Douglas Murray (author)

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Douglas Murray
Murray in 2018
Murray in 2018
BornDouglas Kear Murray
July 1979 (age 39)
Hammersmith, London, England
OccupationAssociate 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)

Douglas Kear Murray (born July 1979)[1] is a British author, journalist and political commentator.[2] He is the founder of the Centre for Social Cohesion and is the associate director of the Henry Jackson Society and associate editor of the British political and cultural magazine The Spectator.[3][4] Murray 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), Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and the Saville Inquiry (2011) about the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam (2017).

Murray appears regularly in the British broadcast media, he is a neoconservative and a critic of Islam.

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][5] he would go to his father's ancestral home, the Isle of Lewis, every summer as a boy, where he enjoyed fishing.[5][6] His paternal grandfather was the schoolmaster of Tong School, where Mary Anne MacLeod, mother of Donald Trump, was educated.[5]

Murray was educated at West Bridgford School and was awarded a musical scholarship at St Benedict's School[7] and later at Eton College,[5][8] before going on to study English at Magdalen College, Oxford.[9]


At age 19, while in his second year at Oxford University, he published[10] a biography of Lord Alfred Douglas[9] that was described by Christopher Hitchens as "masterly".[11] After leaving Oxford, Murray wrote a play, Nightfall, about the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg.[12] 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.[12] 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,[13] his book Bloody Sunday was (jointly) awarded the 2011–2012 Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize.[14] In June 2013, his e-book Islamophilia: a Very Metropolitan Malady was published,[15] his book The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam was published in May 2017.[16] The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Identity, Morality is set for publication on September 17, 2019.[17]


Murray has appeared on a number of British current affairs programmes, including the BBC's Question Time,[18] This Week,[19] HardTalk,[20] the Today programme,[21] The Big Questions,[22] Daily Politics,[23] and Sunday Morning Live.[24] Murray has written for The Guardian[25] and Standpoint,[26] and in 2012 he was hired as a contributing editor of The Spectator,[27] he has debated at the Cambridge Union, the Oxford Union, and has participated in several Intelligence Squared and Intelligence Squared US debates.[28] He has appeared TV channels such as Sky News,[29] The Big Questions,[30] and Al Jazeera.[31]

Murray in 2004

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;[32] 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.[33] One of Murray's articles on the affair[34] contributed to his being longlisted for the 2017 Orwell Prize for Journalism[35] five years after his book, Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and The Saville Inquiry, was longlisted for the 2012 Book Prize,[36] he announced the winner of the poetry competition as Boris Johnson, Conservative MP and former Mayor of London, who is one-eighth Turkish.[37] Some concerns were expressed at Johnson's subsequent appointment as Foreign Secretary, his poem cited as an example of bad diplomacy.[38] However, he has refused to apologise, even during his diplomatic visits to Turkey.[39][40]

Murray is on the international advisory board of NGO Monitor.[41]


Douglas Murray - The migrant crisis of 2015 and its ongoing effects

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".[42] In his bestselling book The Strange Death of Europe argued that Europe "is committing suicide" by allowing non-Western immigration. A review in the New York Times, by writer Pankaj Mishra, described the book as "a handy digest of far-right clichés",[43] 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".[44] 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",[43] he describes Viktor Orban, under whose regime Hungary has experienced democratic backsliding, as a better sentinel of "European values" than George Soros.[43]

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… If some Muslims don't have a mosque to go to, then they'll just have to realise that they aren't owed one.[45][46][47]

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.[46][48]

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;[49] the Home Office eventually refused Mousawi a visa.[50] 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.[51][52][53]

In 2010, Murray argued against the motion in an Intelligence Squared US debate titled "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?"[54]

Murray is Brexit supporter, citing concerns with the Eurozone and immigration.[55]

Personal life[edit]

Murray is an atheist, having previously been a practising Anglican until his twenties,[5][12] but has described himself variously as a cultural Christian[56] and a Christian atheist,[57] and believes that Christianity is an important influence on British and European culture.[5][16][58][59] Murray is openly gay.[60]


