The following article about immigration and “asylum” was written by Jussi Halla-aho and posted on his website back in 2005. Many thanks to our Finnish correspondent Heikki Polojärvi for the translation.
Thoughts about the migration of peoples
by Jussi Halla-aho
April 20, 2005
A group of Iranians and Iraqis requested sanctuary in Australia. In order to forward their cause they converted to Christianity. I don’t believe that any local would have urged them to act this way. I assume they merely acted in the way that would be considered normal in Iran and Iraq. The asylum-seekers announced that in their homelands they are now threatened with a death sentence, for they have forsaken Islam. On this basis they should be granted asylum.
In the actions of the asylum-seekers there is nothing amazing or worthy of reproach. An individual has interests that he tries to forward any way he can. The interest of an asylum-seeker is entrance to a Western country, and squeezing through loopholes in the legislation and appealing to the caring instinct of Westerners serve this interest. The amazing thing is that the Western countries are bulging with intellectuals in whose opinion a fatwa gained by a calculated conversion to Christianity is a valid basis for granting asylum, and that the Australian taxpayers are now responsible for the asylum-seekers’ security, instead of the asylum-seekers themselves who, with their actions, have so disparaged both their own religion and Christianity, and instead of the governments of Iran and Iraq that of course have the option to not kill their Islam-forsaking citizens.
The exploitation of international agreements on refugees, as well as national legislation (such as the fundraising tours of the middle-European gypsies or the repeated renewal of asylum applications based on “changed” circumstances in Sweden) spoils all the rationale behind those agreements and legislation. With their actions the asylum tourists make a large part of basically tolerant Westerners to forget that there are real refugees in the world: people who are actually persecuted because of their opinions, birth etc. It would be possible to secure the position of the real refugees if the Westerners themselves would adequately react to money collectors, i.e. keep them out or urgently remove those who accidentally got in.
Unfortunately some of us have found a way to make a living (or at least some good vibrations or points for the hereafter) by supporting the freeloaders’ cause. There’s always someone to cry out that again not a single Slovakian gypsy was granted asylum. If there are a hundred asylum-seekers (who don’t fulfil the criteria defined by international legislation), which one should be granted asylum? If it were granted to one, on what basis should it not be granted to the rest of them? If one is granted asylum on the basis of being Romanian gypsy and gypsies have a miserable time in Slovakia, the same basis would apply to all Slovakian gypsies. Should every Slovakian gypsy be granted asylum in Finland or not?
Recently it has been claimed that foreigners have to exploit the asylum procedure, because there is no way to enter Europe legally. This is, of course, true. It is true in the same sense that if minors were readily allowed in a nightclub they would have no need for fake identification. If a goldsmith were to leave his jewellery in front of the door for anyone to take, there would be need for anyone who would like to have that jewellery (but unwilling to pay for it) to acquire illegal weapons or enter the shop to scare the personnel.
I cannot understand what kind of a subjective right an African or an Iranian would have to enter Finland and that I, as a Finn, would be obliged to arrange the means for them to enter the country. Illegal immigration would end by declaring all immigration legal, but similar reasoning says that all crime will end by declaring everything permissible. Quite few people, regardless of all the pretty speeches, are ready to push all doors wide open, because it is well known (although saying it is strictly verboten), that the avalanche of hundreds of millions of willing immigrants from Africa and Asia would destroy everything we value, which is what those immigrants would be coming for. Along with themselves they would bring whatever they were fleeing from in the first place, i.e. Africa and Asia. Or does anyone seriously believe that the well-being of people in Iceland or Greenland (or outside Europe, Japan or Canada), is due to ideal climate or soil?
Some people have the illusion that refugees as a group resist oppression (otherwise they would not be fleeing), and therefore it is unfounded to claim that a Somali asylum-seeker would represent (and bring with him) the same values as a man waving a gun in Mogadishu. Seeking a refuge does not mean that all the good people would be fleeing from general injustice. In Somalia there are groups of gunmen A and B, that both consist of khat-chewing cutthroats. When group A comes out on top, group B flees and demands that the international community secure their human rights. When group B comes out on top, group A flees and demands etc. A refugee is in no way inherently any nobler than those persecuting him in the homeland.
Europe is a nice place for us and for immigrants, who live amicably, feel collective empathy and respect difference, only so long as the ruling population lives amicably, feels collective empathy and respects difference. These qualities are at the moment specifically characteristic of Western culture, evidence of which may be, for example, that Westerners are, in their opinion, guilty for every problem anyone else has, and that every other culture is as good as their own. Consequently the result is a paradox that will, with mathematical certainty, cause the collapse of the Western culture: since every culture is of equal value, we, in our opinion, have no right to assimilate immigrants by force-feeding them with our own values (including, for example, our visions about the position of women or an individual’s physical untouchability). Slowly but inevitably those that I (without any feeling of superiority, or any compunctions), call barbarians, will be transformed from a small and exotic group to a significant minority, and after that to a majority. Then we will no longer define a “good” community. Then the defining will be done by those that have exploited our values without believing in them for a second. Then the darkness will begin.
