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Douglas Murray’s fascist sympathies and his lies about Mohammad Hijab in his article, “Leicester and the downside with diversity”

Amongst respectable circles, left and right leaning, Douglas Murray has developed a reputation of being a sophist and a liar. I am not sure which is worse. Unfortunately for him, he is both. His degeneration however, does not stop there. He is now a fascist sympathiser. Evidence for all three badges of disgrace are contained in his recent Spectator article, “Leicester and the downside with diversity”. 

It is what you don’t say that matters

Douglas Murray has a habit of dancing with fascism. For instance, his rhetoric against Muslims in Europe provided the ideological oxygen to inspire Anders Brevik’s massacre of Muslims in Christchurch.[1] Murray’s “analysis” of the tensions in Leicester are again an example of his tangoing with wickedness. Although he does not explicitly write anything that indicates this, it is what he does not say that matters.

Here is a thought experiment to aid understanding. Imagine you are a journalist and you somehow find yourself in Nazi Germany. You are in the middle of the Kristallnacht, the pogrom against Jews carried out by the SS, Nazi paramilitary forces and some German civilians. In self-defence some Jews fight back. You observe this and start to write. You eventually produce a piece that claims that the Jews are violent, hate Germany and were responsible for the hostilities. This may be perceived as an extreme and misplaced thought experiment. However, I am not comparing the severity of the situation. I am exposing a particular twisted logic that favours perpetrators over the victims; the fascists over their targets. In Murray not mentioning the role of Hidutva in the communal tensions, the influence of their evil ideology, and the causal relation it has had in striking up hatred against Christians and Muslims in the UK, Murray has once again taken the centre of the dance floor, boogieing with evil.[1]

Murray is silent on the influence of Hindutva because it aligns with his ideological commitments.[2] Hindutva is fascism, pure and simple. A key figure that provided the “foundational ideology of Hindutva” is Veer Savarkar. He rejected the notion of “inclusive territorial nationalism” and championed the exclusion of non-Hindus from being full Indian citizens. He argued that Indians who were Christian and Muslims were “incomplete” citizens. His logic was simple:  both Christians and Muslims do not regard India as their “punybhoomi (holy land)”. Because a Christian identifies Jerusalem as the Holy Land, he cannot be properly Indian. M. S. Golwalkar, the second “Chief” of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sang (RSS)  – a right-wing militant nationalist group that champions Hindutva – expanded on this. According to Golwalkar, any Christian or Muslim who does not convert to Hinduism and does not engage in “glorification of the Hindu race” will have zero rights in India. In his own words: “not even citizen’s rights”. He further bolstered this by praising Hitler’s holocaust of the Jews, and advised India to do the same to non-Hindus.[3] It is this ideology that caused the Leicester tensions, and Murray has once again been deliberately silent on fascism. 

Tactical uncertainty on the origins of the tensions

Douglas Murray adopts scepticism when it aligns with his ideological priorities. His uncertainty about the origins of the tensions in Leicester is quite telling. In fact, it is further evidence to facilitate the conclusion that he is uninterested in facts and has adopted the journalistic standards of Chinese state media. Murray’s approach to truth is evident in his work.  Gervase Vernon, reviewing Murray’s book, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, highlights his unhealthy relationship with the truth:

“Readers interested in the problems of migration would be better to seek a standard textbook such as Collier than this highly partisan book. On the economic costs and benefits of migration he misrepresents a standard paper. During the period covered by the paper (1995–2011), established UK migrant populations made a net call on the exchequer, but this was a period of budget deficit and their net call was similar to the UK-born population. In the same period, more recent economic migrants from the EU made a positive economic contribution. On health tourism he is simply wrong: the best estimate of the cost is 0.3% of the NHS budget.”[4]

