Tans Lecture 2015 held by Irshad Manji, well-known critic of traditional mainstream Islam

Irshad Manji, a well-known critic of traditional mainstream Islam and described by The New York Times as "Osama bin Laden's worst nightmare", will give the Tans Lecture, titled ‘Beyond Geert Wilders: Turning Polarisation into Constructive Conflict’. The lecture will take place on 10 November. 

Europe, like much of the world, is raging with dogma. When it comes to religion and culture, fundamentalists of all varieties drown out the voice of reason. It is time for a real conversation about how to have a real conversation – one that requires us to evolve without sacrificing free speech. In the 2015 Tans Lecture, Prof. Irshad Manji, author on reform in Islam and founder of the Moral Courage Project at New York University, will make clear why disagreement is essential to intellectual diversity and human dignity. The question is how to disagree in ways that dignify each other and advance diversity. Her fresh perspective may offend fundamentalists in both the religious and the atheist arena, but it will enlighten those who aspire to becoming gutsy global citizens.

Irshad Manji

Irshad Manji is a Canadian author, educator at New York University and advocate of a “reformist” interpretation of Islam. She is the founder and director of the Moral Courage Project based at both New York University and the University of Southern California. This project equips students to make value-driven decisions for the sake of their integrity—both professional and personal. In April 2013, the project's YouTube channel, Moral Courage TV, was launched by Manji and professor/activist Cornel West. West spoke of Manji's work as a “powerful force for good”. Manji is a well-known critic of traditional mainstream Islam and was described by The New York Times as "Osama bin Laden's worst nightmare". Her book The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith has been published in more than 30 languages, including Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Malay and Indonesian. In 2011, she published Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom.

The dr. J. Tans Lecture is organized every year to honor dr. J. Tans (1912-1993), the founding father of Maastricht University. In 1977 Sjeng Tans became the first president of Maastricht University.

The Tans Lecture will take place on Tuesday 10 November 2015, 20.00 at the Lecture Hall, Tongersestraat 53. The lecture is in English – Attendance free of charge – No reservations – The number of seats is limited to the maximum capacity of the Lecture Hall. 

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