Helsinki City Councilman Abdirahim ”Husu” Hussein has been fired from the SDP Helsinki City Council group.
The events leading to this began in a taxi.
Hussein is a part-time taxi driver. He was driving a client on the first weekend of November when according to Hussein’s first Tweet the client began vituperating him, and the client “told him to go back to Somalia to defend his home country.”
“I stopped the car on the highway and asked the client to step out of the vehicle. The client was amazed that I didn’t accept his money. I told that I don’t take money from racists!” Hussein tweeted.
Many commentators reminded Hussein that it’s illegal to stop on a highway and remove a client. “We don’t want a Somalian traffic culture, thank you!” replied Finns Party chairman, MP and a city councilman, Jussi Halla-aho.
The incident sparked an inquiry by Taksi Helsinki, whose driver Hussein is. The investigations supported by their tracking systems led to an unambiguous result: Hussein’s story is fake.
According to Hussein, he stopped the taxi while driving on Tuusulanväylä. He altered his story by saying that he actually left the client at a bus stop because “one cannot stop the car where ever.”
Taksi Helsinki did not find any log files that Hussein’s taxi would have been anywhere near Tuusulanväylä. There were no complaints from a client who had been left by the highway.
Hussein followed by telling Finnish tabloid Ilta-Sanomat that there are “receipts that can verify his story.”
Many wondered: How could there be receipts if no money was accepted?
Hussein went on a rant on Twitter revealing false details in his story about that the client was tipsy and that the next bus was coming in 45 to 60 minutes to pick up the client. “I am waiting to receive information about the routes I was driving on that weekend. The investigations are continuing,” Hussein said on Twitter.
That caused the commentators to doubt Hussein’s soberness behind the wheel.
After a myriad of lies, Hussein finally confronted the truth. To Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat, he said that “his story was not totally truthful.”
In a nutshell: Hussein had experienced racist behavior from many clients before, and he decided to create a fake story about it to raise public discussion.
Abdirahim Hussein is a 41-year-old Somalian-born politician, a taxi driver, a former radio host and a consultant, who moved to Finland when he was 15. He is married and a father of four.
Before being elected to the Helsinki City Council as a member of the Social Democrats, Hussein was a politician in the Centre Party. He chaired the Finnish Centre Youth in 2007-2008.
Hussein has a history of ranting on Twitter. In mid-July, he simply declared that “Finland is a racist country” and “this has to be said out loud.”
After a flurry of upset comments, Hussein continued on the following day: “All members and supporters of the Finns Party are racists,” Hussein wrote in Finnish and continued in English: “Yes I said it.”
He continued by offering ”proof.” “Look at their history and how they have become elected as the largest political party in Finland,” he said.
This caused another outrage among Twitter users.
On Monday evening, the SDP Helsinki City Council group held an emergency meeting regarding Hussein’s actions in the taxi-gate.
The group decided to dismiss Hussein until the end of next summer.
“The reason for this is a lack of confidence. The group presumes that every council member is honest and dignified in their actions. It’s clear that also Husu has to act like this to still have a chance to participate as a member of the group,” Eveliina Heinäluoma, the chairwoman of the SDP Helsinki City Council group, tweeted on Monday evening.
According to Taksi Helsinki, the company doesn’t “accept inappropriate behavior” and they are considering further action.