Douglas Murray (author)

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Douglas Murray
Murray in 2018
Murray in 2018
BornDouglas Kear Murray
(1979-07-16) 16 July 1979 (age 40)
Hammersmith, London, England
OccupationAuthor and Journalist. Formerly associate director of the Henry Jackson Society
Former director of the Centre for Social Cohesion
EducationSt Benedict's School
Eton College
Alma materMagdalen College, Oxford
SubjectPolitics, culture, history
Notable worksBosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas (2000)
Neoconservatism: Why We Need It (2006)
Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and the Saville Inquiry (2011)
The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam (2017)
The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity (2019)

Douglas Kear Murray (born 16 July 1979)[1] is a British conservative author, journalist and political commentator.[2] He founded the Centre for Social Cohesion in 2007, which became part of the Henry Jackson Society, where he was Associate Director from 2011–18. He is also an associate editor of the British political and cultural magazine The Spectator.[3][4] Murray writes for a number of publications, including Standpoint and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of Neoconservatism: Why We Need It (2005), Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and the Saville Inquiry (2011) about the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam (2017), and The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity (2019).

Murray appears regularly in the British broadcast media. He is sometimes described as a conservative[5] or neoconservative[6][7] and a critic of Islam. He has been described by French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy as "one of the most important public intellectuals today".[8]

Early life[edit]

Murray was born and raised in Hammersmith, London to an English mother, a civil servant, and Scottish Gaelic-speaking father, a school teacher, along with his brother.[2][9] He would go to his father's ancestral home, the Isle of Lewis, every summer as a boy, where he enjoyed fishing.[9][10]

Murray was educated at West Bridgford School and was awarded a music scholarship at St Benedict's School[11] and later at Eton College,[9][12] before going on to study English at Magdalen College, Oxford.[13]


At age 19, while in his second year at the University of Oxford, he published[14] Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas, [13] which was described by Christopher Hitchens as "masterly".[15] Bosie was awarded a Lambda Award for gay biography in 2000.[16] After leaving Oxford, Murray wrote a play, Nightfall, about the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.[17]

In 2006, he published a defence of neoconservatism — Neoconservatism: Why We Need It — and made a speaking tour promoting the book in the United States.[17] 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.[18] His book Bloody Sunday was (jointly) awarded the 2011–2012 Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize.[19]

In June 2013, his e-book Islamophilia: a Very Metropolitan Malady was published.[20] His book The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam was published in May 2017.[21] The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity was published in September 2019.[22]

Murray in 2018


Murray has appeared on a number of British current affairs programmes, including the BBC's Question Time,[23] This Week,[24] HardTalk,[25] the Today programme,[26] The Big Questions,[27] Daily Politics,[28] and Sunday Morning Live.[29] Murray has written for The Sunday Times[30], The Daily Telegraph[31],The Guardian[32], Standpoint,[33] and UnHerd[34]. In 2012 he was hired as a contributing editor of The Spectator.[35] He has debated at the Cambridge Union, the Oxford Union, and participated in several Intelligence Squared and Intelligence Squared US debates.[36] He has also appeared on other TV channels such as Sky News[37] and Al Jazeera.[38]

In 2016, Murray organised a competition through The Spectator of offensive poems about Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for which a reader donated £1,000 as the top prize.[39] This was in reaction to the Böhmermann affair, in which German satirist, Jan Böhmermann, was prosecuted under the German penal code for such a poem.[40] One of Murray's articles on the affair[41] contributed to his being longlisted for the 2017 Orwell Prize for Journalism[42] five years after his book, Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and The Saville Inquiry, was longlisted for the 2012 Book Prize.[43] He announced the winner of the poetry competition as Boris Johnson, former editor of the magazine, current British Prime Minister and former Mayor of London, who is one-eighth Turkish.[44]

Murray is on the international advisory board of NGO Monitor.[45]


