Irshad Manji


The New York Times calls Irshad Manji “Osama bin Laden’s worst nightmare.” Oprah Winfrey’s magazine has given Irshad its first annual Chutzpah Award for “audacity, nerve, boldness and conviction.” She takes both as compliments.

Irshad is Director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University’s School of Public Service. The project teaches young leaders to challenge intellectual conformity and self-censorship. She is also a senior fellow with the European Foundation for Democracy, which promotes universal human rights and freedom of conscience.

Her bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith, has been published in 30 countries, including Pakistan, India, Lebanon and Indonesia. In Muslim states that have banned her book, Irshad is reaching readers by posting free translations on her website, So far, they have been downloaded more than 500,000 times in Arabic, Urdu and Persian.

The Trouble with Islam Today inspired an award-winning PBS documentary, “Faith Without Fear,” which chronicles Irshad’s campaign to renew the Islamic tradition of debate, dissent and critical thinking. Widely seen in Europe, Faith Without Fear is now being viewed in Islamic countries through digital technologies.

The American Society for Muslim Advancement names Irshad a Muslim Leader of Tomorrow. Ms. magazine has selected her a Feminist for the 21st Century. And The Jakarta Post in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, identifies Irshad as one three women creating a positive change in Islam today.