Peder Are Nøstvold Jensen
11 June 1975
|Other names||Fjordman (pseudonym)|
|Alma mater||University of Bergen|
American University in Cairo
University of Oslo
|Occupation||Personal care assistant, writer|
Peder Are Nøstvold Jensen (born 11 June 1975) is a prominent "Counter-jihad" Norwegian blogger who writes under the pseudonym Fjordman and who has been characterized as far-right and Islamophobic. Jensen wrote anonymously as Fjordman starting in 2005, until he disclosed his identity in 2011. He has been active in the counterjihad movement, which argues that multiculturalism, particularly Muslim mass immigration, poses a threat to Western civilization. He has promoted this belief in a self-published book titled Defeating Eurabia, and stated that "Islam and all those who practise it must be totally and physically removed from the Western world".
Anders Behring Breivik was inspired by Fjordman's belief in the Eurabia conspiracy theory, a supposed secret Muslim plan to take over Europe, and quoted him extensively – 111 times – in his manifesto. In 2013 Fjordman was given financial support by the organization Fritt Ord to write a book about the Anders Behring Breivik case. No Norwegian publisher has been willing to publish the work.
Early life, education and work
Peder Jensen grew up in Ålesund, with a "Socialist Left-family". His parents are well-known personalities in Ålesund; his father an arranger of music concerts with a past in the former Marxist–Leninist Socialist Youth League (m–l), and his mother a historian and writer. Jensen himself was for a short period in his youth a member of the Socialist Youth, the youth organisation of the Socialist Left Party. In 2011 he said that he was not affiliated with any political party, but that except having voted once in an election for the Labour Party, he has voted for the Progress Party.
Before writing as Fjordman, Jensen wrote a few times in newspapers using his full name. Early public writings from Jensen appear in 2000 in the national newspaper Dagbladet and the regional paper Sunnmørsposten, where he criticises feminism. He also wrote comments under full name in newspapers Aftenposten and Verdens Gang.
Jensen went on to study Arabic at the University of Bergen and the American University in Cairo. By this time he had already begun to nurture a growing skepticism towards Islamic culture, He was present in Cairo during the September 11 attacks. According to Jensen, "Western media claimed no Arabs were happy about the attacks. This is not true. Some of my neighbors celebrated the event with a spontaneous cake party, and felt what had happened was great." After returning home, Jensen began writing commentaries to Norway's leading newspapers, but claims his controversial opinions were not published by the mainstream media. After having a number of articles rejected, he eventually decided to start his own blog instead. He wrote on several blogs under the pseudonym "Norwegian kafir" in the early 2000s, but eventually took the pseudonym "Fjordman" in 2005.
During his early post-Cairo years Jensen also worked for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Middle East. From the start of 2002 to the summer of 2003, he worked for them as an observer in Hebron, in the West Bank, in the service of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH). The TIPH mission in Hebron monitors breaches of international humanitarian law and other agreements between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. They communicate their findings to the involved parties and the six member states of TIPH.[non-primary source needed] Jensen, who says that he turned against Islam after 9/11, remained in this position in Hebron until mid-2003.
Following this, he completed his master's degree in culture and technology from the University of Oslo. His master thesis, published in 2004, was titled Blogging Iran – A Case Study of Iranian English Language Weblogs, and discussed censorship and blogging in Iran.
Following this, he worked at a day care centre until 2011, when his identity as the blogger Fjordman was revealed. In August 2011, Norwegian professor Arnulf Hagen claimed that there was much to suggest that Jensen had a Wikipedia account which made 2000 edits. In June 2012, writing as Fjordman, he heavily criticised Wikipedia in an article entitled "The Bias and Dishonesty of Wikipedia" in EuropeNews.
Writings under the pen name Fjordman
Fjordman blogged on his own web log in 2005, giving it up at the end of the year. Since then, he has "guested" and commented in other blogs including Brussels Journal, Gates of Vienna, Jihad Watch, Document.no, Faith Freedom International, Free Republic, Daily Pundit, Global Politician and FrontPage Magazine. Fjordman published a compilation of his articles in print via lulu.com in November 2008.
