BOZEMAN – Best-selling author Irshad Manji, an inspirational speaker, founder of the Moral Courage Project and Muslim reformist, will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22, in Montana State University’s Strand Union Ballroom.

Known for her best-selling books, including “Allah, Liberty, and Love” and “Trouble with Islam Today,” Manji’s writing focuses on empowering individuals to question and make choices in the face of fear and adversity.

Manji is also director of the Moral Courage Project at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, which is dedicated to equipping people with the ability to make decisions without compromising their integrity. For Manji, this means living openly as a lesbian and a Muslim.

“Irshad Manji shares one of the most inspiring and powerful messages that I have ever heard,” said MSU President Waded Cruzado. “I am thrilled that our MSU community has been given the opportunity to experience such a dynamic speaker.”

Manji seeks to encourage and empower people of all religions and backgrounds to stand up to abuse. She says she models this philosophy as she maintains her faith and attempts to bridge the widening gap between religious conviction and freedom, even in the face of death threats.

She recently was awarded the Lantos Human Rights Prize, given to individuals who exhibit “courage and towering moral strength,” and those who have faced personal danger in exposing human rights abuses. Previous recipients of the Lantos Prize include the Dalai Lama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Manji’s visit is hosted by the MSU Leadership Institute, and following the lecture she will be available to answer audience questions.

Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. the night of the event and tickets are available at local TicketsWest locations and the Bobcat Ticket Office.