Irshad Manji

Irshad Manji

Director of the Moral Courage Project, University Professor, Human Rights Activist and Best Selling Author

Irshad Manji

Irshad Manji is the founder of the Moral Courage Project and 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 to be released in 2019: 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.

  1. Shut up and be Diverse! (Not)

    Diversity is a many-splendored thing. It can be the source of conviction or confusion. It can incite bigotry or inspire opportunity. By sharing examples from her own life and that of renowned historical figures, Irshad Manji shows us the key to embracing diversity.

  2. The Power of Asking Questions – Out Loud

    Irshad has transformed her personal journey into a riveting story that teaches all of us how to develop moral courage and confront the challenges we face – whether as students, professionals, parents, or citizens. Irshad Manji’s message is your wake-up call.

  3. Women as the Key to Reforming the Muslim World

    In this inspiring presentation, Irshad illuminates the root problems and offers concrete solutions based on Islam itself. Starting with her personal journey and ending on recommendations for action, Irshad urges all of us — Muslim and non-Muslim — to become leaders in the struggle for universal human rights. Better yet, she shows us how.

  4. 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.

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