It’s all the Finns fault.
They took them in, gave them affordable or even free housing, healthcare, and a monthly check, schooled their kids and makes considerable efforts to ensure that they are able to enter into the private marketplace.
The op-ed (at least the chosen pieces by Yle) appears to address Muslim community failings, but upon a closer reading, it’s yet another finger pointing exorcize by a Muslim writer at the host society, with barely anything said of the Muslim community’s own responsibility in ensuring complete assimilation (which doesn’t mean losing one’s own ethnic pride) into Finnish society. The Jews have done it, the Tartars as well, hosts of Americans, (myself included) as well as other ethnic groups have succeeded also.
NOTE: If you’re fleeing a failed state, it’s of no use trying to implement the very same culture responsible for the hell hole you’re fleeing, let alone trying to force that failed culture on the rest of us.
The media in Finland have recently been focusing on a young Muslim man from Espoo who joined the extremist organisation now known as the Islamic State. The organisation used to be Al Qaeda and has managed to attract jihadists from around the world, including Finland, to fight in Iraq.
A few years ago I produced a programme entitled “Somalis’ Nordic Nightmare“. I examined the background of recruitment practices by extremist organisations in Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
Marginalisation a common factor
I found one common factor throughout: marginalization among young Muslims. Some of our young people have fallen through the cracks between two cultures. They cannot live up to society’s expectations and many don’t even have a safety net growing up.
These young people face an identity crisis, and this makes them an easy target for recruitment into terrorist groups like IS and Al Shabaab (a militant extremist group based in Somalia and allied to Al Qaeda). However social exclusion alone doesn’t explain how a young man born and living a peaceful life in Espoo would be moved to take up arms.
And he’s not the only one. Dozens of Finnish Muslims have left to fight in Syria, Iraq and Somalia.
So what’s wrong? The truth is that these young people need help from the authorities. It’s also true that the authorities also need help from the Muslim community.
In Finland we talk about young people falling through the cracks, young people facing marginalisation, but who belong to the majority population.
Muslim community needs to act
What if that young person were to hear all his life, “You’re different.” or “You don’t belong here” ? How easy would it be to radicalise that individual?
In just a few years Finland has exported tens of jihadists to Iraq, Syria and Somalia. It’s high time that we, the Muslim community, looked in the mirror.
It can’t be that our young people are constantly being recruited while we know nothing about it.
It’s precisely the Muslim community that should be looking to find out how our young people are being radicalized, who’s doing it and where it’s happening. Our religious leaders in particular, our imams, should take better care of our youth.
Islam doesn’t condone hurting others. It’s high time that we build the kind of society where young people won’t go off to fight pointless wars.
Wali Hashi is a freelance journalist.
NOTE II: Wrong, Islam does in fact condone the hurting of others, big time, as we see in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere around the Levant and the world. Your kids are going off to be jihadis because they’ve read the koran and heard the edicts based upon solid koranic readings. Lying to the readers is the big indicator that you’re more of an Islamic apologist than a ”liberal” Muslim writer.