Anjem Choudary a British-born spokesman for Islam4UK visited Finland recently where he spoke at an undisclosed location. As the name of the organization suggests, Choudary advocates for the implementation of Sharia law in the UK.
The coverage of Choudary's visit in the Finnish media was predictable. Mikael Pentikainen, the editor-in-chief of the largest Finnish daily simply tweeted that Choudary is a clown. By calling him a clown, Pentikainen conveniently ignored the content and ideas espoused by the man.
Unlike the mass demonstrations following any Israeli military operation, no rallies were organized in the country’s capital Helsinki to protest Choudary’s visit. The Finnish left, in its bottomless hypocrisy, is largely uninterested in what Islamists like Choudary think of women or sexual minorities.
The Finnish newspapers tend to ignore or, at best, mock men like Choudary, without asking the obvious questions: why such a man continues to draw crowds wherever he goes and why hasn't anyone from the 50,000 strong Finnish Muslim community come out in condemnation of Choudary?
According to a poll conducted in 2006, four out of ten British Muslims want Sharia law introduced in the UK, while one fifth of the respondents expressed sympathy for the feelings and motives of the perpetrators of the 7/7 terrorist attack in London.
In light of the views of British Muslims and the significant segments that are supportive of terrorism and totalitarian legal systems such as the Sharia, why is the Finnish press convinced that Choudary’s views find no support among Finland’s Muslim community? Does the Finnish press know more about domestic terrorist activities than the country’s secret police, which in 2011 said that terrorism was now a real threat in Finland?
Finnish journalists are notoriously famous for their inability to ask tough questions. Indeed, if they were to take Islamists seriously they would immediately embark on a serious journey to investigate what Finnish Muslims think of Choudary’s views and thus put an end to frivolous reporting, void of any seriousness.
In the UK many Muslim groups have condemned Choudary as a dangerous extremist, but unlike Britain’s heterogeneous population with a wide-array of opinions, Finnis Muslims and journalists have no such excuse. If the country’s relatively small, but rapidly growing Muslim community is unwilling to condemn Choudary, then why should the press automatically assume that Finnish Muslims do not support Choudary? Moreover, where are the op-eds by Finnish Muslims to declare Choudary a persona non grata?
The problem with Finland is its uniformity of thought. Dissenting voices can only be heard from a selected few from the backbenches of the country’s parliament or in the blogosphere because the country’s largest newspapers are uninterested in investigative reporting.