Norwegian Culture Minister Hadia Tajik
In what can be described as a fitting response to Anders Breivik’s brutal assault on Norwegian multiculturalism, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg appointed a 29-year-old Muslim woman of Pakistani origin as the country’s new Culture Minister. Her name is Hadia Tajik and she is the first Muslim and the youngest Minister ever in Norwegian political history. Ms. Tajik, who has degrees in law and journalism and has been a career politician in Norway’s Labour Party, was appointed in a Cabinet reshuffle.
“This is a very courageous move on the part of the Prime Minister. Hadia was once my student in journalism school. She is an extremely intelligent person and has been an activist all her life. I would describe this as an important decision for Norway that will go a long way to prove that we are a truly multicultural society,” Dag Herbjornsrud, editor of the influential paper Ny Tidtold The Hindu in a telephone conversation. “It was important that Norway proved this to the world, but it’s even more important that we proved this to ourselves.”
Ms. Tajik has already declared that cultural diversity should become more integral to the life of her fellow citizens. She said her programme would focus on how this reflects on Norwegian society as a whole. The programme will delve into the protection of minority rights, whether cultural or racial, including the right of Muslims to wear the veil in public places, among other issues.