Waleed Aly

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Waleed Ali.
Waleed Aly
Waleed Aly headshot.jpg
Aly in 2010
Born (1978-08-15) 15 August 1978 (age 37)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Education BEng, LLB
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Occupation Author, journalist, newspaper columnist, radio and television presenter, lawyer, academic, guitarist, songwriter
Years active 1996–present
Television The Project
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni
Spouse(s) Susan Carland
Children 2

Waleed Aly (born 15 August 1978) is an Australian writer, academic, lawyer, media presenter and musician. Aly is currently a co-host of Network Ten's news and current affairs television program The Project.

Early life[edit]

Aly was born in Melbourne, Victoria, to Egyptian parents.[1] He is a Sunni Muslim[2] and was educated at Wesley College.He completed the International Baccalaureate at Wesley in 1996, and then studied at the University of Melbourne, graduating with Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Laws (with honours) degrees in 2002.[3] Aly is married to Susan Carland, and they have two children.[4]

Legal and academic career[edit]

After graduating, 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] In 2008, he was selected to participate in the Australia 2020 Summit.[6]

Aly is a staff member of the Global Terrorism Research Centre at Monash University[7] 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][8] After the Boston Marathon bombings, describing terrorism as a "perpetual irritant", he said it is encouraging that we are finally maturing in the way we handle terrorism.[9]


As head of public affairs for the Islamic Council of Victoria (and a member of its executive committee), Aly was regularly interviewed on current affairs and news programs. His 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."[10]

Aly was the host of ABC TV's Big Ideas program on ABC1 and ABC News 24.[11] He has been a regular guest co-host on The Conversation Hour[12] 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[13] and later shown on SBS.

He has appeared as a panellist on ABC TV's Q&A program,[14] and has been an occasional co-host on the ABC's News Breakfast. In 2011, he temporarily hosted the ABC Radio National Breakfast show.[citation needed]

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".[15] Stephens has also said that "Aly is idolized by young Muslim academics".[16]

In December 2014, Aly resigned from all his positions at the ABC to become the permanent co-host of The Project, starting 26 January 2015.[17]

In November 2015, Aly criticised the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in a four-minute monologue titled "What ISIL wants" on The Project in the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks, labelling them as "bastards" and calling for no one to fear them, because "they are weak". The video, written by Aly and producer Tom Whitty, was posted online and received enormous attention within a few hours.[18]


At the 2005 Walkley Awards, Aly was commended in the category of Commentary, Analysis, Opinion and Critique.[19] Also in 2005, he was made 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.[citation needed]

In 2015, Aly and producer Tom Whitty were finalists for two Our Watch Awards (The Walkley Foundation) for exemplary reporting to end violence against women, for their viral editorial, Show Me The Money (Domestic Violence Funding).[20] The pair were also nominated for (and won) a United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Award for Promotion of Climate Change Issues, with their Renewable Energy Target monologue.[21] Aly and Whitty finished the year with a Walkley nomination for Excellence in Journalism in the All Media Commentary, Analysis, Opinion and Critique category, for a series of editorials including Show Me The Money, Renewable Energy Target, and Negative Gearing.[22]


Aly is the lead guitarist and principal songwriter for the Melbourne-based rock band Robot Child.[23][24] The band contributed a track to the Jesuit Social Services' JUST MUSIC album,[25] performing at The Famous Spiegeltent for its release.[26] They were also widely praised for their cover of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb at the 2015 Walkley Awards.[27][28]


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.[citation needed]


  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. ^ "Q&A panelist, Susan Carland". ABC Q&A. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "Human Rights Law Centre » Our staff". hrlc.org.au. 
  6. ^ "Mr Waleed Aly - Researcher Profile". Monash University. Retrieved 26 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "Global Terrorism Research Centre staff and their areas of interest". Monash University Faculty of Arts. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Aly, Waleed (12 June 2014). "Western invasion paved way for Iraq's terror crisis". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  9. ^ Aly, Waleed (19 April 2013). "Bomb response refreshingly honest". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  10. ^ Aly, Waleed (9 July 2005). "A Muslim house divided". The Age. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Big Ideas - ABC TV". abc.net.au. 
  12. ^ "The Conversation Hour with Jon Faine". abc.net.au. 
  13. ^ "Melbourne Muslims on air". theage.com.au. 
  14. ^ "God, Sodomy and the Lash". ABC. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ O'Neil, Lorena (20 May 2014). "Meet Australia's Muslim Power Couple". Ozymandias. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Paul Kalina. "Waleed Aly takes permanent role at The Project". The Age. 
  18. ^ Waleed Aly,Tom Whitty (16 November 2015). "What ISIL wants". The Project. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  19. ^ Walkley Award finalists, The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 October 2005
  20. ^ http://www.ourwatch.org.au/News-media/Latest-news/%E2%80%8BOur-Watch-Award-2015-Finalists-announced
  21. ^ http://www.unaavictoria.org.au/awards-programs/media-awards/winners-finalists1/
  22. ^ http://www.walkleys.com/awards/generalfinalists2015/
  23. ^ "Waleed Aly". ABC Radio National. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  24. ^ Nick O'Malley (1 January 2011). "Nothing in moderation for Waleed Aly". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  25. ^ "JUST MUSIC artists". Jesuit Social Services. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  26. ^ "Robot Child". triple j Unearthed. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  27. ^ "The Project's Waleed Aly wows journos with guitar work at Walkley Awards". Sydney Morning Herald. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  28. ^ "Waleed Aly shreds on guitar as his band performs at the Walkleys". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 

External links[edit]