If there is a big divide and mistrust between the media and the Muslim community it was exposed by a scoop the tabloid ilta-Sanomat on a secret “mosque” in a Helsinki nursery. Throughout the years, some Muslim imams and other members of the community have expressed apprehension of the Finnish media.
For those who may not know, Finland has only one mosque built in the 1940s located in Järvenpää, a short drive north of Helsinki. All the rest of these mosques without a minaret are, in fact, prayer rooms.
Finland’s only mosque with a minaret is located in Järvenpää and was built in the 1940s. Source: Helsingin Sanomat.
True, some Muslims call prayer rooms mosques.
The story about the mosque awoke Finland’s Islamophobic hardliners like Interior Minister Mari Rantanen, Justice Minister Leena Meri, Minister Wille Rydman, MPs like Atte Kaleva, Joakim Vigelius, never mind the thousands of hostile comments on social media.
All of these politicians and ministers had something bad to say about the mosque and Maher and exposed their hypocrisy.
Read the full story (in Finnish) here.
We shouldn’t be surprised the these hostile comments came mostly from the Islamophobic PS and National Coalition Party.
If the ongoing hostile comments are anything to go by, it shows that any meaningful dialogue between some sectors of Finnish society and the Muslim community is light years away.
Rejection by the media and certain politicians of Muslims ensures that nothing will change.