Asra Nomani describes herself as a liberal Muslim, Trump voter, and former Wall Street Journal reporter. She wondered what the common denominator among the various groups participating in the Women’s March on Washington over the weekend might be. Nomani’s interesting if unsurprising findings are posted under the heading “Billionaire George Soros has ties to more than 50 partners of the Women’s March on Washington” — on a New York Times site, no less.
“Following the money,” Nomani states, “I pored through documents of billionaire George Soros and his Open Society philanthropy, because I wondered: What is the link between one of Hillary Clinton’s largest donors and the ‘Women’s March’?” Plot spoiler: “I found out: plenty.”
Nomani’s unsurprising findings are worth a look:
By my draft research, which I’m opening up for crowd-sourcing on GoogleDocs, Soros has funded, or has close relationships with, at least 56 of the march’s “partners,” including “key partners” Planned Parenthood, which opposes Trump’s anti-abortion policy, and the National Resource Defense Council, which opposes Trump’s environmental policies. The other Soros ties with “Women’s March” organizations include the partisan MoveOn.org (which was fiercely pro-Clinton), the National Action Network (which has a former executive director lauded by Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett as “a leader of tomorrow” as a march co-chair and another official as “the head of logistics”). Other Soros grantees who are “partners” in the march are the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Constitutional Rights, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. March organizers and the organizations identified here haven’t yet returned queries for comment.
On the issues I care about as a Muslim, the “Women’s March,” unfortunately, has taken a stand on the side of partisan politics that has obfuscated the issues of Islamic extremism over the eight years of the Obama administration. “Women’s March” partners include the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has not only deflected on issues of Islamic extremism post-9/11, but opposes Muslim reforms that would allow women to be prayer leaders and pray in the front of mosques, without wearing headscarves as symbols of chastity. Partners also include the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which wrongly designated Maajid Nawaz, a Muslim reformer, an “anti-Muslim extremist” in a biased report released before the election. The SPLC confirmed to me that Soros funded its “anti-Muslim extremists” report targeting Nawaz. (Ironically, CAIR also opposes abortions, but its leader still has a key speaking role.)
Another Soros grantee and march “partner” is the Arab-American Association of New York, whose executive director, Linda Sarsour, is a march co-chair. When I co-wrote a piece, arguing that Muslim women don’t have to wear headscarves as a symbol of “modesty,” she attacked the coauthor and me as “fringe.”
Earlier, at least 33 of the 100 “women of color,” who initially protested the Trump election in street protests, worked at organizations that receive Soros funding, in part for “black-brown” activism. Of course, Soros is an “ideological philanthropist,” whose interests align with many of these groups, but he is also a significant political donor. In Davos, he told reporters that Trump is a “would-be dictator.”
Nomani updated her report to include this statement from Soros’s Open Society Foundation to the effect that the common denominator is just a coincidence. They’re not intimate in the matter of the so-called Women’s March; they’re just friends, so to speak:
A spokeswoman for Soros’s Open Society Foundations, said in a statement, “There have been many false reports about George Soros and the Open Society Foundations funding protests in the wake of the U.S. presidential elections. There is no truth to these reports.” She added, “We support a wide range of organizations — including those that support women and minorities who have historically been denied equal rights. Many of whom are concerned about what policy changes may lie ahead. We are proud of their work. We of course support the right of all Americans to peaceably assemble and petition their government—a vital, and constitutionally safeguarded, pillar of a functioning democracy.”
The statement is somewhat credible. The Soros foundations support many groups seeking to undermine the United States, and these are just a few. Their marching together under a common banner for ulterior purposes makes perfect sense.
Nomani concludes on a personal note:
Much like post-election protests, which included a sign, “Kill Trump,” were not “spontaneous,” as reported by some media outlets, the “Women’s March” is an extension of strategic identity politics that has so fractured America today, from campuses to communities. On the left or the right, it’s wrong. But, with the inauguration, we know the politics. With the march, “women” have been appropriated for a clearly anti-Trump day. When I shared my thoughts with her, my yoga studio owner said it was “sad” the march’s organizers masked their politics. “I want love for everyone,” she said.
The left’s fierce identity politics and its failure on Islamic extremism lost my vote this past election, and so, as the dawn’s first light breaks through the darkness of the morning as I write, I make my decision: I’ll lace up my pink Nikes and head to the inauguration, skipping the “Women’s March” that doesn’t have a place for women like me.
Nomani includes links and more in her post here.
PAUL ADDS: Asra Nomani has been ferociously attacked on social media by C. Christine Fair, an associate professor at Georgetown University. Fair has told Nomani to “f**k off” and “go to hell;” accused her of “pimping herself for media coverage;” attacked her for having no job, and thus needing Obamacare; and denied that she is a true Muslim.
I wrote about this in a post called “Freakout at Georgetown.”
It’s good to see that Nomani, far from being intimidated, is fighting name-calling with research.