Norwegian historian Vidar Enebakk has criticised the way he thought Fjordman misused academic research for political purposes. Øyvind Strømmen argues that Fjordman's essays fulfill all the criteria of Roger Griffin's definition of fascism. Some might argue albeit the latter has perhaps more to do with Griffin's attitudes being rather Marxist than it does Fjordman's being entirely fascistic.
Jensen has written negatively about multiculturalism, the European Union, feminism and Islam. He is an outspoken proponent of Bat Ye'or's conspiracy theory of "Eurabia", according to which Europe and the Arab states would join forces to make life impossible for Israel and Islamize the old continent. Jensen wrote an essay titled "The Eurabia Code" in support of the concept, in which he says that "[T]he 'Jewish threat' in the 1930s was entirely fictional, whereas the 'Islamic threat' now is very real." His self-published book compiling his articles is titled Defeating Eurabia. According to The Independent, Jensen writes "screeds accusing Muslims of secretly planning to take over Europe." As a solution to this imagined invasion, Jensen advocates the deportation of all Muslims back to their homelands.
The Norwegian News Agency has stated that "Fjordman" "[is] considered a very central far-right and anti-Islamic voice in Europe." Andrew Brown characterises him as "[an] Islamophobe who has for years been predicting civil war between Muslims and their neighbours." The researcher Terje Emberland at the Norwegian Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities states that "Fjordman"'s views are based on a conspiracy theory, and that "Islamophobes like Fjordman believe they have seen through an evil power that will throw Europe into a civil war. Therefore, they argue that all means must be used to save the Western culture; implicit in this is the threat of violence."
Jensen believes that the Western governments promoting the influx of non-white immigrants are demonstrating "white masochism", and that white people have the right to "preserve [their] heritage" and are "under no obligation to commit collective suicide". He denies that this is a white supremacist view, stating that "Whites ... are currently the only racial group specifically denied the opportunity to defend their countries and heritage." He also rejects accusations of racism, stating that "non-whites attacking whites" constitutes "the vast majority of racist violence in Western nations". He argues that that "White critics of mass immigration" are systematically demonized as racists and right-wing extremists. Jensen argues for the preservation of a native majority, including indigenous Europeans, and demands an extremely restrictive immigration policy, the dissolution of the European Union and the "rejection of multiculturalism". He argues that otherwise, Europeans would have to conclude that the governments have given up on their people, and that the laws and taxes which they impose on them are therefore illegitimate.
In November 2015 Fjordman summarized his view of Islam as "a permanent world war":
"Islam contains elements of a traditional religion, but also elements of a totalitarian belief system centered around a personality cult of Mohammad. Islam is a creed of war, not a religion of peace. In theory, this war will end when all human beings on Earth have submitted to Islamic rule and eventually become Muslims. In practice, experience show us that Muslim societies are far from peaceful. Muslims will continue to fight amongst themselves over who are the best and truest Muslims. Islam can with some justification be classified as a permanent world war, a war that has so far been raging for fourteen centuries and claimed countless lives.
2011 Norway attacks
Shortly after the bombing of Oslo in the 2011 Norway attacks (when it still was believed the terrorist was an Islamist), Fjordman asked his regular readers at the Gates of Vienna blog to "remember" that Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was as much a "pathetic sucker for Islam as it is humanly possible to be" and his Labour/Socialist Left/Centre Party government "the most dhimmi appeasing of all Western governments (…) suicidal and cowardly". When the shooting at Utøya became known a few hours later, Fjordman described the Workers' Youth League (AUF) under attack as a "gang of anti-Israeli, pro-Palestine youth-socialists". Jensen also voiced a rather basic antipathy towards Oslo's immigrant population: in relation to a TV interview with a man referred to as a "Norwegian eyewitness" – a person of Arab origin who had the windows of his restaurant blown to pieces by the blast – a Gates of Vienna reader sarcastically said to Jensen that he did not know Norwegians looked so much like Arabs. Jensen's reply was that "in Oslo they do. Arabs, Kurds, Pakistanis, Somalis, you name it. Anything and everything is fine as long as they rape the natives and destroy the country, which they do".
Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused in the 2011 Norway attacks, frequently praised writings of Fjordman, citing him extensively in his manifesto. In terms of goals and means Breivik is quoted as saying, "Our views are quite similar with the exception of me being an actual armed resistance fighter." In response to learning the identity of the terrorist, Fjordman strongly distanced himself from Breivik, whom he referred to as a "violent psychopath", and said he "intensely dislike[d]" the fact that he was cited by Breivik. He also advocated giving Breivik the death penalty.
"Our most important task ahead is to deconstruct the majority, and we must deconstruct them so thoroughly that they will never be able to call themselves the majority again." –Thomas Hylland Eriksen (2008)
Apparently based on Fjordman's article, this quote has since become a focal point of the 1,500-page manifesto of Breivik, as well as Breivik's defence speech during his 2012 trial. Following the terror attacks the quote has been oft repeated by right-wing extremists all across Europe. Eriksen has since admitted that taken out of context the quote does look scary, but that it has a much more innocent meaning when properly understood.
In the aftermath of the attacks, the police confiscated Jensen's PC and questioned him, saying they wanted to "investigate how [he] might have influenced the charged man". In the weeks following the terrorist attacks, there was intense speculation regarding his identity. The week after the attacks Jensen reported to PST, the Norwegian internal security police. A few days later he was called in for questioning, and agreed to have his premises searched. The same day he revealed his identity in an interview with the newspaper Verdens Gang, and proclaimed that he would never again blog under the pseudonym Fjordman. He also questioned whether he would ever return to blogging, citing his exhaustion from the time after the attacks.
The next day he did blog under that name, describing how he had felt abused when the police searched through his house, a treatment he viewed as "politically motivated". Prior to the search Jensen hid his computer in a safety deposit box at the central station in Oslo. According to the police he had not intended to provide the computer, but changed his mind when he understood that the police would ask for a court order if he refused.
Blog announcement of 10 October 2011
On 10 October 2011, Jensen announced on a blog that due to having been involuntarily mixed in with the Breivik-case, he had become unemployed and was in the process of finding a new place to live. He in turn asked for donations from his supporters in what he dubbed a "Fjordman Relocation Fund". He also complained that his reply to a critical article in newspaper Aftenposten had been rejected by the newspaper (it was instead, however, published on the same blog), and about having been indirectly parodied in a Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation show as a paraplegic character whose last name was "Fjordland."
Jensen wrote in an opinion piece published in Verdens Gang on 24 October, under the headline "Fjordman lives on," that he would continue writing with "undiminished force." He also announced that he would continue publishing his writings on blogs in English and Norwegian if newspapers would not publish them, and that he planned to release a new book by the next year. In an opinion piece published in Aftenposten the same day, he complained about what he considered to be harassment by the police in the aftermath of the July terror attacks.
In 2013, Jensen was granted 75,000 Norwegian kroner from the Fritt Ord foundation for a book he was writing on the Breivik case, titled Vitne til vanvidd [Witness to Madness]. The grant was criticized by AUF leader Eskil Pedersen and others who considered the grant as giving a platform to political extremism and offensive to victims and survivors of the 2011 terror attacks. Initially, no Norwegian publisher was willing to publish Fjordman's work. Document Forlag eventually chose to publish the book in 2015.
In July 2013 an editor (debattredaktør) at Dagsavisen called Fjordman "one of Europe's most influential Islamophobe ideologists" and grouped him with Vidkun Quisling, Anders Behring Breivik and Varg Vikernes as a "great internationally known extremist of hate". Jensen wrote in response that unlike the other three, all convicted criminals, he had not even received a parking ticket.
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Den viktigste hvite flekken består nå i å dekonstruere majoriteten og gjøre det grundig slik at den aldri kan kalles majoritet lenger,
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én av Europas mest innflytelsesrike islamofobe ideologer.
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