Quite often you can hear that although all cultures must be respected, barbaric phenomena cannot be considered to be part of a culture. This is merely an intellectually impoverished hoax. All the functions and values are part of the culture of a community. If somewhere people stone to death adulterers or those that looked at someone’s sister wrong, these are cultural characteristics. If we say (im- or explicitly) to an African immigrant that a bongo drum, a colourful scarf, spicy food and basketball are good things (and therefore part of his culture), but laceration of girls and polygamy are bad (and therefore outside his culture), we are defining his culture. This definition we alone make through our own, at the moment prevalent, Western cultural template. I consider it insane that whenever an Arab blows something up in the name of Allah or shoots someone, there is an army of Western intellectuals reassuring us that this is not real Islam, that the real Islam is really about something else entirely. If I want to know what Islam is all about, I’d rather listen to a bearded imam who has dedicated his whole life to the subject, than an atheist leftist intellectual who knows nothing about it. I would not count much value on some Muslim council’s loud condemnation of bombings in Madrid. Why would they not condemn it? Which one carries more PR value, to condemn or not condemn?
The end result of the above is that if we really consider all cultures to have the same value, we’ll accept that part of the population breaks our laws (that are really only codified cultural values), or tell an immigrant which parts of his culture we allow him to keep. The latter alternative, that most of the “tolerants” practically or perhaps partially unknowingly support, includes the fact that our own culture is better, because both cultures are defined through it. The third alternative, which I support, is that we globally accept the variety of cultures and do nothing about it. Because, in my opinion, my own Western culture is better than African or Asian cultures, I consider it necessary to fortify against them. If someone considers my attitude contemptuous, I remind him that peoples vote with their feet. The society formed by my own culture is good enough for me. I do not strive to enjoy the fruits of other cultures. Nevertheless I, unlike the “tolerant”, support their right to exist as they are. As long as they exist somewhere else.
Finally, I’ll return to the subject of asylum-seekers that I began with. As I stated above, illegal immigration can only be stopped by legalising all immigration but this is not possible if we, at the same time, want to preserve the Western values from which, for example, “tolerance” arises. In my opinion the real reason for illegal immigration and asylum tourism is that it is rewarded. People in the Third World know that if they manage to get into Europe by any means, even by hanging onto an aeroplane’s landing gear, they will not be sent away. It is insignificant how small a percentage of asylum-seekers gain refugee status, if more than half of them acquire a residence permit for “humanitarian reasons”. The half left without the permit can indefinitely travel around the Schengen area filing one application after another with human rights lawyers and minority councillors applauding in the background.
If the way to Europe were effectively blocked to anyone except those persecuted for personal reasons and for employees specifically hired by European companies, two-thirds of the African population would possibly no longer live ready leave whenever possible. If the golden land in the north would truly close her gates to gold-diggers, Africans would have to turn their eyes to their own land and think about how to get on. As long as the Europe option is present, Africans will see no future on their own continent. Africa will never rise from the swamp it’s in unless the working-age population makes a commitment to their own land and begin thinking about African solutions to their problems, rather than spend their lives dreaming about an easier life somewhere else. Why would I cultivate this field, if I’m going to leave anyway?
The migration of peoples destroys Europe, but it also ruins the Third World. The shovelling of money that has lasted for half a century into a bottomless well called Africa has led to nothing but increasing misery. Half a century of cultural enrichment in Europe has led to nothing but ghettos and the unprecedented popularity of extreme right-wing parties — perhaps surprisingly, exactly where the culture has been most enriched. I believe that removing this misery is really not the objective, which would for example force the Africans to survive on their own and to strike back at their dictators, who live on “development cooperation”. The Western intellectual zeitgeist is dependent on the misery in Africa. An intellectual needs someone to pamper, because that’s what makes the intellectual necessary. The thought of an independent but truly different African is, to him, intolerable, because only a miserable, helpless and dependent (but of course, similar enough to be understandable and lovable) African offers him a chance to be “good”. He can be “good” only if there is a rising mass of “evil” that is tired of the apathy and begging of the Third World.
Regardless of popular doctrine, people don’t relate negatively to gypsies or Somalis because they look different and live in a different way. People don’t relate negatively towards Tatars or Japanese, although both look different and live in a different way. The negative attitude exists because gypsies and Somalis have, incited by the “tolerants”, been reduced to whining groups of dependents, whereas the Japanese or Tatars have not. A Somali or Gypsy community living on its own would merge into the society and exist as a part of it, intolerance would return to a marginal phenomenon, and nothing would make a lifestyle-tolerant intellectual in any way special or necessary.