Former Minister of Culture and Equality Abid Raja (Liberal Party)

Born: 1975
Appointed: 24/01/2020
Left: 14/10/2021

The Minister of Culture and Equality is responsible for cultural policy, equality- and discrimination policy, media policy, sports policy, gaming and lottery regulation, and the coordination of government policy relating to the voluntary sector.

Abid Raja was appointed Minister of Culture and Equality on 24 January 2020.

Born on 5 November 1975 in Oslo.
Son of nail factory worker Abdul Qayyum Raja (1937–) and housewife Akhtar Nasim (1949–)

Periods as a member of parliament

Member no. 9 for Akershus, 2017–2021, Liberal Party
Member no. 10 for Akershus, 2013–2017, Liberal Party
Substitute member no. 1 for Akershus, 2009–2013, Liberal Party

Membership of the Presidium

Fifth Vice President of the Storting, 7 October 2017–30 September 2020

Membership of parliamentary committees

Member, Nomination Committee, 13.02.2018 – 30 September 2021
Member, Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, 30 January 2018–30 September 2021
Member, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, 12 October 2017–30 September 2021
Member, Expanded Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, 12 October 2017–30 September 2021
Substitute member, Nomination Committee, 7 October 2017–13 February 2018

Second Deputy Chair, Standing Committee on Transport and Communications, 22 October 2013–30 September 2017
Member, Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs, 17 October 2013–30 September 2017
Member, Standing Committee on Transport and Communications, 17 October 2013–22 October 2013

Membership of parliamentary delegations

Member, Delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, 13 February 2018–30 September 2021
Substitute member, Delegation to the Interparliamentary Conference on the EU’s Common Foreign, Security and Defence Policy, 24 October 2017–30 September 2021
Member, Delegation for Relations with the European Parliament, 12 October 2017–30 September 2021 

Membership of steering committees

Deputy chair, steering committee, Liberal Party, 18 January 2018–30 September 2021


Master of Science, Psychology, University of Oxford, 2003–2004
Law degree, University of Oslo 1996–2001
Specialisation in human rights, University of Southampton, 2000
Cand. mag. with intermediate studies in criminology, University of Oslo, 1999–2000

Professional experience

Embassy staff, diplomat, Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi, 2012–2013
Police lawyer, National Police Immigration Service, 2011–2012
Board chair, Immigration Appeals Board 2008–2012
Lawyer, Advokatfirmaet Hestenes og Dramer & Co, 2005–2008
Associate, Advokatfirmaet Almestad, 2002–2005
Trainee, Schjødt, Kvaale & co and Wikborg Rein, 2000–2002
Assistant student adviser, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo, 1999–2000
Tutor in study techniques, Ansvar for egen læring (Responsibility for own learning) programme, 1998–2001 

Medals and awards, etc.

Freedom of Expression Prize, 2010
Man of the Year Award, African Society, 2008 
Norway Scholarship, Oxford, 2003 


Public office 

Member, Equality and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal, Oslo, 2008–2012
Member, Kriminalitetsforebyggende råd (Crime prevention council), Oslo, 2002–2007
Member, Kontaktutvalget mellom innvandrerbefolkningen og myndighetene (Immigrant-public sector liaison committee), 1998–2002
Member, Utredningsgruppen for ordningen Senter mot etnisk diskriminering (Research group for anti-ethnic discrimination centre), 1997–1998   

Elected party posts

First substitute, Liberal Party Central Committee, 2011–2013
Member, Liberal Party National Council, 2009–2013
Deputy chair, Akershus Liberal Party, 2009–2011 

Elected posts in organisations

Member, board of European Movement Norway, 2009–2012
Member, Norwegian Bar Association committee on the Penal Code, 2007–2008 
Spokesperson, World Islamic Mission (mosque), 1999–2001 
Member, student parliament, University of Oslo, 1998–1999
Chair, buddy programme, University of Oslo, 1998 
Deputy chair, Pakistani students’ association, 1997–1999   

Other administrative appointments

Board chair, Minotenk, minorities policy think tank, 2009–2012
Non–executive director, Oxford Council on Good Governance, 2003–2008  


Raja, Abid Q.: Dialog. Om vold, undertrykkelse og ekstremisme, Cappelen Damm, Oslo, 2010.

Raja, Abid Q.: Talsmann, Aschehoug, Oslo, 2008.

Magnussen, S., Melinder, A., Stridbeck, U. and Raja, A.Q.: “Faktorer som påvirker påliteligheten av øyevitner: Hva vet dommere og jurymedlemmer?”, in Lov og Rett, Universitetsforlaget, Oslo, 2008.

Magnussen, S., Melinder, A., Stridbeck, U., Raja, A.Q.: “Beliefs about factors affecting the Reliability of eyewitness testimony: A Comparison of judges, jurors and the general public”, in Law and Human Behaviour, American Psychological Association, Washington, 2008.

Magnussen, S., Wise, R.A., Raja, A.Q., Safer, M.A., Pawlenko, N. & Stridbeck, U.: “What judges know about eyewitness testimony: A comparison of Norwegian and US judges”, in Psychology, Crime and Law, Routledge, London, 2008.