The group, whose most active membership is located in Rogaland, has also been awarded a government concession to transmit on Radio Kos in Sandnes, western Norway. It alleges Internet radio capacity had to be increased from 25,000 to 200,000 listeners recently because of popularity.
Merete Hodne and Kjersti Margrethe Addehaid Gilje told NRK from Bryne, a small town in Rogaland County, “We have a duty to our country to preserve our Christian values, and not least to protect our children against the terrible, evil forces of Islam.”
According to SIAN’s leader, Arne Tumyr, membership has increased because of the 22nd July attacks. He would not reveal numbers, however, because of Extreme Left press exploitation fears, and being branded as racist by certain groups.
Last year, SIAN arranged a demonstration “Never Forget 9/11” in front of the US embassy in Oslo ten years to the day. Arne Tumyr told NTB, “We are here to remember and honor those who lost their lives on 11th September ten years ago. We will commemorate the day from SIAN’s point of view, which is that we fear the growing influence of Islam and believe there is a direct connection between the religion of Islam and extremist actions.”
He and six others also participated at another anti-Islam protest in December in the centre of Stavanger. Approximately 10 times as many counter-demonstrators from SOS Racism and extreme Left Party Rødt (the Red Party) shouted him down during his speech, however, declaring, “no racists in our streets.”
Journalist, writer, and Right-Extremist environment researcher Øyvind Strømmen is sceptical about SIAN claims regarding increased membership. “They like to brag that they have a growing number of members, but there are not many people who stand and listen to them when they hold appeals,” he told NRK, “I think recruitment to this type of extremism has declined.”