The A2 islam-ilta television debate Tuesday will reveal once again white Finnish ethnocentrism, how poorly we know our laws and, what’s important, how poorly we accept people who are different from us. Is the Finnish media giving once again racists inflated respectability and importance?
Will the A2 debate improve or undermine the situation of Muslims in Finland?
How many immigrants, or Finnish Muslims, won’t get hired tomorrow because of the program? How many will be attacked physically and psychologically? How many viewers’ Islamophobia and bravado will the program reinforce? How much self-esteem will it chip away from a child or adolescent who goes to school tomorrow and gets bullied because of his or her ethnic or religious background?
Why should anyone justify his or her religion and right to live in Finland? Why should we give a forum to those who demand such justifications? It’s absurd.
Would we want to have a debate on television why women should go back to the kitchen and serve men?
What can you expect from YLE if the nature of the beast is what it is? How does Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen give a sense of security to minorities in Finland when she openly victimizes and labels non-Christians, plays down ethnic profiling by the police, considers homosexuality to be an illness and drags her feet on family reunification?
Sometimes you wonder about Räsänen’s and that of other Finns’ statements. But mark my words, it’s the face of intolerance staring right back at us loud and clear.
Our problem is acknowledge it as such.