Murray is a frequent critic of Islam, 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".[46] In The Strange Death of Europe, Murray argued that Europe "is committing suicide" by allowing non-European immigration and losing its "faith in its beliefs".[47] A review in The New York Times, by writer Pankaj Mishra, described the book as "a handy digest of far-right clichés",[48] while Juliet Samuel of The Telegraph praised it: "His overall thesis, that a guilt-driven and exhausted Europe is playing fast and loose with its precious modern values by embracing migration on such a scale, is hard to refute".[49] Rod Liddle of The Times called the book "a brilliant, important and profoundly depressing book."[50] In the book, he defends the German nationalist, anti-Islam, far-right group Pegida and says that the English nationalist, anti-Islam, far-right English Defence League "had a point".[48] He describes Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, as a better sentinel of "European values" than George Soros.[48]

Murray subsequently turned his attention to issues around social justice and identity politics in the western world in The Madness of Crowds. William Davies in The Guardian described the book as "the bizarre fantasies of a rightwing provocateur, blind to oppression."[51] Tim Stanley in The Daily Telegraph praised the book, calling Murray "a superbly perceptive guide through the age of the social justice warrior".[52] Katie Law in the Evening Standard said that Murray "tackled another necessary and provocative subject with wit and bravery".[53] In the book, Murray points to what he sees as a cultural shift, away from established modes of religion and political ideology, in which various forms of victimhood can provide markers of social status.[54] Murray divides his book into sections dealing with different forms of victimhood, including types of LGBT identity, feminism, and racial politics.[55] According to Murray, he criticises the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault for what he sees as a reduction of society to a system of power relations.[56]

In February 2006, Murray said,

Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition... 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 … Where a mosque has become a centre of hate it should be closed and pulled down. If that means that some Muslims don't have a mosque to go to, then they'll just have to realise that they aren't owed one.[57][58][59]

After Murray refused Paul Goodman's offer to disown these comments, the Conservative Party frontbench severed formal relations with Murray and his Centre for Social Cohesion.[58][60]

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;[61] the Home Office eventually refused Mousawi a visa.[62] In 2009, Murray was prevented from chairing a debate at the London School of Economics between Alan Sked and Hamza Tzortzis, with the university citing security concerns following a week-long student protest against Israel's attacks on Gaza.[63] The move was criticised by the conservative press such as The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator.[64][65][66]

In 2010, Murray argued against the motion in an Intelligence Squared US debate titled "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?"[67] In 2014, he argued for the motion in an Oxford Union debate titled "This House Believes postwar Britain has seen too much immigration".[68]

Murray is a Brexit supporter, citing concerns with the Eurozone, immigration, and the prospect of ever-closer union.[69] He has claimed that the Brexit vote "has just not been accepted by an elite", leading to a "profoundly dangerous moment" for Britain's democracy.[70]

In 2019, Murray spent weeks urging New Statesman journalist George Eaton and editor Jason Cowley to share the original recording of an interview between Eaton and Sir Roger Scruton, with Murray branding the published interview, which attributed a number of controversial statements to Scruton, as "journalistic dishonesty".[71] Murray eventually managed to acquire the recording, which formed the basis of an article defending Scruton, arguing that his remarks had been misinterpreted.[72] The New Statesman subsequently apologised for Eaton's misrepresentation.[73][74][75]

Murray is the recipient of frequent death threats as a result of his views.[8] Following the Charlie Hebdo shooting in January 2015, he was advised by the police not to appear in public.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Murray is an atheist, having been a practising Anglican until his twenties,[9][17] but has described himself variously as a cultural Christian[76] and a Christian atheist,[77] and believes that Christianity is an important influence on British and European culture.[9][21][78][79] Murray is openly gay.[80]


  • Murray, Douglas (2000). Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas. ISBN 0-340-76771-5.
  • Murray, Douglas (2005). Neoconservatism: Why We Need It. ISBN 1-904863-05-1.
  • Murray, Douglas (2011). Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and the Saville Inquiry. London: Dialogue. ISBN 978-1-84954-149-7.
  • Murray, Douglas (2013). Islamophilia: A Very Metropolitan Malady. emBooks. ISBN 9781627770507.
  • Murray, Douglas (2017). The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. ISBN 9781472942241.
  • Murray, Douglas (2019). The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. ISBN 9781472959959.

