Just recently, in the northern court of Oulu, Finland, newly elected Finns party MP, Sebastian Tynkkynen was found guilty of “hate speech” for equating Islam with terrorism. According to the court, the Finns party MP had committed a terrible crime for “linking Islam and terrorism in both images and words” on his Facebook page.
In a post that the court had later ordered removed from his FB page- Tynkkynen wrote: “they have one thing in common: they all serve Allah.” A photo of ISIS terrorists accompanied it. The prosecution insisted that The Finns lawmaker had conflated jihadist terrorism with that of Muslims and Islam. The court agreed.
In its reading of the verdict, the court deemed Tynkkynen’s 2016 postings on both Facebook and Instagram to be:
“Deliberate, racist, and disparaging hate speech generally directed at all Muslims, and likely to incite contempt and even hatred based on religious intolerance toward the Islamic community.”
The court went on to note that:
“The connection between the image and the text he drafted is so substantial that the public would have understood it to mean that all Muslims are terrorists. The prosecutor demanded Tynkkynen to pay a 60-day penalty totaling to 4000 Euros.”
The lawmaker intends on appealing the court’s decision.
This verdict is yet another example of Finnish courts insisting that truth is not a proper defense. A cursory look in the koran and the most respected hadiths in Sunni Islam will provide enough proof to show that Islam does not show disdain for the use of terror.
Here are some easily found verses:
- Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.
- Quran (8:12) – “(Remember) when your Lord inspired the angels… “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”
- Sahih Bukhari (52:220) – Allah’s Apostle said… ‘I have been made victorious with terror
Sebastian Tynkkynen’s conviction is reminiscent of the Finnish state’s case against Jussi Halla-aho in 2008. At the time, it was the first high-profile prosecution that I was aware of, in which the state took upon itself to take offense for the Islamic community. It was also the first time I noticed a Finnish court not allowing truth to be a factor in a case. Back then, it was over a blog-post describing the disparities in the Finnish justice system. The author was Jussi Halla-aho, a private citizen at the time, who was seeking clarity on what could be said in Finland, and most importantly, by whom.
Halla-aho picked three separate instances in which various local news outlets had generalized Finnish society in disparaging ways. He queried the state prosecutor, Mika Illman, as to whether he could speak of minority groups similarly. The state prosecuted him for the examples he provided, though he insisted in the piece that they were not facts nor his opinions. The truth about Halla-aho’s intentions was dismissed by the court in their finding him guilty for saying something that he didn’t even believe. The Finnish state convicted him for making a point.
Fast forward to today.
The court’s verdict against Sebastian Tynkkynen for linking Islam with terrorism proves that the Finnish justice system is being consistent. In case after case, courts have rejected defendants’ intentions as well as truthful facts as a legitimate defense in these types of cases. They have suspended both reason and rational thinking in the pursuit of upholding public policies that violate free speech norms.
In Tynkkynen’s 2016 conviction for defamation of an ethnic group, he pleaded in a statement to the court before they read his verdict:
“In warning about Islam, how else can one write about Islam?”
The state’s answer has been given, under no circumstance can an individual give a highly critical statement about Islam, regardless of how factual it might be, without facing criminal proceedings.
With over 2000 cases of child sex abuse still waiting to be investigated, the state prosecutor’s office in Oulu, decided to investigate Sebastian Tynkkynen for ‘hate speech’. This is something that the embattled Finns MP brought up in a telephone conversation with the Oulu police. It’s still online.
“Think about how sick Finnish society is becoming? Immigration critical opinions are being investigated by the state, but rape investigations of small children can be put on hold.”
It is clear where the Finnish state is placing all of its concerns, and it is not with the people of Finland.