Issue 282, Friday 26 October 2012 - 10 Dhu al-Hijjah 1433
Hadia Tajik becomes Norway’s first Muslim minister
By Elham Asaad Buaras
Hadia Tajik, 29, became the youngest and first ever Muslim minister in the Norwegian cabinet when she was appointed Minister of Culture as part of a larger cabinet reshuffle on September 21.
The new post also makes Tajik, who is of Pakistani origin, only the second minister with non-Caucasian ethnic background.
The Labour MP announced that her programme will focus on cultural diversity and delve into the protection of minority rights.
Last year, Anders Breivik randomly shot 69 people at a summer camp organised by the Workers’ Youth League of the Labour Party after blowing up a Norwegian state building. During his trial, Breivik reasoned that multi-cultural policies are harming Norway, adding that he considers Islam his enemy.
Born in Bjørheimsbygd, Strand, on July 18 1983, Tajik studied human rights at the University of Kingston in the UK and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s in Law, the latter awarded by the University of Oslo this year.
Tajik led the Young Workers Movement between 1999 and 2002. She also worked as a political advisor to Norway’s Minister of Justice, 2008-2009. During this time Norwegian women members of the police were afforded the right to wear the hijab at work. The decision was, however, rescinded due to harsh criticism from conservative parties.
In 2009 she was elected to Parliament as a member of the Labour Party in the Oslo constituency. She was placed on a list of six seats generally considered safe for the party.