Abid Qayyum Raja, who was born on 5 November 1975 in Oslo, is a Norwegian lawyer and politician of Pakistani descent. He is a graduate in Human Rights and Behavioural Sciences in Law at the University of
Abid Qayyum Raja
Abid Qayyum Raja, who was born on 5 November 1975 in Oslo, is a Norwegian lawyer and politician of Pakistani descent. He is a graduate in Human Rights and Behavioural Sciences in Law at the University of Southampton. Abid Raja was in 2003 a Norway Scholar at Wadham College at the University of Oxford where he studied for a MSc in Psychology. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Criminology and Cand.Jur.degree from University of Oslo with Laud.
Since 2008, Raja Abid has been office bearer and a Board Leader of Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board. He was first on leave to serve as Police Prosecutor at National Police Immigration Service. He was posted as Norwegian diplomat at Royal Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi, India. Previously he has worked as a criminal defence lawyer for four years and has been civil case litigator for two years. He has appeared on many televised debates, and has written op-eds in national newspapers.
Raja is a member of the Liberal Party of Norway. He unsuccessfully stood for a seat from Akershus county for the Norwegian Parliament in the 2009 national elections. He has however been called to duty as member of the Norwegian National assembly several times as a deputy member. He was in 2012 nominated as the top candidate for Akershus Venstre in the Norwegian parliamentary election, 2013. He is thus the first person in Norwegian politics with minority background to be nominated at top of a ballot-list for National parliament election.
He has been a spokesman for various Muslim organizations in Norway. As student he was a student leader for students with minority background and was also twice elected to Norwegian Student Parliament. He also served as national expert of Norwegian Nation Crime Prevention Council.
He has voiced opposition to prearranged marriages. He has also written two books; spokesman in 2008 (Aschehoug publishers house) and in 2010 (CappelenDamm publishers).
As a child Abid Qayyum Raja was subjected to corporal punishment by his Pakistani parents and as a result he contacted child protective services on his own, who took him into protective care for six months. He has been an ardent opponent of spanking and corporal punishment of children ever since.
After a memorial service for the victims of the World Trade Centre attack in 2001 at the American Church, Frogner, Oslo, he said it is important that moderate Muslims share the sorrow and distance themselves from extremist violence and acts of terror.
In 2010 he was awarded the Fritt Ord Award.