Finnish Minister of Immigration, Astrid Thor wants “quick legislative changes to make the country more welcoming to foreigners“. That Finland needs foreigners to fill vacant jobs as well as creating new jobs is not something that I see as worrisome. Being an immigrant myself, I would support such a measure that would be beneficial for both the new immigrant and the host state.
I however take the position that its not wise for the state to open up its borders for “any or all immigrants” seeking a permanent residence in Finland on the sole basis that “the person/s wants to move here”. One of the main considerations that must be addressed when reviewing prospective candidates for immigration, is the country one is emigrating from.
If the prospective immigrant doesn’t hail from a traditional democratic pluralistic society (this obviously does not automatically exclude the candidate), the host state has the right to question whether the immigrant fully understands what a liberal democracy is, how it functions ect., and his/her responsibilities as an individual within the host society. Does the immigrant understand human/civil rights and respect the pluralism that the host society affords? Does the state intend to demand a mandatory civics course for all potential candidates that are being evaluated?
Both the immigrant and the host state bear a shared responsibility in helping the other ensure a successful integration into society, with the relationship being reasonably compared to a “two way street”. There is absolutely no doubt over the immense problems Finland’s neighbors are experiencing due to their “open door” immigration policies. For an example, many Muslim immigrant communities in Scandinavia have built for themselves enclaves that refuse the values of the host society, so much so that a French female politician had to meet with an enclave’s leader “outside” the town itself in order not to offend.
The article mentions:
“Yusuf Kart, a Kurdish immigrant who runs a restaurant at Helsinki’s Caisa international cultural centre. He has lived in Finland for 10 years, but says he still does not really feel at home. Kart applied for Finnish citizenship two years ago, but has not gotten any response from the authorities.”
I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with Yusuf Kart’s potential citizenship or any other Muslim (or non-Muslim for that matter), as long as he truly identifies with the value system in place in Finland’s democratic society. These are the tough questions our politicians, academics and media must be asking themselves when they delve into the subject of immigration. If someone’s religion or ideology holds the potential for subverting the democratic pluralistic foundations of the host society, is that person the logical choice candidate?
Again, I have repeated this time and again, that the Finnish Tartars (Sufi branch of Islam) have proven that moderate Islam can indeed become a functional, practical ingredient in a modern day pluralistic democracy. Not unlike the Jews who immigrated to Finland around the same time in the late 1800’s –when Finland was an autonomous Russian Duchovy– the Tartars consider themselves to be Finns first and Muslims second, and became fully intergrated citizens while keeping their customs and traditions. We should expect no less from future immigrants. *L* KGS