Channel 4 have corrected Douglas Murray’s dubiety.[5] The communal hostilities were instigated by a group of Hindutva leaning thugs. It is no wonder Murray has tactically resorted to uncertainty. Even if we give Murray the benefit of the doubt, his silence over the fascist Hindutva and its adherents’ thuggery tilts the balance in favour of accusing him of a malicious agenda to malign Muslims. Murray’s history of hate is enough evidence to justify this conclusion. [6]

Douglas Murray lies again

Repetition is a form of emphasis. So let me emphatically repeat: Douglas Murray is a liar. He writes that Mohammed Hijab said “Hindus are ridiculous people” and one of the reasons include “their belief in reincarnation”. Murray adds that Hijab said “Hindus must live in fear because they have been reincarnated as such ‘pathetic, weak cowardly people’. ‘I’d rather be an animal.’” 

The fact is, not once did he refer to Hindus as a group or individuals. He was clearly referring to Hindutva. Also, he did not insult Hinduism or any of its beliefs. Hijab’s reference to reincarnation was not used in that way. This is what he actually said:

“[Hindutva] believe in reincarnation, what a humiliation and pathetic thing for them to be reincarnated into. Some pathetic, weak, cowardly people like that. I’d rather be an animal, I’d rather be reincarnated as a grasshopper bruv, that’s the truth.”

As you can see Hijab was referring to their belief that they are reincarnated, and since they have been reincarnated into people who adopt a fascist ideology, Hindutva followers are indeed pathetic, weak, etc. In fact, stronger language should have been used to describe fascists.

Echoing Hijab’s response to The Telegraph[7], it is clear that Murray’s eisegesis of his words – by assuming he was referring to Hindus – maliciously misrepresents what Hijab actually said. This can be seen as someone making a statement against the Nazis and then going on to be quoted as saying they were referring to Germans. 

Final thoughts

Mohammed Hijab’s dedication to communal harmony, justice and holding fascists to account has been made very clear in his press release that was published when these lies were being circulated.[8] Hijab does not condone or advocate any violence and disharmony between any members or groups of the British public. Hijab will continue to work to ensure the harmony and wellbeing for all, including the Hindu and Muslim communities.

Finally, it must be highlighted that there is growing evidence that sections of the British public have been radicalised by the extremist movement known as Hindutva. Hindutva is a form of fascist, right-wing extremism that advocates for the hegemony of Hindus and Hinduism. This leads to the othering and dehumanising of non-Hindus, which inevitably results in violence.[10] This is exactly what has been happening in India today and this extremist ideology has arrived in our country.

Unlike Murray, Mohammed Hijab is consistent. Hijab has exposed the evil of ISIS[9], and now he is exposing the evil of Hindutva, including fascist sympathisers like Murray. It is time Murray grows a moral backbone and calls out the fascist evil of Hindutva. However, in doing so it may expose his own ideological commitments which has been evident from the very beginning of his career.

On a final note, I believe that there is hope for Murray. Deep down, behind the existential angst and feelings of groundlessness, there is a human being that desires truth, justice and compassion. In fact, as Muslims, we believe every human being has an original, innate, normative disposition (fitrah) that drives us all to goodness, the worship of God and the truth. For many reasons the fitrah gets “clouded”. I am more than willing to have a private lunch or coffee with him to speak man to man, and unpack various issues, and help him “uncloud” his fitrah. If we can be committed to sincerity and truth, we can even do it publicly. The door is always open, he just needs to reach out. One should stand in the possibility that engaging with those whom you currently dislike, or fundamentally disagree with, may present both parties with an opportunity for learning, growth, and admiration. Exploring this possibility will not harm anyone. The ball is in Murray’s court.



[3] Saffron Republic: Hindu Nationalism and State Power in India (2020). Cambridge University Press, p. 222.



[6] See reference 2 and:



[9] Example:

[10] To read more about othering and dehumanisation and how Islam address these causes of hate and harm please read Dr. Osman Latiff’s book, “On Being Human: How Islam Addresses Othering, Dehumanisation and Empathy” published by Sapience Institute: