Friday, February 08, 2008


Migration Minister Questions Islamist Party Efforts

Minister of Migration and European Affairs Astrid Thors has questioned efforts to establish an Islamist political party in Finland. She said that the venture shows that there are serious shortcomings in legislation governing political parties in this country.

Addressing a meeting of her Swedish People's Party's board on Friday, Thors noted that those who are trying to set up the new party are aiming at the implementation of sharia law, which she said violates the principles of Islam.

She said that when a new party is registered, there should be a check as to whether the organisation follows democratic principles. However, she pointed out that current law does not require that such groups agree with democratic aims or respect human rights. As Thors sees it, the establishment of the Islamist party would not advance intercultural dialogue within Finland.

The organisation that is seeking to set up the party -- which is led by Finnish men who have converted to Islam -- has attracted plenty of attention although it remains far from collecting the 5,000 signatures of supporters necessary to found a new political party.



Finland's Thors says registering Islamic party would mean legal failure

Astrid Thors (spp), Finland's immigration and Europe minister, said Friday that if the political association named the Finnish Islamic party managed to register itself as a party proper it would flaunt a flaw in legislation.

Ms Thors added that any group wishing to register itself as a party had to show that its internal decision-making processes observed democratic principles.

"By contrast, the law does not require it to adhere to democratic principles or to observe human rights," she added.

"Plans to create an Islamic party demonstrate that our party legislation has a serious flaw," Mr Thors said at a Swedish People's party meeting.

"Inter-cultural dialogue would not benefit from the founding of an Islamic party."

The Sunni Muslims who founded the association have said that while they respect Finnish law in the short term, in the longer term Sharia law takes precedence.


Pertinent Links:

Migration Minister Questions Islamist Party Efforts

2) Finland's Thors says registering Islamic party would mean legal failure

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