Ten years ago today Anders Behring Breivik murdered 77 people in Oslo and on the island of Utøya. Of all the Counterjihad activists who were impacted by the political blowback from the attacks, none was more affected than Fjordman. Below are his remarks on the occasion of the anniversary.
July 22, Ten Years On
Sometimes life can be very strange. When I was eating lunch in my small basement flat in Oslo on July 22, 2011, I did not anticipate that in a few hours my country would be rocked by a brutal mass murder. And I certainly did not expect that these events would also turn every aspect of my own life upside down.
Suddenly and without warning, I was thrown into the epicenter of an international media storm. Less than two weeks later, I had evacuated my home and fled from Norway out of serious concerns for my safety. At this point, I was publicly accused of being a possible accomplice to mass murder, and the suggested brains behind an international terrorist network. If my life in the summer of 2011 had been the script for a film, it would have been rejected as being too improbable to happen in real life. Yet all of this did happen to me, plus a lot more. All because of the actions of a man I have never once met in my entire life, not even for a cup of coffee.
Ten years later, things have calmed down somewhat. I have managed to reestablish a reasonably stable personal life. However, this is a new life in a new country.
I quietly moved back to Norway in 2017, to see whether it was possible for me to have a normal life there again. The answer was no. Three and a half years of applying for jobs turned out to be futile. I got no job whatsoever, not even as an unskilled laborer in factories, butcheries or the fishing industry. I applied for such jobs, too, not just for work in offices or shops.
In early 2021, I therefore decided to leave Norway again, for the second time in less than ten years. It is unlikely that I will return in the foreseeable future for anything other than short visits.
A decade of smears following the July 22 attacks by Anders Behring Breivik has left its mark. Norwegian media still publish new articles suggesting that I inspired mass murder. New comments are still being published on social media claiming that I have the blood of children on my hands. Not every month, fortunately, but from time to time.
Being quoted in Breivik’s confused compendium/manifesto is by far the greatest curse of my life. Nothing else even comes close. But perhaps it is possible to be cursed and blessed at the same time. I was also blessed with being surrounded by kind people. Both old friends and new friends alike.
I was homeless for some time. Friends in Denmark referred to me, only half-jokingly, as a political refugee from Norway. My first temporary home was with my friend Steen Raaschou in Copenhagen. He was exceptionally patient, and allowed me to occupy his sofa for months at a time. I also stayed for a while with professor emeritus Bent Jensen and his lovely Russian wife Tatjana. In the spring of 2012 I spent several months in the USA, and never lacked a bed to sleep in. My friend Ned May from Gates of Vienna helped me with this arrangement*. Not all of those who helped me probably want to be named. But they know who they are, and they have my gratitude.
In 2011, I had a part-time job in Oslo, working with young people suffering from autism. After the massive and extremely negative media focus on me in July and August of 2011, it was impossible for me to keep doing this job. Frankly, it was probably dangerous for me to even stay in my old flat. So I suddenly no longer had a job or steady income at the same time as I had to spend money on lawyers.
Yet the Middle East Forum (MEF) contacted me on their own accord and offered to pay my legal bills. I am eternally grateful for this, and thanked Dr. Daniel Pipes and others from the MEF properly later.
Not everything is bad. Far from it. Even some people who disagree with my views have shown me kindness. I have had many positive and joyful experiences since July 2011, and my life is improving in many ways.
Unfortunately, the negative experiences are also real. I really was homeless initially, and I did spend years without a job and in involuntary exile.
It continues to puzzle me how many people want to blame me for crimes which I played no part in. The justice system in Western countries is supposed to be based on individual responsibility. I have never stabbed anybody. But if I had done so, it would be entirely just to hold me responsible for my own actions.
However, a surprising number of people want to hold me responsible for actions which even the police say that I did not do. All because I wrote texts that were totally legal about real problems. Some of which were quoted without my knowledge or consent by a mentally disturbed man I have never met.
Ten years later, this still does not feel entirely just.
|*||Note from the Baron: This is the first time Fjordman’s stay in the USA in the spring of 2012 has been made public. Details of the arrangements for his “safe houses” will remain confidential.
For a complete archive of Fjordman’s writings, see the multi-index listing in the Fjordman Files.