Hans Rustad

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Hans Rustad (born 1950) is a Norwegian Islamophobe, crank and anti-immigration activist, best known as founder of the far-right Islamophobic blog Document.no.[1][2]

Rustad formerly worked as an editorial assistant for some mainstream newspapers in the 1980s and 1990s. He has since focused on his political blog, which criticizes Islam and Muslims, deals in conspiracy theories (usually involving either Muslims or "the political establishment", often both), and expresses opposition to immigration and multiculturalism. As editor, he regularly invites other Islamophobes such as Geert Wilders, Bruce Bawer and "Julia Caesar" as well as lesser known anti-immigration activists, sometimes anonymous, to contribute to his website. The website has been described as an "anti-immigrant forum which has evolved into a hotbed of galloping Islamophobia," and according to journalist Anders Giæver, Rustad uses the site to "rant against anyone who does not share his gloomy worldview."[3] An official report of the Norwegian Police University College cites Document.no as an example of an "extremist website" alongside Stormfront and Gates of Vienna.[1] According to the Financial Times, it is "a website rife with anti-Muslim and hard right rhetoric."[4] Rustad and his website received media attention in 2011, when it was revealed that the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik had been an active contributor to the website; according to the BBC, "Anders Behring Breivik left racist, extremist right-wing comments along with fellow anti-Muslims" on the site.[5]

Rustad can be seen as the archetypal representative of the Counter-jihad movement, that is dominated by embittered men in their 60s with little formal education, who become fanatically devoted to a single issue.[6]

In Breivik's trial, Rustad was originally called as a defence witness alongside Fjordman; Breivik's defence counsel Geir Lippestad said that "debaters on the Internet, particularly Jensen [Fjordman] and Rustad, had a role in Breivik's radicalization."[7] He said that "you have a responsibility when you express yourself in an extreme way."[8] At his own request, he was later dropped as a witness.

In 2015 Rustad, who also runs a small-time publishing business from his home, announced that he was publishing a book written by the far-right blogger and conspiracy theorist Fjordman (Peder Are Nøstvold Jensen), after it had been turned down by seven proper publishing companies in Norway.[9] Fjordman is notable for stating that "Islam and all those who practice it must be total and physically removed from the Western world," and for being Breivik's main idol. He has been described as a Nazi by Norwegian media.[10]

Objecting to being called a "Nazi"[edit]

In 2011, Rustad complained to the Professional Committee of the Press over an article in a local newspaper which described him as a chief exponent of the "brown goo," stating that "it does not matter what the spill call themselves, this is very similar to Nazism" and concluding that "we do not want Behring Breivik, Rustad and other nutjobs to set the agenda." The committee ended up criticizing the newspaper over calling him a "Nazi," mainly because it generally discouraged the term when referring to contemporary individuals.[11]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Inger Marie Sunde, Forebygging av radikalisering og voldelig ekstremisme på internett [Prevention of radicalization and violent extremism on the Internet] (p. 28), Norwegian Police University College, Report 1/2013
  2. International ‘Counter-Jihadist’ map: Norway, Hope not Hate
  3. Retter krass kritikk mot nettsted, Aftenposten
  4. Andrew Ward; Robin Wigglesworth (2011-07-25). "Killings sure to stir immigration debate". Financial Times
  5. Goril, Liss (2001-09-11). "Attacks strike at Norway's values". Bbc.co.uk.
  6. Gretne gubber [Grumpy old men], Klassekampen
  7. Lippestad: Nettdebattanter har ansvar for terroren, NRK
  8. Lippestad: Du har et ansvar når du uttrykker deg på ekstrem måte, VG
  9. Hans Rustad, "Document sørger for at Fjordmans bok kan selges i Norge," [link to far right website removed], 15 Dec 2015
  10. Marie Melgård, Fjordman foreslo nazi-løsning, Dagbladet, 6 August 2011
  11. Complaint by Hans Rustad to the Professional Committee of the Press