Like I’ve been saying on Twitter, this is not going to be an exercise in real hard-hitting journalism.
My guess, he’s Hussein al-Taee has already been giving a ballpark understanding on what the line of questioning is going to take place, and the idea is for him and CMI to get over this. He’ll say that “I made a mistake in my youth, and I’m sorry for it”. He’ll promise that he won’t do it again and leaves the audience with the feeling that “all is forgiven.”
Yle readies the audience with Hussein’s “heartfelt pleas” right before interviewing him tonight.
Member of Parliament Hussein al-Taee admits screenshots of Facebook posts as authentic: “I have no words for the shame I now feel”
The SDP’s al-Taee says in his blog that he has written in a disparaging tone about Jews and homosexuals, among others. Al-Taee is interviewed in this evening’s A-studio.
The recent member of the SDP, the peace negotiator Hussein al-Taee, who has become public in his old Facebook writings, has opened his blog (to go to another service).
In his blog, he says he has visited the screenshots again.
“I can say they are, unfortunately, authentic,” he writes.
“I have no words to shame, which I now know about the prejudices, thoughts and language I have used for homosexuals, Jews, Sunneas, Somalis, or other groups of people.”
Al-Taee apologizes for not having previously acknowledged this.
“I was stupidly because I wanted to press this part of the past.” After the old posts I was ashamed and I had no right words to explain the background from which they came. It has been a mistake because it is those experiences that have taught me a lot about the need for peace building.
Al-Taee emphasizes in its text that he does not accept discrimination against any group of people or hatred for any group. He tells in a long-standing blog about what things have led him to his young opinions.
Al-Taee says that he has taken a different approach to homosexuals, Jews and gender equality, for example. He says he grew up in a very conservative environment. Yle
Conflict resolution organisation the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) has removed mention of former employee Social Democrat MP Hussein al-Taee from its website, according to a report in political news publication Verkkouutiset. Al-Taee has also removed references to CMI from his Twitter profile.
CMI was founded by Nobel laureate and former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari in 2000 and al-Taee became a newly-elected MP in Finland’s recent general election.
CMI’s and Al-Taee’s deletions appear to have taken place shortly after a Jerusalem Post article headlined ”Finnish MP under fire for comparing Israel to Isis” was published on Sunday.
In the article, Dr Efraim Zuroff, the head of the Jerusalem office of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, told the Jerusalem Post that al-Taee is ”obviously an antisemite” referring to several different social media posts by al-Taee.
Facebook posts cause controversy
Earlier this month Finnish news agency STT reported that in 2014, al-Taee made controversial statements in Facebook posts about the situation in the Middle East, suggesting that Israel and the US had trained Isis terrorists.
Responding to STT, al-Taee said, ”I want to apologise for equating Israel and Isis because that comment was simply stupid and does not represent my values in any way.”
Yle reported on al-Taee’s comments last week when the newly-elected SDP MP came under scrutiny over contentious Facebook posts and his then-employer CMI said it stood behind al-Taee.
According to Verkkouutiset, a political publication owned by the National Coalition Party, CMI’s director Tuija Talvitie said that she was contacted by the Jerusalem Post by email after the paper published its article about al-Taee on Sunday. She reportedly said that the CMI condemns any inappropriate or degrading comments about any ethnic, religious, national or other groups.
Verkkouutiset reported that according to CMI’s Twitter feed, the reason that al-Taee’s name is no longer on the website is because he started working as an MP last Tuesday and no longer worked for the conflict resolution group.