Via Helsingin Sanomat:
Muslim prayers begin on the ground floor of the Lieksa workers’ hall, where a room has been converted into a mosque. Pieces of tape on the rugs indicate the direction of Mecca. it is the harsh October weather that keeps the turnout low. There are about 20 people there now; on the busiest days up to 90 people will show up.
The popularity of the mosque, which opened in the summer, has not gone unnoticed in the small North Karelian town. With its population of just over 12,500, the number of asylum seekers who have been granted residence permits has rapidly risen to about 220. Most of them are from Somalia.
The proportion of approved asylum seekers is much lower than in Helsinki, for instance, but especially the appearance of Somalis in the community has led to a major heightening of tensions.
The most serious incident between immigrants and local people occurred during the weekend when a Somali was stabbed, and a native local resident suffered cuts. Two local native Finns have been arrested and one immigrant has been detained.
The Chief of Police of North Karelia, Kai Markkula, is worried.