As co-author:


  1. ^ Monk, Paul (26 August 2017). "Europe: immigration, identity, Islam: Douglas Murray warns of dangers". The Australian. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b Law, Katie (4 May 2017). "Douglas Murray on immigration, Islam and identity". The Evening Standard.
  3. ^ "Douglas Murray". Henry Jackson Society. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ Dolsten, Josefin (5 June 2019). "Meet the conservative activists who want to override the Supreme Court". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Douglas Murray on immigration, Islam and identity". London Evening Standard. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  7. ^ Fiyaz Mughal Director and Founder of Faith Matters. "The Neo-Conservative Speaker, Douglas Murray, Is Simply Wrong It Comes to British Muslims and Extremism". Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Bryan Appleyard (22 September 2019). "Douglas Murray interview: The tyranny of woke thinking has caught us all napping". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e Holloway, Richard (7 May 2017). "Sunday Morning With..." BBC Radio Scotland.
  10. ^ "4 Douglas Murray". The Scotsman. 9 November 2003. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  11. ^ "ACTIVITIES BULLETIN 6" (PDF). Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2009.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  12. ^ "Education Supplements: Chance of a lifetime – Douglas Murray". Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  13. ^ a b Smith, Dinitia (18 July 2000). "Article". New York Times. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  14. ^ "Pass Notes: Douglas Murray". The Guardian. London. 8 June 2000. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  15. ^ Hitchens, Christopher (30 August 2006). "Christopher Hitchens: Young Brit defends American people, politics and policies". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  16. ^ Cerna, Antonio Gonzalez (10 July 2001). "13th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  17. ^ a b c Daniel Freedman (17 August 2006). "Mugged by Reality". New York Sun. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  18. ^ "Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership" (PDF). Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  19. ^ "The 2011 – 2012 Prize | Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize for advancing peace and understanding on the island of Ireland". 30 January 1972. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  20. ^ Fowler, Jack (10 June 2013). "Islamophilia". National Review. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  21. ^ a b Murray, Douglas (2017). The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam (1 ed.). London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. ISBN 9781472942241.
  22. ^ Murray, Douglas (2019). The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Identity, Morality. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. ISBN 9781635579987.
  23. ^ "This week's panel". BBC News. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  24. ^ "This Week – Douglas Murray on Afghanistan". BBC News. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  25. ^ "Douglas Murray". BBC News. 3 March 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  26. ^ "Radio 4 – Today Programme Listen Again". BBC. 2 September 2006. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  27. ^ "BBC One – The Big Questions, Series 2, Episode 34". 13 September 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  28. ^ "Douglas Murray: 'multiculturalism is not multiracialism'". 7 March 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  29. ^ Williams, Sian (24 August 2014). "What should be done about British Islamic Extremists?". Sunday Morning Live. BBC One.
  30. ^ Douglas Murray (30 April 2017). "Europe signs its own death warrant | News Review". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  31. ^ "Douglas Murray". Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  32. ^ Murray, Douglas (31 October 2006). "Mission distorted". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  33. ^ Douglas Murray. "Power to the Spokespeople". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  34. ^ "Douglas Murray, Author at UnHerd". 3 November 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  35. ^ Greenslade, Roy (7 March 2012). "Chancellor returns to The Spectator". Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  36. ^
  37. ^ Secker, Jayne (8 January 2015). "The Sky News Debate: Paris Attacks". Sky News.
  38. ^ Zeidan, Sami (8 January 2015). "Charlie Hebdo shooting". Inside Story. Al Jazeera.
  39. ^ Murray, Douglas (18 April 2016). "Introducing 'The President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition'". The Spectator.
  40. ^ "'Insult Turkey's Erdogan' contest set up by Spectator magazine". 19 April 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  41. ^ Murray, Douglas (23 April 2016). "Send us your entries for our 'President Erdogan Insulting Poetry Competition'". The Spectator.
