Waleed Aly

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Waleed Ali.
Waleed Aly
Waleed Aly headshot.jpg
Waleed Aly in 2010
Born (1978-08-15) 15 August 1978 (age 36)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Education B.Eng., LL.B.
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Occupation Radio and television presenter, lawyer
Years active 1996–present
Television The Project
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni
Spouse(s) Susan Carland
Children Two

Waleed Aly (born 15 August 1978) is an Australian radio and television presenter who was born in Melbourne to Egyptian parents.[1]

Aly became one of the regular panel members of Network Ten's news and current affairs television program The Project in 2015 after previously being a semi-regular member. 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.


Aly identifies as a Sunni Muslim[2] and was educated at a Christian private secondary school in Melbourne's east.


Aly completed the International Baccalaureate at Wesley College, Melbourne (Glen Waverley Campus) in 1996. He then studied at University of Melbourne and graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Laws with Honours in 2002.[3]


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.[4]

From January 2012 to December 2014, Aly was a presenter of ABC Radio National's Drive program. He is currently a host on Network Ten's The Project.

Aly is a staff member of the Global Terrorism Research Centre at Monash University[5] 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 ongoing demand for Middle Eastern oil and more recently by factors such as the invasion of Iraq.[2][6] After the Boston Marathon bombings, describing terrorism as a "perpetual irritant", he said it is encouraging that we're finally maturing in the way we handle terrorism.[7]

Some of Aly's descriptions of terrorist events[8] have been questioned by some conservative commentators,[9] with one saying he understands why "Aly might choose to look the other way."[10] When Aly was questioned about meaning of the black flag with the Arabic shahādah displayed during the 2014 Sydney hostage crisis, Aly said "anybody" could acquire the flag, deflecting to its 'availability' rather than to its 'use'.[11]


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."[12]

Aly is the host of ABC TV's Big Ideas program on ABC1 and ABC News 24.[13] He is a regular guest co-host of The Conversation Hour [14] 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 a weekly program presented by young members of Melbourne's Muslim community and produced by RMITV [15] and later shown on SBS. There has been concern expressed, within the Muslim community regarding the addressing of some religious and cultural issues, within the Salam Cafe program.[16]

He has appeared as a panellist on ABC TV's Q&A program[17] and is an occasional co-host on ABC News Breakfast.

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

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".[18] Stephens has also said that "Aly is idolized by young Muslim academics".[19]

In December 2014, Aly resigned from all his positions at the ABC to become the permanent co-host of The Project, commencing 26 January 2015.[20]


Aly was commended in the 2005 Walkley Awards in the category of Commentary, Analysis, Opinion and Critique.[21] 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.[22] The portrait, with its hints of blood staining Aly's face,[23] now takes "pride of place" at the Islamic Museum of Australia in Melbourne.[24]


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 married to Susan Carland and they have two children.


  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. ^ "Mr Waleed Aly - Researcher Profile". monash.edu.au. 
  4. ^ "Human Rights Law Centre  » Our staff". hrlc.org.au. 
  5. ^ "Global Terrorism Research Centre staff and their areas of interest". Monash University Faculty of Arts. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Aly, Waleed (12 June 2014). "Western invasion paved way for Iraq's terror crisis". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Aly, Waleed (19 April 2013). "Bomb response refreshingly honest". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Waleed, Aly (1 July 2014). "Israel vows reprisal for teens killed in West Bank". ABC. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ Howe, Alan (7 November 2014). "Dangerous to ignore the facts on terrorism". Herald Sun. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "New ugly reality forces Australia to face the truth". The Daily Telegraph. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Aly, Waleed (9 July 2005). "A Muslim house divided". The Age. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "Big Ideas - ABC TV". abc.net.au. 
  14. ^ "The Conversation Hour with Jon Faine". abc.net.au. 
  15. ^ "Melbourne Muslims on air". theage.com.au. 
  16. ^ "Muslims Bash Son Of Mufti". MuslimVillage.com. 17 February 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  17. ^ "God, Sodomy and the Lash". ABC. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  18. ^ 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. 
  19. ^ O'Neil, Lorena (20 May 2014). "Meet Australia's Muslim Power Couple". Ozymandias. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  20. ^ Paul Kalina. "Waleed Aly takes permanent role at The Project". The Age. 
  21. ^ Walkley Award finalists, The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 October 2005
  22. ^ "Prizes, Archibald Prize 2011 - Abdul Abdullah". Art Galley of NSW. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  23. ^ Morsi, Yassir (2 April 2014). "Visit to The Islamic Museum of Australia". Australian Muslim Times. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  24. ^ Abbass, Rudabah (25 Jun 2014). "Artist captures the mood of the marginalised". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 

External links[edit]