque with a high dome and minarets, Deustche Welle reported. Rally organizers had invited nationalist groups from across Europe to join the “Stop Islam” rally to fight what it called the “Islamization and immigration invasion” of Germany and Europe, the newspaper reported. The rally was canceled after leftists occupied a city square set aside for the rightists to use for their protest. They clashed with riot police, the newspaper reported. “The rally has been canceled,” a police spokesman said. “The safety of our Cologne people has priority.”

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