Founder & Director, Moral Courage Project
Irshad Manji is the Founder and Director of the Moral Courage Project, which equips students to make values-based decisions. She has turned her journey as a religious reformer into teachings about professional leadership, informed by cutting-edge research from across the disciplines.
As a reformist Muslim, Irshad puts moral courage into practice. Her latest book, Allah, Liberty & Love, is a guide to reconciling faith and freedom in a world raging with repressive dogmas. Fareed Zakaria of CNN and Time magazine lauds Allah, Liberty & Love as being “at the forefront of some crucially important trends” that are “changing the world of Islam.” Irshad’s previous book is the international bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith. In-between her books, she created the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary, Faith Without Fear.
In both the business and nonprofit arenas, Irshad's work has earned high recognition. The World Economic Forum names her as a Young Global Leader. The New York Society for Ethical Culture has given her its rare Ethical Humanist Award. And Oprah Winfrey bestowed on Irshad the first annual Chutzpah Award for "audacity, nerve, boldness and conviction."
At NYU Wagner, Irshad teaches Moral Courage and Your Purpose. Among the professional skills that students can expect to learn: articulating how you want to serve your society, identifying your core values, turning your values into action, knowing when to step up or step back, and staying motivated to deliver on your vision.
Public Leadership and Moral Courage
What's the trouble with groupthink? When should you stand up to orthodoxy in your community? How do you deal with the inevitable backlash? Why does it matter to speak about truth in an era of cultural, religious and ethnic diversity? Above all, what does it mean to exercise moral courage, which Robert F. Kennedy called the "essential quality" needed to change the world?
Such ambitious questions will be explored in Public Leadership and Moral Courage. This course is part of the Moral Courage Project, which aims to challenge intellectual conformity and self-censorship so that individual talent can be discovered, developed, and deployed. We will be equipping you to create impact.
In that spirit, Public Leadership and Moral Courage will draw lessons from heretics throughout history. Along the way, students will be mentored sand sometimes pushed to practice moral courage in their own lives. This course aspires to produce leaders and not just study them.
Such ambitious questions will be explored in Public Leadership and Moral Courage. This course is part of the Moral Courage Project, which aims to challenge intellectual conformity and self-censorship so that individual talent can be discovered, developed and applied to building more honest communities.
In that spirit, Public Leadership and Moral Courage will draw lessons from heretics throughout history. Along the way, students will be mentored and sometimes pushed to practice moral courage in their own lives. This course aims to produce leaders and not just study them.
Moral Courage Project
Launched in 2008, the Moral Courage Project (MCP) aims to develop leaders who will challenge political correctness, intellectual conformity and self-censorship. In the best spirit of liberal education, the project teaches that rights come with responsibilities, that we are citizens rather than members of mere tribes, and that meaningful diversity embraces different ideas and not just identities.
The New York Times bestselling author to whom Oprah gave her first ever “Chutzpah” Award, Irshad Manji writes a bridge-building book that is both a stirring reflection and a path to action.
Allah, Liberty and Love shows all of us how to advance the twenty-first century reformation in Islam. As a Muslim who bridges East and West, Irshad Manji paves the way to reconciling faith and freedom—and she does by teaching “moral courage,” the willingness to speak up in the face of intimidation.
What prevents young Muslims, even in the West, from expressing their need for religious reinterpretation? What scares non-Muslims about openly supporting liberal voices within Islam? How did we get into the mess of tolerating intolerable customs, such as honor killings, and how do we change that noxious status quo?
Calling out both the fatwa-flingers and the mute moderates, Irshad offers the ultimate guide to becoming a gutsy global citizen. Prepare to be informed as well as inspired.
Manji, Irshad 2005. The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith
This book is an open letter from me, a Muslim voice of change, to concerned citizens worldwide -- Muslim and not. It's about why my faith community needs to come to terms with the diversity of ideas, beliefs and people in our universe, and why non-Muslims have a pivotal role in helping us get there.
The Trouble with Islam Today shatters our silence. It shows Muslims how we can re-discover Islam's lost tradition of independent thinking -- known as "ijtihad" -- and re-discover it precisely to update Islamic practices for the 21st century. The opportunity to update is especially available to Muslims in the West, because it's there that we enjoy precious freedoms to think, express, challenge and be challenged without fear of state reprisal. In that sense, the Muslim reformation begins in the West.