Irshad Manji

Founder of Moral Courage College and winner of Oprah's Chutzpah Award for  "audacity, nerve, boldness, and conviction"

Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes calls Irshad Manji the “master of moral courage.” Irshad is the founder of the ground-breaking Moral Courage College, which equips people with the skills and tools to have hard conversations about issues that are polarizing. Ultimately, her Moral Courage Method promotes action towards solutions that endure.


Irshad is also the Director of Courage, Curiosity, and Character for Let Grow, a New York-based nonprofit that promotes independence and resilience in young people. Besides working directly with students, she coaches educators from middle- and high school to college and university in the art and science of becoming Moral Courage Mentors.


A prize-winning professor at NYU for many years, Irshad now teaches with Oxford University’s Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights. A New York Times best-selling author, her latest book is Don’t Label Me: How to Do Diversity Without Inflaming the Culture Wars. Chris Rock has, well, labeled the book “genius.”
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Don't Label MeHow to Do Diversity Without Inflaming the Culture Wars
St. Martin's Press

Diversity, inclusion, antiracism – the hottest topics in America – have become exercises in labeling rather than engaging. Worse, the way they're practiced too often amplifies conflict.

Don’t Label Me provides needed guidance that’s fresh, relatable, and concrete. Irshad Manji shows how to do diversity without inflaming the culture wars. Educators, employers, and everyday citizens will learn to create cultures in which diversity of viewpoint is part and parcel of diversity itself, so that public listening becomes as important a skill as public speaking.

Manji also reveals the strategic value of not taking offense at every turn. And she unlocks the mystery of how to be heard by those who passionately disagree with us.

Along the way, Manji combines cutting-edge scholarship with the time-tested power of story to present an action plan for moral courage — the kind of courage that equips us to uncover common ground even when we stand our ground.

Trade Paperback
The Trouble with Islam TodayA Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith
St. Martin's Griffin

In this open letter to her fellow Muslims, Irshad Manji reveals the underbelly of Islam as it's widely practiced today: tribal insularity, deep-seated antisemitism, inferior treatment of women, and a reflexive hostility to those who ask questions. All religions have their patriarchal and fundamentalist strain, but Manji points out that this is mainstream in contemporary Islam.

It wasn't always so. As a person of profound faith, Manji emphasizes that Islamic civilization once led the world in curiosity, creativity, and innovation. That's thanks to Islam's own tradition of debate, dissent, and re-interpretation -- known as "ijtihad." And, except for petty politics, there's no reason that Muslims cannot revive ijtihad for the pluralistic 21st century.

With equal parts passion and scholarship, Manji offers her practical vision for an Islam that embraces tradition, yet also elevates women, promotes respect for minorities, and fosters competition of ideas. This dramatic call for reform has inspired struggling Muslims worldwide while compelling non-Muslims to appreciate that Islam can be so much more than the stereotypes depicted by headlines and hot takes.

Allah, Liberty & LoveThe Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom

In Allah, Liberty & Love, Irshad Manji paves a path for both Muslims and non-Muslims to live with honest-to-God integrity. What stops us is fear: the fear of offending others in a multicultural world as well as the fear of questioning our own communities.

Since publishing her international bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today, Manji has moved from anger to aspiration. She shows how any of us can reconcile faith with freedom and thus discover the God of liberty and love — the universal Creator that loves us enough to give us choices and the capacity to make them.

Among the highest profile religious reformers of our era, Manji draws on her experience in the trenches to share stories that are deeply poignant, frequently funny, and always illuminating about these morally confused times. Some of the questions she tackles:

* Why are young Muslims, even in the West, afraid to express their need for religious re-interpretation?
* What scares non-Muslims about openly supporting liberal voices within Islam?
* Who says we have to tolerate intolerable customs, such as "honor killings"?
* How can all people ditch dogma while keeping faith?
* Above all, when will more of us embark on a personal journey toward "moral courage" -- doing the right thing in the face of our fears?

