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Condemnation of racism turns out racist-flavoured?

The True Finns Party's declaration in late May condemning racism was partially aimed at themselves, says professor of constitutional law Tuomas Ojanen of the University of Helsinki.

Image: YLE

The statement penned by MP Jussi Halla-Aho would prohibit the positive aspects of special treatment as well as racism.

“The issue here is reaching true equality between people. We’re trying to improve the conditions of people who are in a weaker position due to discrimination and put them on an equal footing with us,” Professor Ojanen says, defining positive special treatment.

According to Ojanen, the kind of special treatment condemned by the True Finns’ declaration is upheld by the Finnish constitution, as well as international human rights agreements. It is also known as affirmative action.

“It comes with very strict constraints and is also temporary. For example, when women’s position at the workplace has improved, then it [special treatment regarding women] should end,” the professor explains.

"Racist undertones"

He wonders also why the True Finns condemned only discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin, religion, language and culture.

“Why focus on these, but ignore the generally condemned discrimination on the basis of gender or age? I think there are some racist undertones apparent there,” Ojanen says.

Ojanen suspects that many of the True Finns members who signed the declaration did not comprehend the full meaning its creator, the outspoken academic and blogger Halla-Aho, put into it.

“But the one who penned this declaration was driving at a very specific idea,” Ojanen suggests.

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