Douglas Murray (author)

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Douglas Murray
Born Douglas Kear Murray
(1979-07-16) 16 July 1979 (age 37)
Scotland, United Kingdom
Occupation Associate director of the Henry Jackson Society
Former director of the Centre for Social Cohesion
Nationality Scottish
Education St Benedict's School
Eton College
Alma mater Magdalen College, Oxford
Period 2000–present
Subject Politics, culture, history
Notable works Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas (2000)
Neoconservatism: Why We Need It (2005)
Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and the Saville Inquiry (2011)
Douglas Murray

Douglas Kear Murray (born 17 July 1979) is a Scottish writer, journalist and commentator.[1] He was the founder of the Centre for Social Cohesion and is currently the associate director of the Henry Jackson Society and associate editor of The Spectator.[2][3]

Murray appears regularly in the British broadcast media, commenting on issues from a neoconservative standpoint, and he is often critical of Islam. He writes for a number of publications, including Standpoint, The Wall Street Journal and The Spectator. He is the author of Neoconservatism: Why We Need It (2005) and Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and the Saville Inquiry (2011).


Murray was educated at West Bridgford School, St Benedict's School[4] and Eton College[5] before going on to study English at Magdalen College, Oxford.[6]


While in his second year at Oxford he wrote, aged 19,[7] a biography of Lord Alfred Douglas[6] that was described by Christopher Hitchens as "masterly".[8] After leaving Oxford, Murray wrote a play, Nightfall, about the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.[9] In 2005 he published a defence of neoconservatismNeoconservatism: Why We Need It—and undertook a related promotional tour of the United States.[10] In 2007 he assisted in the writing of Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership by Gen. Dr. Klaus Naumann, Gen. John Shalikashvili, Field Marshal The Lord Inge, Adm. Jacques Lanxade, and Gen. Henk van den Breemen.[11] Upon publication, The Guardian reported its recommendations. His book Bloody Sunday was (jointly) awarded the 2011-12 Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize for advancing peace and understanding.[12] In June 2013 his book Islamophilia: a Very Metropolitan Malady was published.

Media appearances and journalism[edit]

Murray has appeared on a number of British current affairs programmes, including the BBC's Question Time,[13] This Week,[14] HardTalk,[15] the Today programme,[16] The Big Questions,[17] and The Daily Politics,[18] in which he presented a piece arguing that multiculturalism is neither multiracialism, nor is it pluralism. Murray has written for The Guardian[19] and Standpoint,[20] and in 2012 he was appointed a contributing editor of The Spectator.[21]

Under the headline "Anyone know any Irishman jokes?" Murray wrote a column querying a council having "to pay thousands of pounds in compensation" to a union official who had been told an Irish joke by a Conservative councillor, writing "you can reflect on the ramifications for the taxpayer of a society that decides it needs officials to arbitrate on jokes".[22] The Federation of Irish Societies (an organisation that represents Irish clubs and societies in Britain)[23] lodged a formal complaint about the blog to the Press Complaints Commission.[24] Murray wrote about the incident in an article for The Spectator.[25]

In 2016, through The Spectator, he organised a competition for offensive poems about Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with £1,000 as top prize. This was in reaction to the Böhmermann affair, in which German satirist Jan Böhmermann was prosecuted within his own country for such a poem.[26] The winner was Boris Johnson, Conservative MP and former Mayor of London, who is one-eighth Turkish.[27]

Views on Islam[edit]

Murray is a frequent critic of Islam and Muslims, and has identified what he sees as, "a creed of Islamic fascism—a malignant fundamentalism, woken from the dark ages to assault us here and now".[28] He views cultural relativism as exacerbating the issue.[28] Murray has labelled "Islamophobia" a "nonsense term", as "there are a considerable number of reasons to be fearful of some—though certainly not all—aspects and versions of Islam".[29]

In February 2006, Murray expressed his views on Islam and Muslims in Europe, in his talk delivered to the Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference in the Hague, Netherlands:

"Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition. We in Europe owe – after all – no special dues to Islam. We owe them no religious holidays, special rights or privileges. From long before we were first attacked it should have been made plain that people who come into Europe are here under our rules and not theirs. If some Muslims don’t have a mosque to go to, then they’ll just have to realise that they aren’t owed one."[30][31][32]

His comments about Islamic extremism in the Netherlands mean that he has to have a police guard when travelling there.[13]

In March 2009, Murray wrote to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith warning that he was planning to instruct his lawyers to issue an international arrest warrant against Ibrahim Mousawi if he entered Britain;[33] the Home Office eventually refused Mousawi a visa.[34] In 2009, Murray was prevented from chairing a debate at the London School of Economics between Alan Sked and Hamza Tzortzis. The move drew strong criticism from conservative press such as The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator.[35][36][37]

In 2009, Murray was told by police not to attend a debate scheduled between him and Islamist Anjem Choudary for fear that he might be attacked. It emerged that the security hired to protect the event were actually members of Choudary's group al-Muhajiroun.[38]

In 2010, Murray argued against the motion in an Intelligence Squared debate titled "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?". He won alongside Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and opposite Zeba Khan and Maajid Nawaz.[39]

In December 2015, Murray announced that he could no longer give his readers advance notice of his speaking engagements, citing "security reasons".[40]

Personal life[edit]

Murray is an atheist, having previously been an Anglican, but has described himself variously as a cultural Christian,[41] and a Christian atheist.[42] He is openly gay.[43]


As co-author:

International affiliations[edit]

Murray is on the international advisory board of NGO Monitor.[44]


  1. ^ "4 Douglas Murray". The Scotsman. 9 November 2003. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Douglas Murray". Henry Jackson Society. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  3. ^ "24/08/2016". Newsnight. 24 August 2016. BBC. BBC Two. Retrieved 29 August 2016. And from our Oxford studio, Douglas Murray, Associate Editor of The Spectator. 
  4. ^ at the Wayback Machine (archived October 5, 2011)
  5. ^ "Education Supplements: Chance of a lifetime – Douglas Murray". Retrieved 4 May 2012. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b Smith, Dinitia (18 July 2000). "Article". New York Times. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Pass Notes: Douglas Murray". London: The Guardian. 8 June 2000. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Hitchens, Christopher (30 August 2006). "Christopher Hitchens: Young Brit defends American people, politics and policies". Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Freedman, Daniel (17 August 2006). "Mugged by Reality". Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Daniel Freedman (17 August 2006). "Mugged by Reality". New York Sun. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership" (PDF). Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "The 2011 – 2012 Prize | Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize". 1972-01-30. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  13. ^ a b "This week's panel". BBC News. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "This Week – Douglas Murray on Afghanistan". BBC News. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Douglas Murray". BBC News. 3 March 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "Radio 4 – Today Programme Listen Again". BBC. 2 September 2006. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "BBC One - The Big Questions, Series 2, Episode 34". 13 September 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  18. ^ "Douglas Murray: 'multiculturalism is not multiracialism'". 7 March 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  19. ^ Murray, Douglas (31 October 2006). "Mission distorted". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  20. ^ Douglas Murray. "Power to the Spokespeople". Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  21. ^ Greenslade, Roy (7 March 2012). "Chancellor returns to The Spectator". London: Guardian. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "Anyone know any Irishman jokes?". The Daily Telegraph. London. 8 February 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  23. ^ Federation of Irish Societies. "About Us". UK. Archived from the original on 29 December 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  24. ^ Scully, Marc (2010). Scully, Marc (2010). Discourses of authenticity and national identity among the Irish diaspora in England. PhD thesis, The Open University. (Ph.D.). Open University. 
  25. ^ Douglas Murray. "Why can't anyone take a joke any more?". UK. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  26. ^ "'Insult Turkey's Erdogan' contest set up by Spectator magazine". 19 April 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2016. 
  27. ^ Elgot, Jessica (19 May 2016). "Boris Johnson wins 'most offensive Erdoğan poem' competition". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2016. 
  28. ^ a b Murray, Douglas (26 October 2005). "Neoconservatism: why we need it—a talk to the Manhattan Institute". Web Review. The Social Affairs Unit. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  29. ^ Douglas Murray. "Standpoint". UK. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  30. ^ Douglas Murray (3 March 2006). "Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference on Europe and Islam: What are we to do about Islam?". - The Social Affairs Unit. Archived from the original on 2 February 2007. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  31. ^ Paul Goodman (11 October 2011). "Why the Conservative frontbench broke off relations with Douglas Murray – and what happened afterwards". Conservative Home. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  32. ^ Lucy Sherriff, The Huffington Post (13 May 2013). "Muslim Students' Anger At Student Rights' Extremism On Campus Claims". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  33. ^ Barrett, David (7 March 2009). "Campaigners will seek arrest of Islamic radical". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  34. ^ Prince, Rosa (13 March 2009). "Ibrahim Moussawi denied visa over Hezbollah". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  35. ^ Melanie Phillips (23 January 2009). "The LSE caves in to terror". The Spectator. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  36. ^ "Civil liberties group calls for resignation of Prof Janet Hartley". The Daily Telegraph. London. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  37. ^ Damian Thompson (23 January 2009). "Gutless LSE bans Islam critic Douglas Murray for 'security reasons'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 23 February 2009. 
  38. ^ "Douglas Murray: Why we must debate with extremists like al-Muhajiroun | Comment is free". Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  39. ^ "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?". NPR. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  40. ^ "Twitter". 13 October 2010. Retrieved 2 Feb 2015. 
  41. ^ "Studying Islam has made me an atheist". December 29, 2008. 
  42. ^ "On the Maintenance of Civilization". November 22, 2015. 
  43. ^ The Pro-Islamist Left; Douglas Murray & Maryam Namazie (Youtube video). 2011-01-20. Event occurs at 1:32. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  44. ^ "NGO Monitor International Board Profiles". Retrieved 2013-12-04.