The Helsingin Sanomat writes in last Sunday’s edition of the paper an article that gives a somewhat composite drawing of Islamic life in Finland, which is basically concentrated in the areas of Helsinki and Turku. It’s not perfect, but it’s worth reading. Please do pay attention to the converts and to others born in Finland who have no attachement to the Finnish identity, and towards the end, where the Finnish Security Police makes a rather startling statement that shows the level of the stupefying naivety that exists in Finnish law enforcement. Thanks to Kumitonttu for the H/T. KGS
By Tommi Nieminen
The depth of the devotion of 23-year-old Hunde Assefa is apparent just looking at him, as he walks with his veiled wife and four-year-old son on the street. Hunde has a thin beard, he is dressed in white, and on his head he has a Muslim cap. This indicates that he is more devout than his average co-religionists in Finland.Hunde was born in the late 1980s in Finland, and has lived here his whole life. But when he is asked about his identity, he does not emphasise his Finnishness.“My primary identity is that of a Muslim. In other respects I am international. My roots are in Ethiopia, I was born in Finland, and I have attended international schools”, he says.Hunde could also be called a second-generation immigrant. The members of his family were originally Ethiopian Christians. Hunde converted to Islam six years, so it is no wonder that he is very religious, as converts often tend to be.Hunde was 18 years old when he accepted Allah into his life. One reason for this is that as a teenager he spent much time with Somali immigrants.“It was during comprehensive school that the development of a foreign identity began. When Somalis and other foreigners started coming to Finland, there was no doubt that I belonged to them.”Hunde is a young man who weighs his words carefully. He adheres to the teachings the fairly conservative Shafi’i school of Islamic law, and he follows Sufism, which focuses on the purification of the soul.“When a person prays five times a day at certain times, it brings order into life.”During the day Hunde works sorting mail at the Itella postal centre. At the weekends he teaches the Koran to children in Malmi, and studies for the entrance examinations to the Aalto University. The rest of his time he spends with his family.Hunde does not follow Western popular culture: “The lyrics of popular music are what they are. I don’t watch much TV either, as it affects the soul.”If things go well, Hunde will attend an Islamic university some day. For instance, there is an interesting school in Yemen – the moderate Dar Al Mustafa.“Many students from the West have gone there. When they have returned they have done many good things in their communities.” (TT: Read= Muslim propaganda or Dawa)There are at least 45,000 Muslims in Finland. Most of them are Sunni. There are only a few thousand Shia in Finland. Most have arrived after the early 1990s. First came Somalis, then Iraqis, Kosovars, and Afghanis. A small Tatar minority settled in Finland already in the late 19th century.Now many of the children of Muslims who immigrated to Finland in recent decades have grown up. Some of them have become secularised and Westernised, while many live very devout lives dedicated to Islam. But what kind of an Islam do they believe in?