Factsheet: Douglas Murray
IMPACT: Douglas Murray is a British author and serves as Associate Director of the neo-conservative think tank, The Henry Jackson Society. Murray is opposed to Muslim immigration in Europe and laments? the changing demographics on the continent. He has made statements claiming that violence and terrorism are a direct result of Islam and has advocated a reduction in immigration as the first step to achieving “a bit less Islam.”
Douglas Murray is a British author and political commentator. He currently serves as the Associate Director of The Henry Jackson Society (HJS). Prior to this, he founded the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), a “right-leaning” British think tank. Murray writes for the The Spectator, and is a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute.
In 2006, Murray gave a speech in the Dutch Parliament, in which he stated, “Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition.” He called for the banning of “all immigration into Europe from Muslim countries,” and also suggested that European Muslims who “take part in, plot, assist or condone violence against the west must be forcibly deported to their place of origin.” During the speech, Murray called for the extension of the “Global War on Terror” to “Iran, Syria, and any regime which sponsors or supports terrorism.”
Murray later defended his speech, stating, “I was asked to address the question of what we should now do in Europe to deal with the increasingly problematic Muslim communities. I advocated a number of things. Among them was that mass immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop if the problems of integration were not to get worse.
Murray’s 2017 book, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, is described as “a highly personal account of a continent and culture caught in the act of suicide.” A review in the Guardian described it as circling “around the same repetitive themes: migrants raping and murdering and terrorising…about how Europe is too ‘exhausted by history’ and colonial guilt to face another battle, and is thus letting itself be rolled over by invaders…”
Murray has stated that we need a “toolbox approach to dealing with the enemy of Islamist extremism,” and that this approach will involve “people who you and I don’t like.” Murray has said “If you were ever going to have a grassroots response from non-Muslims to Islamism that would be how you would want it, surely,” referencing the founding of the English Defense League (EDL), identified by the UK advocacy group, Hope Not Hate, as an anti-Muslim racist organization. Murray has acknowledged that there are links between the EDL and the far-right. In a 2018 piece calling for the release of EDL’s founder, Tommy Robinson, Murray described the organization as “a street-protest movement in Britain whose aims could probably best be summarized as ‘anti-Islamization.’”
In 2007, Murray debated alongside Daniel Pipes in an event organized by then-Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. Murray and Pipes debated against the Mayor and Birmingham councillor, Salma Yaqoob, on the topic of “Clash of Civilizations.” Murray rejected Samuel Huntington‘s theory of clashing civilisations, claiming that “we do not face a class of civilizations…we are facing and are involved in a clash of civilization and barbarism.” He identified barbarism as “Islamic fundamentalism, jihadism, led by jihadist ideology.”
Murray has stated that Islamophobia is a “crock,” and that Islamophobia is a “nonsense term.”
In 2014 piece for The Spectator, Murray argued that ‘[Islamic] extremists do not make their claims based on some wild misreading, but on a plausible reading of the texts and traditions which have existed within the religion since its founding,” reinforcing anti-Muslim tropes identifying Islamic ideology as the root of violence.
During a debate on whether “Islam is a religion of peace”, Murray spoke against the motion alongside Ayaan Hirsi Ali. During his speech, Murray stated, “Let’s say Islam is a very, very complex thing…The first of those things, Islam, the Koran and so on, is bad. It is bad. There is a lot of violence in it.” He went on to claim that “the fact is that Islam is many things, many, many things. But to say it’s a religion of peace is nonsense.”
Following the London Bridge attack in June 2017, Murray spoke on LBC talk radio, stating, “While everyone should remember this is a minority of people who would do such an atrocious act, it nevertheless obviously comes from Islam. It’s a problem that comes from Islam.” Murray called for a “bit less Islam,” and advocated a reduction in immigration as the first step to achieving this.
Murray has called criticism of the UK government’s Prevent policy a “strategy concerted and near-unanimous push by almost every organised Muslim group in the UK to delegitimize Prevent.” Prevent has been criticized and condemned by hundreds of academics and a number of of human rights organizations.
In 2009, Murray publicly praised anti-Muslim writer Robert Spencer, who is banned from entering the UK, stating, “I happen to know Robert Spencer; I respect him; he is a very brilliant scholar and writer.” In a 2013 article published in Gatestone, entitled, “New Extremist Foxes Welcomed into U.S. Chicken Coop,” Murray smeared two U.S. government advisers, Dalia Mogahed and Mohamed Elibiary, as “extremists” and “sinister figures.”
Murray has spoken numerous times at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s annual Restoration Weekend. In a 2017 speech at Restoration Weekend, he criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy of opening the borders to Syrian refugees, claiming that it has resulted in “a bit more gang rape and beheadings then we used to have.”
In 2016, Murray went on The Milo Yiannopoulos Show, where he criticized America’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) strategy, saying it “makes not one mention of the word Islam, or Islamists, or Islamisms, or Islamic. It has no mention of Muslims, it is as if violent extremism is something that could come upon anyone at some point.”
In a 2009 article, James Brandon, who had worked with Murray at the CSC, stated Murray “often failed to distinguish Islam from Islamism.” Brandon wrote that Murray has “represented Muslims as a collective threat,” and described his time worked at CSC as a “constant struggle to “de-radicalise” Murray and to ensure that the centre’s output targeted only Islamists – and not Muslims as a whole.”
In March 2013, Murray claimed London had “become a foreign country” because “white Britons” were a minority in 23 of 33 London boroughs.
Last updated June 12, 2018