Finland: Being Muslim and Finnish
The article starts off by saying that the youth discussed military conscription, Muslim relations with other religions and with the Finnish government, but doesn't really tell us what was said about those issues.
Muslim youth in Turku, in southwest Finland, discussed what it means to be Finnish and Muslim in Finland on Independence Day this year. The Finnish Islamic Council (SINE) organised the event for around 100 youth.
Among other topics, they discussed military conscription, Muslim relations with other religions and with the Finnish government.
Many youth expressed gratitude for democracy in Finland.
”I come from Iraq. I hope from the bottom of my heart that Iraqis would have a similar lifestyle to Finns,” says Alkate Neriman.
”Of course Independence Day is as important to us as it is for mainstream Finns,” says Abdirizak Hagi who moved to Finland from Somalia as a small child.
According to the council, being Finnish and Muslim can go hand in hand. The organisation says it is important for Muslims to participate in decision-making.
”They are citizens of this country so they should be part of the decision-making process, just like all other Finns. That is the way for Muslims to try to improve society, just like everyone else does,” says Anas Hajjar, the deputy chair of the council.
According to the youth, Finnish Muslims generally have a good life in Finland. However, they say there is room for improvement. For example, discrimination is still a daily struggle for many. Muslim women's dress can often lead to stereotyping.
Source: YLE (English)