Waleed Aly

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Not to be confused with Waleed Ali.
Waleed Aly
Waleed Aly headshot.jpg
Waleed Aly in 2010
Birth name Waleed Aly
Born (1978-08-15) August 15, 1978 (age 36)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Medium Radio and television presenter, lawyer, rock musician.
Nationality Australian/Egyptian
Alma mater University of Melbourne (B.Eng., LL.B.)
Years active 1996–present
Genres Religions, Rock Music.
Subject(s) Islamophobia, News media, Religion, Islamic culture.
Influences Australian Muslims
Influenced Australian Muslims
Spouse Susan Carland
Children Aisha and Zayd
Notable works and roles People Like Us

Waleed "Wally" Aly (born 15 August 1978) is an Australian radio and television presenter who has also worked as a lawyer, academic and rock musician. He has been a member of the executive committee of the Islamic Council of Victoria and has served as the council's head of public affairs. He is a frequent commentator on Australian Muslim affairs. In 2008 he was selected to participate in the Australia 2020 Summit. He was born in Melbourne to Egyptian parents.[1]


Aly is a Sunni Muslim.[2]


Aly completed the International Baccalaureate at Wesley College, Melbourne (Glen Waverley Campus) in 1996, where he was a music prefect and an Alexander Wawn scholar. His International Baccalaureate-extended essay was formal harmonic and structural analysis of 'Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody'. He then studied at University of Melbourne and graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Laws with Honours in 2002.[3] He was a candidate for a Doctor of Philosophy degree at the School of Political and Social Inquiry in the Arts Faculty at Monash University.[4][dead link]


Aly worked as an associate to Family Court judge Joseph Kay, and until 2007 worked as a solicitor in Melbourne for Maddocks Lawyers. In 2006 he was a pro bono lawyer with the Human Rights Law Centre on secondment from Maddocks.[5]

He is currently a presenter of ABC Radio National's "Drive" program,[6] with an annual salary of $187,500.[7]

Aly is a staff member of the Global Terrorism Research Centre at Monash University[8] and says that most of the conflicts in the Middle East can be traced to the arbitrary way in which its territories were divided-up by Western powers, by the on-going demand for Middle Eastern oil and more recently by factors such as the invasion of Iraq.[9][2] After the Boston Marathon bombings he said that it is encouraging that we're finally maturing in the way we handle terrorism.[10]

Some of Aly's descriptions of terrorist events[11] have been questioned by some conservative commentators.[12]


As a spokesman for the Islamic Council of Victoria, Aly was regularly interviewed on current affairs and news programs. Aly's social and political commentary appears regularly in newspapers such as The Guardian, The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald[citation needed] and The Age. In searching for reasons behind the suicide attacks in central London on 7 July 2005, Aly wrote, reminding readers of the Koranic passage, "Do not let the injustice of others lead you into injustice."[13]

Aly is the host of ABC TV's Big Ideas program on ABC1 and ABC News 24.[14] He is a regular guest co-host of The Conversation Hour [15] with Jon Faine on 774 ABC Melbourne and The Project on Channel 10 and also was a regular panel member and producer on Salam Cafe[16] a weekly program presented by young members of Melbourne's Muslim community produced by student community television production house RMITV [17] and broadcast on community TV station Channel 31 and later on national broadcaster SBS. There has been concern expressed, within the Muslim community regarding the addressing of some religious and cultural issues, within the Salam Cafe program.[18]

He has appeared as a panellist on ABC TV's Q&A program[19] and is an occasional co-host on ABC News Breakfast.

In 2011 he temporarily hosted the ABC Radio National Breakfast show.[6]

Aly has been defended by Scott Stephens, editor of Religion and Ethics ABC, in response to claims that Aly's role, "is to sanitise the public image of Islam".[20] Stephens has also said that, "Aly is idolized by young Muslim academics".[21]


Aly was commended in the 2005 Walkley Awards in the category of Commentary, Analysis, Opinion and Critique.[22] Also in 2005 he was made the White Ribbon Day ambassador for the United Nations' international day for the elimination of violence against women and was named one of The Bulletin magazine's 'Smart 100' in 2007. In 2008 he was also invited to participate in the Prime Minister's 2020 Summit.[citation needed]

A portrait of Aly, by Abdul Abdullah, was a 2011 Archibald Prize finalist.[23] The portrait, with its hints of blood staining Aly's face,[24] now takes "pride of place" at the Islamic Museum of Australia in Melbourne.[25]


His book, People Like Us: How Arrogance is Dividing Islam and the West (Picador, 2007), was shortlisted for the best newcomer award in the Australian Book Industry Awards and the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards in 2008.


Aly is the guitarist and a key songwriter in the Melbourne rock, funk and jazz band Robot Child.[26] Aly participated in the 2009 production of 'Pink Floyd's: The Wall' at Wesley College, Glen Waverley, in which he performed the part of lead guitarist in the band.


He is married to Susan Carland and they have two children, Aisha (who currently studies at Wesley College Glen Waverley) and Zayd.

Selected writing[edit]

The Monthly[edit]

The Australian[edit]

The Age/ SMH[edit]



  1. ^ Doogue, Geraldine (16 October 2005). "Islam On Parade". ABC. 
  2. ^ a b Bevan, Matt (17 March 2011). "Shiites versus Sunnis". ABC. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.monash.edu.au/research/profiles/profile.html?sid=13657&pid=4420
  4. ^ "60 second with... Waleed Aly". Monash University. Retrieved 2009-03-09. 
  5. ^ http://www.hrlc.org.au/about/our-staff
  6. ^ a b http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/drive/
  7. ^ "ABC Salaries". The Australian. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Global Terrorism Research Centre staff and their areas of interest". Monash University Faculty of Arts. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  9. ^ Aly, Waleed (12 June 2014). "Western invasion paved way for Iraq's terror crisis". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  10. ^ Aly, Waleed (19 April 2013). "Bomb response refreshingly honest". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Waleed, Aly (1 July 2014). "Israel vows reprisal for teens killed in West Bank". ABC. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Bolt, Andrew (2 July 2014). "Waleed Aly does it again: giving the murder of three young Jews some “broader” context". Herald Sun. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  13. ^ Aly, Waleed (9 July 2005). "A Muslim house divided". The Age. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  14. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/
  15. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/melbourne/conversations/
  16. ^ http://www.salamcafe.com.au/
  17. ^ http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2006/10/25/1161699354391.html?page=fullpage
  18. ^ "Muslims Bash Son Of Mufti". MuslimVillage.com. 17 February 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "God, Sodomy and the Lash". ABC. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  20. ^ Stephens, Scott (16 May 2014). "The Lucidity of Madmen: Andrew Bolt, Waleed Aly and the Myth of the 'Model Moderate Muslim'". ABC. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  21. ^ O'Neil, Lorena (20 May 2014). "Meet Australia's Muslim Power Couple". Ozymandias. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  22. ^ Walkley Award finalists, The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 October 2005
  23. ^ "Prizes, Archibald Prize 2011 - Abdul Abdullah". Art Galley of NSW. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  24. ^ Morsi, Yassir (2 April 2014). "“White-washed I” – Visit to the Islamic Museum of Australia". Australian Muslim Times. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  25. ^ Abbass, Rudabah (25 Jun 2014). "Artist captures the mood of the marginalised". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Robot Child on MySpace Music". MySpace. Retrieved 2009-03-09. 

External links[edit]