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Matt Carr

Author, freelance journalist and blogger

Matt Carr has been a freelance print and radio journalist since the early 1980s. In addition to presenting radio features and documentaries from Spain for the BBC World Service and Radio 4, he has written for a range of newspapers, journals and magazines including Esquire, the New York Times, History Today, the Observer, Marie Claire, the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, Geographical Magazine and Le Point. He has also been a regular contributor to The First Post online magazine and the IPS news agency.

He is the author of the acclaimed memoir My Father's House (Penguin Books, 1997), and Blood and Faith: the Purging of Muslim Spain (New Press 2009: Hurst & Co 2010), which was selected for the New York Times Editors’ Choice in January 2011. He is the author of The Infernal Machine: an Alternative History of Terrorism (Hurst & Co), published in the United States as The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism from the Assassination of Alexander II to al-Qaeda (New Press, 2007).

His next book Fortress Europe: Dispatches from a Gated Continent is an investigation of the treatment of refugees and undocumented migrants in Europe, which is due to be published in the UK and the US in the autumn.

In addition to frequent appearances on British, American and Canadian radio as a guest contributor, usually on terrorism-related issues, he has lectured and given seminars in a number of British universities, schools and cultural and educational institutions, including Derby, Newcastle and Nottingham universities and the Cervantes Institute in London.

He blogs regularly on politics, terrorism and counterterrorism, books, history, cinema, music and other things that interest him at:

One Day Without Us 2018

We want to restore the courage, heroism and dignity, the adventure and discovery that is part of the experience of migration. As migrants and non-migrants, we want to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions that migrants have made to our country in the past and continue to make today.
04/09/2017 17:27 BST

Solidarity With Gina Miller

No one familiar with Arron Banks's organisation will be remotely surprised by this. For those who still want to prevent this country from sliding into the same swamp, we need a different response. Last month Miller asked 'the decent people of Britain to come together in opposition to the hatred poisoning our country'.
11/08/2017 14:13 BST

Why I'm Voting Labour

What a difference seven weeks can make. When Theresa May broke her own pledge not to call an election I thought that yet another political calamity was about to unfold. The justification for the election was that parliament was 'blocking Brexit' and that a new mandate was necessary to allow May to negotiate Britain's exit from the UK more effectively.
08/06/2017 13:47 BST

The Terror Election

And as bad as things look right now, we should believe that we can get through. And we should never allow ourselves to descend into the sewer that those who carried out last night's attacks would like us to sink into.
05/06/2017 12:47 BST

One Day Without Us

We know that some opinions will never be changed, but we also know that there are millions of people who are shocked and disturbed by the divisive and dangerous politics, and we urge them to join us on February 20 and make One Day Without Us a day to remember.
18/10/2016 12:48 BST

Bombing Iraq: Death and Destruction as Instruments of Statecraft

Today, faced with gloomy possibilities in Iraq that include the imminent disintegration of the Iraqi state... the Obama administration is once again considering air strikes as a policy option. And as Iraqi cities once again loom in the Imperium's bomb-sights, it's instructive to cast our eyes back on this less-than-glorious relationship between the United States, bombs and Iraq.
20/06/2014 09:40 BST

Why the 'Homeless Spikes' Deserve the Turner Prize

So far no one seems to know exactly who installed these spikes, but whoever it was ought to be congratulated on artistic grounds, if nothing else. Because what they have done, however inadvertently, is produce a haunting symbol of the institutionalised amorality and social cruelty that defines our era.
10/06/2014 17:18 BST

The Friends of Jimmy Savile

It is now clear that the freakish peroxide conman Jimmy Savile was one of the nastiest and most vicious paedophiles in British history. At present, according to new research commissioned from the NSPCC by BBC Panorama, there are more than 500 reports of abuse against him, and that figure is almost certainly an understatement, given the almost complete freedom that Savile enjoyed to do whatever he liked to whomever he liked.
05/06/2014 12:57 BST

Euro Elections: Anyone But Ukip

Today Nigel Farage's 'people's army' will set off down to the polling stations today to keep its appointment with destiny. This is one appointment that destiny would really be well-advised not to get out of bed for, because we have seen a great deal of Ukip these last few weeks, and it hasn't been a pretty sight.
22/05/2014 13:10 BST

Negotiating With Boko Haram?

Is Nigeria intending to negotiate the release of the 276 kidnapped schoolgirls or it preparing to attack Boko Haram? The answer to this question does not seem clear, even to the Nigerian government itself. Throughout much of the crisis the administration of president Goodluck Jonathan has dropped fat hints that it is engaging or attempting to engage in some kind of behind-the-scenes dialogue with the kidnappers.
15/05/2014 19:57 BST

Ukip: Bringing Lies and Racism to Your Town

A party that is rotten and phoney to its very core, that is perpetrating an astonishingly brazen con-trick on the nation's embittered and credulous voters, and which attracts racists, bigots and xenophobes not in spite of its policies but because of them.
28/04/2014 18:21 BST

How David Cameron Got His Christian Groove Back

Religion tends to remain in the background of British politics, and until recently David Cameron was no exception. There was a time, back in 2008, when Cameron compared his religious faith to 'the reception for Magic FM in the Chilterns: it sort of comes and goes.'
21/04/2014 14:22 BST

Why Has the Ministry of Defence Tried to Ban its Own Book?

Attempts by democratic governments to ban books rarely work out well. If the book is banned on grounds of public morality (<em>Lady Chatterley's Lover, Tropic of Cancer</em>), then the writer nearly always wins in the end and the government that tried to suppress their work is likely to end up looking puritanical, cloven-footed and often pig-ignorant.
15/04/2014 11:48 BST

Richard Littlejohn Goes to Legoland

Imagine readers, that you are Richard Littlejohn, star columnist of the <em>Daily Mail</em>. One day you are lolling around your Florida mansion, wondering what you put in your weekly column when you get a phone call or an email from your editor Paul Dacre. Perhaps it goes something like this:..
13/03/2014 11:01 GMT

Immigration: Your Concerns are Our Concerns

Most members of the public are concerned about something. Maybe it's the environment, income inequality, the cost of childcare, creeping privatization of the NHS, unemployment, poverty, the punitive treatment of disability claimants, foodbanks, or the seemingly endless appetite of the British ruling elite for foreign military adventures.
07/03/2014 15:56 GMT

Mark Harper Falls on his Plastic Sword

Politicians on all sides have been falling over themselves to praise former Immigration Minister Mark Harper for his 'honourable' decision to resign, following the discovery that his cleaner was an 'illegal immigrant.' Harper's colleagues, all of them honourable men and women themselves, have been been at pains to point out how correct and even noble he was
11/02/2014 15:10 GMT

The Unkindness of Strangers

Last week provided further evidence of how far the absurdities perpetuated by politicians, the rightwing press and the public, can slowly but inexorably shift our collective moral centre of gravity towards the routine acceptance of the unacceptable.
20/01/2014 11:06 GMT

2013: The Year of Living Ukiply

It can be safely said that 2013 was not a year in which the British political class covered itself in glory as far as the great immigration 'debate' is concerned.
01/01/2014 18:18 GMT