Saturday 10/23/21

'Husu' Hussein and the short legs of lies

Racism, xenophobia and discrimination must be defeated. But inventing false situations just to damage Finland's reputation and attract media attention pretending to be a victim does not help.

Helsinki City Councillor Abdirahim 'Husu' Hussein. Photo: Husu Hussein/Twitter @husu78

There is an old Spanish saying that a lie has very short legs. And therefore, it is easier to catch a liar than a lame person.

That is what happened to the Helsinki City Councillor Abdirahim 'Husu' Hussein, who has had to apologize for lying for no reason.

'Husu', a well-known politician born in Somalia and rightfully proud of his foreign origin who works as a taxi driver, wrote on 3 November in his Twitter account that the previous day (Saturday) he had forced a client down from his vehicle in the middle of a ride, after being insulted by him with racist expressions and being urged to return to Somalia.

According to his first account, the client would have been "amazed" with his braver reaction, particularly when he showed that he did not want to "take money from racists".

Hussein's story provoked a storm of replies and comments, some of them from people who -like him- seem to enjoy arguing heatedly about racism and discrimination. With demagogy, his haters (he seems to have many) accused him of putting the customer in danger and complained that according to Finnish law a taxi driver cannot leave a client in the middle of the road.

'Husu' then claimed that he had not really left his client in the middle of nowhere, but at a bus stop. And at that point his heroic story began to collapse.

The incident could have been solved as one more absurd discussion on this social network of anger that is Twitter. But then Taksi Helsinki, the company 'Husu' works for, decided to launch an investigation. And based on its inquiries, the company stated that the incident never occurred. No customer was thrown out of the taxi, the ride did not happen, nor the alleged racist aggression.

The result of Hussein's bluff is that he had to apologize for lying. With his lies he embarrassed himself, he embarrassed the people who believed his story and he also embarrassed his party (SDP) and those who voted for him. On Tuesday, the SDP council group, announced that he has been dismissed from the council until June 2020.

"I will do everything I can to restore my confidence", Hussein says now. But in politics trust is built slowly and can be lost in a blink.

For nonsense, 'Husu' might lose now his political position or even his job. But his lies can also have negative consequences for many other persons with foreign origin.

Of course, racism, xenophobia and discrimination must be fought and defeated. But with the truth, with reasons, with the legal instruments of democracy and with the moral superiority that emanates from respect for human rights. That way, foreigners will find the support of most Finns.

Inventing false situations just to damage Finland's reputation and attract media attention pretending to be a victim does not help. With his performance, the only thing Hussein achieved is to give ammunition to the intolerant, who will undoubtedly take advantage of this case to undermine trust in all immigrants.