Daniel Johnson: Your party, the Progress Party, has sometimes been accused, on the left and in parts of the media, of being far-right, comparable to Le Pen - what is your answer to that?
Siv Jensen: First of all, it's important for me to clarify what we stand for. We are a classical liberal party, and are very much in favour of market mechanisms. We seek to improve the competitiveness of Norway, which is actually getting worse and worse. And when it comes to what is, I guess, the most critical issue, immigration, I believe that we stand for the exact same views as those held by the Liberal Party of Denmark, which is in government. We also share the views of [French President] Nicolas Sarkozy and, I believe, some of those prevalent among the Tories today. So we are very mainstream, I would say, for Europe these days. We need to do something about immigration, because if we don't, as a very small country on the outskirts of Europe, we will end up with all kinds of problems.
DJ: What is your party's policy on immigration?
SJ: We have had very, very poor integration in Norway over the past 30 years, and that has resulted in some very critical things. First of all, you see women now, even with Norwegian citizenship, who don't know anything about their rights in a free modern country. They are kept locked away, they don't know any Norwegian, they are totally incapable of taking part in their children's upbringing. I think it's very strange, because one of the good things about living in the Western world is that as a woman you have total freedom. And their rights are in practice non-existent, because we let them bring the bad sides of their culture. I believe that that is what they originally fled from, so I really don't understand that.
You see young girls being put through forced circumcision, which is not acceptable. There are also a substantial number of forced marriages, and the authorities just let it happen. So I think this is the critical test, not only for Norway but for all of us, when we fight for human rights in other parts of the world and fight for women's rights. But it's not really something that we take seriously enough. I mean, when women parade in Oslo on 8 March (International Women's Day), they have old feminist slogans. This is silly really because Norway is a country of equality. What they should be more focused on are the women in third-world countries, in Afghanistan for instance, where they are so oppressed. It's ridiculous that we can let this happen.
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