Finland: Gov't unveils site on immigration

Finland: Gov't unveils site on immigration

Finland’s Ministry of the Interior has unveiled a new internet site aimed at promoting facts and discussion on issues relating to immigration. Questions and articles on the subject can be posted on the site. However, the site does not have a discussion forum.

Project Co-Ordinator, Nexhat Beqiri, emphasizes the site is open to all those interested on the subject of immigration. Site administrators want to give a boost to factual and serious debate and information on the issue. Contributors can post articles in their own name.

”We want to get away from an ‘us and them’ position as well as from preaching and guilt attitudes,” Beqiri adds.

The site is part of a wider project organised by Finland, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Holland and Ireland.


The new site has a whole section about Islam, with one article in English:

The public debate about immigrants in Finland seems to concentrate on religious issues, especially on the impact of Islam on Finnish culture. According to Aho, Mustakiven ala-aste does not appear to experience much racial or religious tension among the children, even though she admits that every once in a while there are conflicts of such nature. "But not all problems in the school are racially based," she points out.

The school has zero tolerance to racism and violence of any kind. Mari Aho has observed, though, that immigrant children easily play the race card if a solution to a conflict does not go in their favour or if a teacher rebukes the child. Children of immigrant background are also generally more temperamental, she says.

There are reports that in some Finnish schools children from Moslem families are not allowed to take part in school activities such as singing and dancing, which are considered religious. Not in Mustakiven ala-aste. Most children participate in all school festivals and it is very rare to have children sitting on the sidelines because of religious reasons.


Sources: YLE (English)

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