Norway: Bushra Ishaq & Abid Q. Raja to receive Fritt Ord Award

Norway: Bushra Ishaq & Abid Q. Raja to receive Fritt Ord Award

Ishaq and Raja were both involved in the public debate regarding Islam in Norway, but both had also been accused of being extremists (see here and here, for example). 


The Fritt Ord (Free Speech) award for 2010 goes to Bushra Ishaq and Abid Q. Raja.

Raja will get the award for creating arenas for dialog-meetings with themes which are important to the public debate.  He's been an energetic debater in a time full of conflicts, according to the Fritt Ord organization.

According to the Fritt Ord board, Ishaq gets the prize because clearly rooted in her Muslim faith and community and with her arguments and bridge-building form, she's contributed to further developing understanding of what it means to live in today's multicultural society.

Isaq was born in 1985 and studies medicine and physiology at the University in Oslo.  She's a peace-worker in the international organization Youth Global Harmony Association.  She's also a member of the women's panel in the Children, Equality, and Inclusion Ministry.

Since 2007, Ishaq has been a dialog-worker in the contact group for the Church council and Islamic council in Norway, and is a former leader of the Muslim student society.

Raja was born in 1975 and works today for the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board.  He's a trained lawyer and deputy representative for the Liberal Party in parliament.

Raja had arranged several dialog meetings on equality of minority women, banned love, imam's social responsibility, women's oppression, freedom of expression, hate among minority groups and violent demonstrations, and he's been engaged in creating arenas where minority youth can meet politicians, journalists and decision makers.

Fritt Ord is a private organization which works to promote freedom of speech and public debate.  The Fritt Ord award is the institution's highest award.  Both recipients will receive a prize of 200,000 Norwegian kroner.  They will also get the Fritt Ord statue, created by Nils Aas.

The award will be given Monday, May 10 in Oslo.

Source: VG (Norwegian)

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