  42. ^ "2017 Journalism Prize Longlist". The Orwell Prize. Institute of Advanced Studies. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  43. ^ "Orwell Prize 2012 Longlists Announced". The Orwell Prize. Institute of Advanced Studies. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  44. ^ Elgot, Jessica (19 May 2016). "Boris Johnson wins 'most offensive Erdoğan poem' competition". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  45. ^ "NGO Monitor International Board Profiles". Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  46. ^ 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.
  47. ^ Murray, Douglas (2017). The Strange Death of Europe. London: Bloosmbury. pp. 2–3. ISBN 9781472942241.
  48. ^ a b c Mishra, Pankaj (14 September 2017). "How the New Immigration Is Shaking Old Europe to Its Core". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  49. ^ Samuel, Juliet (6 May 2017). "Yanis Varoufakis and Douglas Murray: why Europe is weary". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  50. ^ Liddle, Rod (7 May 2017). "Books: The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  51. ^ William Davies. "The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray review – a rightwing diatribe | Books". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  52. ^ Tim Stanley (27 September 2019). "The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray, review: unleashing a liberal dose of outrage". Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  53. ^ "The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray – review". London Evening Standard. 19 September 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  54. ^ Matthew Goodwin (22 September 2019). "The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray review — identity politics attacked". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  55. ^ Lionel Shriver (19 September 2019). "The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray review — why identity politics has gone too far". The Times. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  56. ^ Kearns, Madeleine (6 September 2018). "Douglas Murray Interview: 'The Madness of Crowds' Author on Gender, Race & Identity". National Review. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  57. ^ 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 1 February 2008. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  58. ^ a b 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.
  59. ^ 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.
  60. ^ Ahmed, Samira (28 July 2013). "Are Muslims being demonised?". Sunday Morning Live. BBC One.
  61. ^ Barrett, David (7 March 2009). "Campaigners will seek arrest of Islamic radical". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  62. ^ Prince, Rosa (13 March 2009). "Ibrahim Moussawi denied visa over Hezbollah". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  63. ^ Jack Lefley (23 January 2009). "Right-wing author is banned from Islam talk | London Evening Standard". Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  64. ^ Melanie Phillips (23 January 2009). "The LSE caves in to terror". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
  65. ^ "Civil liberties group calls for resignation of Prof Janet Hartley". The Daily Telegraph. London. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  66. ^ Damian Thompson (23 January 2009). "Gutless LSE bans Islam critic Douglas Murray for 'security reasons'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  67. ^ "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?". NPR. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  68. ^ "Immigration is Bad For Britain | Douglas Murray". YouTube. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  69. ^ Douglas Murray (13 June 2016). "Exit Britain?". National Review.
  70. ^ "Matthew Parris and Douglas Murray on Brexit". YouTube. 30 July 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  71. ^
  72. ^ Jim Waterson. "New Statesman and Spectator in dirty tricks row over Scruton tape". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  73. ^ Crooke, Alex (8 July 2019). "Sir Roger Scruton". Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  74. ^ "Sir Roger Scruton: Govt 'sorry' for sacking adviser over New Statesman interview". Sky News. 16 July 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  75. ^ "Minister apologises to academic Sir Roger Scruton over sacking". BBC News. 16 July 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  76. ^ Murray, Douglas (29 December 2008). "Studying Islam has made me an atheist". The Spectator.
  77. ^ "On the Maintenance of Civilization". 22 November 2015.
  78. ^ "This House Believes Religion Has No Place In The 21st Century". The Cambridge Union Society. 31 January 2013.
  79. ^ Murray, Douglas (14 September 2013). "Richard Dawkins interview: 'I have a certain love for the Anglican tradition'". The Spectator.
  80. ^ Law, Katie (4 May 2017) ""Douglas Murray on immigration, Islam and identity" Evening Standard

External links[edit]