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Finns Party juniors: Cartoon competition about Islam to defend freedom of speech

The youth arm of the Finns Party has launched cartoon competition about Islam in support of free speech. The group said on its website that “in light of recent events the subject is naturally Islam”.

Perussuomalaisten logo.
Image: Toni Pitkänen / Yle

The Finns Party youth wing announced Tuesday that it was organising a cartoon competition to support freedom of speech. The subject of the contest was set to be Islam, “in light of recent events”, the group said, referring to the terrorist attacks in France last week that left 17 people dead.

“We are worried about the state of freedom of speech in Finland and Europe. The Islamist attacks against a magazine over caricatures have put many other publications on their toes. It is outrageous to limit press freedom and freedom of speech with threats of violence” said Sebastian Tynkkynen, newly-appointed editor in chief of the youth wing’s Rahvas magazine.

According to Tynkkynen the furore over a Danish caricature of Mohammed in 2005 was a warning signal to the west, but it was written off as an isolated incident.

“This shouldn’t be done. We must take action to preserve freedom of speech, and to show the terrorists that the use of violence is futile and that it will turn against them,” Tynkkynen added.

The Finns Party youths are also challenging other political youth organisation publications to circulate their own cartoons or to use the comic strips created by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in their next issues.

The Rahvas competition is open to all members of the public and promises the winner a 200-euro prize along with a chance to see their cartoon on the cover of the magazine.

The Islam-themed cartoon competition was first reported by Verkkouutiset, the official organ of the National Coalition Party.

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