Hege Storhaug (born 21 May 1962) is a Norwegian journalist, writer and women's rights activist. She has been noted since the 1990s for her opposition to Islam and advocacy for human rights; particularly women's rights in relation to traditional Muslim attitudes and practices towards women. Since 2002, she has been the information director of Human Rights Service. Formerly an active volleyball player, Storhaug is also a certified athletic trainer with a degree from the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. She has played on the Norwegian national women's volleyball team and has coached and played on teams that won the Norwegian national championships.
In her youth, Storhaug was an active volleyball player. She won the Norwegian Championship as part of the team Hisøy I.L when she was fourteen and sixteen years old. When she was sixteen years old, she made her debut on the junior national team, as well as the senior national team.
Storhaug started her education at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in 1984, and graduated as a certified athletic trainer in 1987. In 1986/87 she studied Health and Sports Biology, where she wrote a paper based on her mapping of the extent of eating disorders among female athletes. It was the first such mapping in Norway, and it brought considerable attention, including being on the first page of newspaper Dagbladet. She spoke in the media about her eating disorders as a young athlete, which led to major public debate about the problem in Norway. In the wake of this, she co-founded the Interest Group for Women with Eating Disorders (Interessegruppa for kvinner med spiseforstyrrelser), and functioned as the press and information director of the organisation from 1987 to 1990.
Storhaug worked as a journalist in the newspaper Klassekampen from 1989 to 1990. She graduated as a journalist at the Norwegian School of Journalism in 1992, and subsequently worked as a freelance journalist. One of her earliest journalistic efforts, in 1992, was the first report to appear in Norway about the forced marriages of young Muslim women. The report drew the attention of leading politicians and helped result in the passage, in 1995, of a law banning such marriages. In the mid-1990s, Storhaug lived in Pakistan for two years, and wrote a book about her experience.
In 1999, after the publication of her book Holy Force: Young Norwegian Muslims on Love and Marriage (1998), Storhaug had a leading role in the production of documentaries for Norway's TV 2 about honor killing and forced marriage. These programs gained considerable public notice and Norway's then Minister of Justice, Odd Einar Dørum, promised to follow up on the revelation in every way possible.
Storhaug then conceived and researched documentaries which revealed that girls in Norway were being subjected to genital mutilation and that imams in the country supported this practice. The programs, which appeared on TV2 in the autumn of 2000, caused a considerable outcry, not least because imams who condemned this practice when interviewed openly were caught on hidden cameras expressing their approval for the procedure. The programs led to Norway's first national action plan against genital mutilation, won the prestigious Gullprisen i 2001, and were also aired internationally.
Human Rights Service
On a 2002 documentary for Norwegian State Television, Storhaug uncovered the importation into Norway of child brides. That year Storhaug also began working as information director of the politically unaffiliated Norwegian think tank Human Rights Service (HRS), which addresses topics related to immigration and integration, focusing especially on the abuse of Muslim girls and women in Europe. Among those who have praised HRS's work is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who in the first article she published as a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute wrote that while most non-governmental organizations in Europe "are embarrassingly silent" on the struggle for human rights for Muslim women and girls, "there is one in Norway that pays attention, Human Rights Service, run by a brave, determined woman, Hege Storhaug."
Storhaug has long been a high-profile participant in media debates about forced marriage, honor killing, genital mutilation, Islam, Islamism, and questions relating to the cultural impact and economic sustainability of large-scale immigration. Her controversial 2006 bestseller, But the Greatest of These Is Freedom: On the Consequences of Immigration, was critically acclaimed and won the Sørlandets Litteraturpris.
Views on immigration to Norway
In 2013 she said to Klassekampen "Especially immigrants from OIC-nations (Organization for Islamic Cooperation) have gjennomgående low levels of education and little work experience. That makes these [immigrants] costly for the authorities. HRS is also of the opinion that a high level of immigration from those nations [to Norway] is not verdimessig (or economically) sustainable."
In 2013 she wrote in Aftenposten questioning claims that "immigration is low, and integration is good", and added that the nation "receives more than five times more asylum seekers than the average in Europe (Eurostat)." .... "The statistics of Statistisk Sentralbyrå shows that east-Europeans and non-western[ers] pay quite a lot less tax than Norwegian[s]."
- Når følelser blir mat. Kvinner og spiseforstyrrelser (with Karin Christensen), 1990
- Mashallah. En reise blant kvinner i Pakistan, 1996
- Hellig tvang. Unge norske muslimer om kjærlighet og ekteskap, 1998.
- Feminin integrering. Utfordringer i et fleretnisk samfunn, 2003. (Translated into English by Bruce Bawer as Human Visas: A Report from the Front Lines of Europe’s Integration Crisis).
- Men størst av alt er friheten. Om innvandringens konsekvenser, 2006.
- Jeg er Mia (with Mia Gundersen Leliënhof), 2008.
- Rundlurt. Om innvandring og islam i Norge, 2009.
- But the Greatest of These is Freedom: The Consequences of Immigration in Europe, 2011 (revised and updated English version of Men størst av alt er frihet).
- "Hege Storhaug". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Retrieved 26 October 2011.
- "Frihetens forpost". Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian). 26 April 2003. p. 39.
- Gjerstad, Tore (30 October 2006). "Krigsklar" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- Ali, Ayaan Hirsi (26 August 2006). "Women the Future of Freedom". American Enterprise Institute. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- Tror Erna åpner grensene
- "Er jeg frekk nå?". Aftenposten. 2013-09-05. "Norge tar i mot fem ganger flere asylsøkere enn snittet i Europa (Eurostat). Lite?"