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Irshad Manji        

Founder of The Moral Courage Project, Author of "Allah, Liberty and Love" & "The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith"

Irshad Manji is Founder of the Moral Courage Project.

She is the winner of Oprah's first annual award for "nerve, conviction and boldness." The New York Times describes Prof. Manji as “Osama bin Laden’s worst nightmare.” A Muslim who openly stands for the dignity of women and minorities, she has founded the award-winning Moral Courage Project.

The University of Southern California is where Irshad and her team teach “moral courage,” which means doing the right thing in the face of your fears. It’s a leadership practice that applies not just to students, but also to educators, entrepreneurs and executives.

Irshad discovered her mission through a deeply personal journey. In 2004, she wrote The Trouble with Islam Today, an open letter to fellow Muslims about why religious reform is more necessary than ever. It became an international bestseller.

In 2008, Irshad turned the book into an Emmy-nominated PBS film, Faith Without Fear. And in 2011, she published Allah, Liberty & Love, which shows how Islam can be modernized for our time, the most pluralistic era in human history.

Along the way, Irshad drew key lessons in morally courageous leadership. For example, when do you step up for the sake of honesty? When do you step back for the sake of humility? Combining her reflections with cutting-edge research, she realized that moral courage is needed by anyone who seeks to have impact.

Now, Irshad is writing her third book: a provocative new take on diversity that will make us all re-think how we see one another and ourselves.

Irshad’s work earns high distinction in both the business and humanitarian realms. The World Economic Forum has selected her as a Young Global Leader. More recently, she won the Tom Lantos Award for Human Rights and Justice, named after the only Holocaust survivor to be elected to the U.S. Congress.

African by birth, Canadian by citizenship, American by immersion and universal by reach, Irshad inspires fresh perspectives on success, leadership, inclusion and integrity.

Speech Topics

How Do We Clean House in the Financial, Political or Religious Sectors?

With Americans reeling from corruption - in the financial industry, in organized religion, and in our political culture - it's time to answer the question: How do we clean house? Through moral courage.

Robert F. Kennedy defined "moral courage" as the willingness to speak truth to power within your circle for the sake of a greater good. Or, as Prof. Manji puts it, "speak up when everyone else wants to shut you up." No wonder Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes calls her "the master of moral courage."

Whether addressing corporate managers about workplace diversity, congregations about spiritual integrity, or students and teachers about a future of real opportunity, Irshad Manji gives game-changing guidance that individuals can take away and apply to their lives.

Now more than ever, America needs our voices. Irshad Manji is using hers to issue your wake-up call.

Creating Diversity for Prosperity

Irshad Manji belongs to several minority communities, which makes her a uniquely credible voice on diversity. But she emphasizes that diversity is not about appearances. It goes deeper than race, gender, or culture. Real diversity is about being uniquely individual. Dare to think differently from those in "your" group. That's the way to realize your full human potential.


By sharing examples from her own life and that of renowned historical figures, Irshad Manji shows us how individuality benefits the greater good. Along the way, she answers questions that help conquer fears.

Speak your mind. Engage your conscience. Accept your uniqueness. Each of us has an authentic voice. Using hers, Prof. Manji will help you enhance the diversity of your environment.

The Future of Islam

In this dynamic presentation, Irshad Manji charts the course for the reform of Islam. By "reform," she means reconciling faith and freedom. Professor Manji offers key insights into a new generation of Muslims, illuminating their challenges and opportunities. She also empowers non-Muslims to support Islamic reform in ways that bring out the better angels in all of us.

Starting with her personal journey and ending on recommendations for action, Professor Manji urges every individual - Muslim and non-Muslim - to become a leader in the struggle for universal human rights. Better yet, she shows us how.


Controversial Muslim writer says multiculturalism isn't what it once was

Pierre Trudeau wouldn't be happy with how his vision of multiculturalism had been corrupted – at least that's what Irshad Manji believes. The controversial ...

Q&A: Irshad Manji on multiculturalism | Toronto Star

Controversial Canadian author, professor and self described “Muslim refusenik” Irshad Manji discussed the impact of multiculturalism on women as part of the ...

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