Irshad Manji

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Irshad Manji in 2007

Irshad Manji (born 1968) is a Canadian Islamic feminist Muslim, author, journalist, and activist.


  • Islam was not always so close minded. During the 'Golden age' – between the 9th and 11th century – there existed a tradition of critical thinking in the Muslim world.
  • In Islam's golden age, so much progress was made that it became the basis of the European Renaissance. We Muslims have to change ourselves, that's the main difference. We can't keep blaming America or Israel for our misery.
  • It is time for those who love liberal democracy to join hands with Islam's reformists. Here is a clue to who's who: Moderate Muslims denounce violence committed in the name of Islam but insist that religion has nothing to do with it; reformist Muslims, by contrast, not only deplore Islamist violence but admit that our religion is used to incite it.
Quotes from The Trouble with Islam Today: A Wake-Up Call for Honesty and Change (2004)
  • Most Muslims treat the Quran as a document to imitate rather than interpret, suffocating our capacity to think for ourselves.
    • Ch. 2: Seventy Virgins?
  • I've read the scholarship that explains these verses 'in their context', and I think there's a fancy dance of evasion going on.
    • p. 48
  • Our global responsibility now is not to determine who owns what identity, but to convey to future generations what we all owe each other.
    • p. 203


  • Two other women, authors Irshad Manji (The Trouble with Islam Today) and Asra Nomani (Standing Alone in Mecca), have thrown a more robust challenge to the Islamic establishment, but instead of being debated on the merits of their case, the two were unfairly dismissed as attention-seeking apologists for the West.
    • Tarek Fatah, Chasing a Mirage (2008)
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