First published at the Gates of Vienna
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg heads a three-party left-wing coalition government. In his prestigious New Year’s speech that was delivered on national TV over several channels on January 1, 2012, the prime minister said many fine things. He also stated the following:
“The Internet at its worst is when totalitarian seducers are allowed to remain unchallenged in dark corners of the Net. We have to face this with resolve. We shall drive them out with the light of knowledge. Voicing opposition to extremism is taking responsibility for the future.”
He didn’t openly call for censorship as such, but he promoted the termytringsansvar, which could be translated as “speech responsibility”, or “responsible speech”. Critical observers might reasonably claim that this neologism is frequently used as a code word for Multicultural censorship of anything related to the ongoing mass immigration. The prime minister advocated that people should become more active digital watchdogs and simply say “No, you are wrong” when confronted with extreme opinions.
I don’t necessarily disagree with the proposition that we should confront extremist opinions when we encounter them, but who determines what is to be considered “extreme”? For instance, I maintain that the immigration policies promoted by virtually all Western government today would be considered fairly extreme from a long historical perspective. Is it not an “extreme” outcome when the native population of European countries will, with mathematical certainty, be reduced to a minority in their own countries within a few decades, if present trends continue?
In response to Prime Minister Stoltenberg, who promotes speech responsibility, writer Christian Skaug has introduced the termlytteansvar, that is, a “responsibility to listen”. The Western ruling classes suffer from a listening deficit, especially when it comes to their immigration policies. They don’t properly listen or take into account the wishes of their own people in this regard.
This suppression could potentially lead to serious tensions in the future if left unchecked for much longer. A rising number of Europeans are asking themselves why Western leaders are so busy listening to the “legitimate grievances” of Muslims or other alien peoples, but rarely to the legitimate complaints and concerns of their own people, who increasingly feel like aliens in their own cities.
I understand all too well that some people in the mass media and elsewhere believe that Prime Minister Stoltenberg’s New Year’s speech was a thinly veiled attack on dissident writers who are critical of his government’s immigration policies, with myself prominent among those critics. This idea is not entirely without basis. This speech was in many ways as far as a sitting Prime Minister can go in attacking a specific private citizen without actually naming his name. Party secretary Raymond Johansen of the Labor Party — the prime minister’s party — has attacked me by name several times, however. He has even labeled me a “dangerous extremist”.
I am not sure whether Mr. Stoltenberg truly understands what “totalitarian” means. Was he by any chance referring to some of the radical Islamic organizations his government has shown willingness to cooperate with?
Was he thinking of the fact that his own government in March 2007 became the first in the entire Western world — beating even reliably pro-Islamic Sweden — to accept a government led by the terrorist organization Hamas?
Is he aware of the fact that Hamas in is arguably more totalitarian than the Communists or the Nazis were in Europe?
One also has to point out that except for Islam and Islamic pressures, by far the most powerful and dangerous source of totalitarian impulses on the European continent today is the European Union. The EU has for most practical purposes virtually abolished democratic accountability from the Black Sea to the North Sea, leaving in place an empty shell of parliaments that are nearly devoid of real power to serve as a democratic fig leaf for the autocratic oligarchs.
As I told a journalist from NRK Radio, I am neither totalitarian nor a seducer, and have spent years of my life fighting against Islamic extremism. I am a great supporter of the light of knowledge, and can document all of my claims.
For example, no journalist has ever managed to show that any of the networks my friend Bat Ye’or writes about in her book about Eurabia do not exist. EU authorities themselves state in official documents that are available on the Internet in English and other languages that the EU is to be gradually enlarged to encompass Muslim North Africa and the Middle East. The material also includes the so-called “four freedoms”, among them the free movement of people across borders. This aim is stated quite explicitly in their long-term plans. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is not even a theory. It is a fact.
Moreover, I stand by my claim that Islam cannot be reformed, not if reformation means a form of religion that can accept secular law and live in peace on equal terms with non-Muslims. If “reformation” is taken to imply a return to the early days of the original believers, as Luther and Calvin thought of it during the Protestant Reformation in Europe, then we have arguably already had a “Muslim Martin Luther.” His name was Osama bin Laden. He was a violent Jihadist because violent Jihad was what Mohammed and his followers both preached and practiced.
I will be more than happy to debate such issues with Mr. Stoltenberg. I am not sure if I understand what he refers to when he speaks of the supposed “dark corners of the Internet”. As Fjordman, before my name became publicly known, I used to say that I had a hidden identity, but not a hidden agenda. Anybody with access to a search engine, which means billions of people worldwide, can easily find out what I think about issues from German wheat beers to astrophysics and superstring theory to sharia law. My essays are brightly-lit, and they are spread across the Internet on different websites. They are not hidden away.
If people believe we have dark and dangerous opinions, then they are welcome to challenge these at Gates of Vienna or the other nasty “Islamophobic” websites where I publish on a regular basis.
For a complete archive of Fjordman’s writings, see the multi-index listing in the Fjordman Files.