Allah, Liberty & Love is the ultimate guide to becoming a gutsy global citizen. Irshad Manji believes profoundly not just in God, but also in the human spirit.

How to Cancel 'Cancel Culture' and Revive Dialogue New York Times bestselling author and recipient of Oprah's award for boldness, Irshad Manji believes that America's founding genius is diversity of thought. Yet in today's United States, we're being bulldozed by the impulse to shame and 'cancel' each other for having divergent opinions.

How do we turn the tide on tribalism? Manji says it isn't by emphasizing our cultural and racial differences; it's by moving past our labels for one another and practicing "honest diversity" - which recognizes that all of us (even straight white guys!) are multi-faceted and worthy of being heard, not herded.

In this passionate and interactive speech, Manji will share the key to progress in our organizations as well as our nation: overcoming the tendency to label those who disagree with us. Having experienced censorship and prejudice in her own life, Manji brings her experiences as a refugee fleeing civil war in Africa, a Muslim immigrant to the U.S., and a prize-winning professor of leadership.

Get ready for a stimulating conversation about finding common ground even while standing one's ground. Together with Irshad Manji, your organization will chart a path to practicing true inclusion.
Moral Courage for Messy Times With Americans reeling from a botched response to the pandemic, deepening cynicism about economic opportunity, heartbreak over continued racial injustice, and amplified noise from media left and right, it's time to voice what we're all thinking: Does this country have a hope?

Yes, says Irshad Manji, as long as we the people develop moral courage. Robert F. Kennedy defined moral courage as being more important than "bravery in battle or even great intelligence." It is, he added, "the one essential, vital quality" for changing a stubborn world. And with expert guidance, more of us can build our moral courage muscles.

As founder of the ground-breaking Moral Courage College, Irshad Manji provides that guidance. She inspires each of us to take a stand for what we believe as well as to engage those who believe the opposite. Backed by scientific research and driven by the need for solutions, Manji offers this game-changing insight: Only by turning disagreement into engagement will any of us cut through the noise and be heard.

Her tips, techniques, and tactics can be applied immediately - with results that are sure to surprise the skeptics. She doesn't talk about what's possible. She shows it.

Whether addressing employees, congregations, educators, students, or everyday citizens, Irshad Manji is the Moral Courage Mentor summoned by our messy times.

"Our campus is still buzzing about Irshad's visit. This is the university experience at its best."
-University of Illinois at Chicago

"Irshad Manji diversity in a refreshing way, and the excellent results are proof. Our HR managers felt heard, engaged, and understood by Irshad, even as she taught them how to hear, engage, and understand employees throughout the corporation. She role-models what she teaches, showing (and not just telling) how the Moral Courage Method can be integrated into our workplace culture. The approach is simple yet deeply powerful."
-Lockheed Martin

"Irshad got us out of our comfort zone to understand how we can harness all that we are for a life of higher performance and deeper meaning. Her message of moral courage is a game-changer for anyone who desires both success and significance."
-World Presidents Organization, Pan-Asia

"I can think of no more important role model for our students than a woman who has dedicated herself to the promotion of freedom, dignity, and human rights for every person."
-Young Women’s Leadership Network

"Irshad’s message clearly captivated and resonated with our students. Their standing ovation said it all."
-The Nightingale-Bamford School, New York

"Irshad is my go-to guide on personal integrity. I moved from Vancouver to New York just to take her class at NYU. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made."
-Caroline Wang, M.D.

"In our 22 years of planning lectures, rarely have we seen such a captivating speaker."
-92nd Street Y, New York

"Irshad inspires each of us to be our unique selves. She epitomizes authenticity. She had our audience of 750 diversity leaders rising to their feet with her humor!"
-Linkage Inc., Developing Leaders Worldwide

"Anyone can talk about leadership but Irshad does it. She has inspired us to launch a Moral Courage Task Force that is student-led and solutions-oriented."
-Rob Moore, Associate Head of School, Lawrence Academy