Islam Al-Nassar Column: Who Pays The Price of Turku?

Islam Al-Nassar is a student from Tampere. He is involved in youth politics with the National Coalition Party and stood in the 2017 local council elections.

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Memorial flowers and candles in Turku / Credit: @turkukaupunki instagram

I was in Helsinki on the beginning of July, attending a political camp that taught participants more about politics, and also how to improve our skills to become better politicians.

We visited several different ministries like the treasury, and justice. We talked with their staff and the State Secretaries and the discussions usually revolved around the same topics.

One of topic rose above all. Yes, national security, and whether the government and law enforcement can keep us safe from the likes of the terror threats happening around the globe, and particularly in Europe. 

One of the people we met said that in Finland, an attack is almost unavoidable, all that matters is how we respond.

The knife attack in Turku in August was a cowardly act that targeted women and children. There’s some irony that the same kind of immigrants were the ones who put themselves in front of the blade to try to protect the victims. The Finnish police did a great job of catching him afterwards.

Also I think this was the first time the attacker was caught and not killed instantly. By killing him they would have put him out of his misery, but now he will have to face the chargers and also be in jail for the rest of his life. Or so we hope so.

I think the laws in Finland are too easy for criminals, partly because Finns have not had to deal with terrorism before. I think we should approve some kind of tough new “Anti-Terror Law” with harsher penalties.

A friend of mine from Morocco was furious when I asked his thoughts about the Turku incident. He said he wished he had been there, to beat the living shit out of the attacker [who was also from Morocco]. 

I know, now you might be thinking if he did that, what would be the difference between us and them? That’s true. But that was just my friend’s opinion, and his way of reacting to what happened.

For me, I try to look for a more diplomatic approach like how could we stop these kind of acts in the future, and no, I’m not saying we should close our borders.

However, we should be clear about who is here, and who is coming here. The funny thing about this whole Turku incident is that it involves a guy who believes in something that’s beyond our westerns imagination. But it’s us, the western Arabs who have to pay for his actions.

But hey isn’t that the price of a free country? Suffer a bit of racism and enjoy freedoms?

Many people that came to Finland as an immigrant might be too shy to demand their rights as Finnish citizens. But not me. I am a Finnish guy with an Iraqi background, who was also born and raised here. And I have the ‘audacity’ to demand my rights.

We must take on this challenge together, and not as a divided country. Who pays the price? Well, we all do together.