  • 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, Identity, Morality. 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. ^ a b c d e f Holloway, Richard (7 May 2017). "Sunday Morning With..." BBC Radio Scotland.
  6. ^ "4 Douglas Murray". The Scotsman. 9 November 2003. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  7. ^ "ACTIVITIES BULLETIN 6" (PDF). Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2009.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  8. ^ "Education Supplements: Chance of a lifetime – Douglas Murray". Retrieved 4 May 2012.[dead link]
  9. ^ a b Smith, Dinitia (18 July 2000). "Article". New York Times. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  10. ^ "Pass Notes: Douglas Murray". The Guardian. London. 8 June 2000. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  11. ^ Hitchens, Christopher (30 August 2006). "Christopher Hitchens: Young Brit defends American people, politics and policies". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  12. ^ a b c Daniel Freedman (17 August 2006). "Mugged by Reality". New York Sun. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  13. ^ "Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership" (PDF). Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  14. ^ "The 2011 – 2012 Prize | Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize". 30 January 1972. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  15. ^ Fowler, Jack (10 June 2013). "Islamophilia". National Review. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  16. ^ a b Murray, Douglas (2017). The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam (1 ed.). London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. ISBN 9781472942241.
  17. ^ Murray, Douglas (2019). "The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Identity, Morality". London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. ISBN 9781635579987.
  18. ^ "This week's panel". BBC News. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  19. ^ "This Week – Douglas Murray on Afghanistan". BBC News. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  20. ^ "Douglas Murray". BBC News. 3 March 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  21. ^ "Radio 4 – Today Programme Listen Again". BBC. 2 September 2006. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  22. ^ "BBC One - The Big Questions, Series 2, Episode 34". 13 September 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  23. ^ "Douglas Murray: 'multiculturalism is not multiracialism'". 7 March 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  24. ^ Williams, Sian (24 August 2014). "What should be done about British Islamic Extremists?". Sunday Morning Live. BBC One.
  25. ^ Murray, Douglas (31 October 2006). "Mission distorted". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  26. ^ Douglas Murray. "Power to the Spokespeople". Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  27. ^ Greenslade, Roy (7 March 2012). "Chancellor returns to The Spectator". Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  28. ^
  29. ^ Secker, Jayne (8 January 2015). "The Sky News Debate: Paris Attacks". Sky News.
  30. ^ Campbell, Nicky (11 January 2015). "Does freedom of speech give the right to offend?". The Big Questions. BBC One.
  31. ^ Zeidan, Sami (8 January 2015). "Charlie Hebdo shooting". Inside Story. Al Jazeera.
  32. ^ Murray, Douglas (18 April 2016). "Introducing 'The President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition'". The Spectator.
  33. ^ "'Insult Turkey's Erdogan' contest set up by Spectator magazine". 19 April 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  34. ^ Murray, Douglas (23 April 2016). "Send us your entries for our 'President Erdogan Insulting Poetry Competition'". The Spectator.
  35. ^ "2017 Journalism Prize Longlist". The Orwell Prize. Institute of Advanced Studies. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  36. ^ "Orwell Prize 2012 Longlists Announced". The Orwell Prize. Institute of Advanced Studies. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  37. ^ Elgot, Jessica (19 May 2016). "Boris Johnson wins 'most offensive Erdoğan poem' competition". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  38. ^ "Raised eyebrows at Boris Johnson's appointment as Foreign Secretary". SBS World News Radio. 15 July 2016.
  39. ^ Steerpike (27 September 2016). "Boris Johnson refuses to apologise for his President Erdogan poem". The Spectator.
  40. ^ Harris, Gardiner (19 July 2016). "An Unapologetic Boris Johnson, Diplomat, Meets the Press". The New York Times.
  41. ^ "NGO Monitor International Board Profiles". Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  42. ^ 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.
  43. ^ 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.
  44. ^ Samuel, Juliet (6 May 2017). "Yanis Varoufakis and Douglas Murray: why Europe is weary". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  45. ^ 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.
  46. ^ 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.
  47. ^ 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.
  48. ^ Ahmed, Samira (28 July 2013). "Are Muslims being demonised?". Sunday Morning Live. BBC One.
  49. ^ Barrett, David (7 March 2009). "Campaigners will seek arrest of Islamic radical". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  50. ^ Prince, Rosa (13 March 2009). "Ibrahim Moussawi denied visa over Hezbollah". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  51. ^ 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.
  52. ^ "Civil liberties group calls for resignation of Prof Janet Hartley". The Daily Telegraph. London. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  53. ^ Damian Thompson (23 January 2009). "Gutless LSE bans Islam critic Douglas Murray for 'security reasons'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  54. ^ "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?". NPR. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  55. ^ Douglas Murray (13 June 2016). "Exit Britain?". National Review.
  56. ^ Murray, Douglas (29 December 2008). "Studying Islam has made me an atheist". The Spectator.
  57. ^ "On the Maintenance of Civilization". 22 November 2015.
  58. ^ "This House Believes Religion Has No Place In The 21st Century". The Cambridge Union Society. 31 January 2013.
  59. ^ Murray, Douglas (14 September 2013). "Richard Dawkins interview: 'I have a certain love for the Anglican tradition'". The Spectator.
  60. ^ Law, Katie (4 May 2017) ""Douglas Murray on immigration, Islam and identity" Evening Standard

External links[edit]