George Soros, Karl Popper, and Podsnap

by Hugh Fitzgerald

George Soros has just pledged $15 million to fight “hate crimes.” Who could object to this? Well, I could, and you could, if by “hate crimes” Soros means truthful statements about what Islamic texts — Qur’an and Hadith and Sira – contain. But those texts and teachings of Islam do represent a menace to all non-Muslims, and it would be folly not to recognize this. And I could object, and you could, if Soros means to exclude as “hate crimes” (or “hate speech” precedent to “hate crimes”) a Muslim quoting those exact same texts because, in his view, if made by a Believer, they cannot possibly be “hate speech.” For if they were, that would mean that the texts of Islam itself would have to be called into question, and that – according to the Defenders of the Faith such as George Soros – can simply never be. A Muslim reports, for example, that the Qur’an says that Muslims are the “best of peoples”(3:110) and non-Muslims the “most vile of creatures.”(98:6) This is both accurate and, for George Soros, not a “hate crime.” But when some non-Muslim reports that Muslims say that the Qur’an says that “Muslims are the best of peoples” and “non-Muslims the most vile of creatures,” George Soros and the Muslim groups he funds regard those statements as whipping up hatred against Muslims; that is, they constitute a “hate crime.” For Soros, what the Muslim quotes in such a case says hardly matters; Soros long ago made up his mind that these passages don’t matter or don’t exist or are being taken out of context or surely have to be interpreted differently, and in any case, who cares about such remarks except for those Islamophobes always trying to sow distrust and hate.

Soros has, through his Open Society Foundation, shown a deep interest in defending Muslims and in deflecting attention from Islam’s texts. His foundation has consistently given grants to organizations, such as the Muslim Advocates, that seek to water down anti-terrorist measures, and to constrain the effectiveness of domestic intelligence in monitoring likely terrorists, and has been responsible for forcing the NYPD to end some of its most effective programs, including its monitoring of mosques. After the Dec. 2, 2015 attack in San Bernardino, for example, the Open Society’s Muslim grantees did not express horror at the attack by a Muslim couple on their Infidel fellow workers, but rather, according to a hacked document, immediately “mobilized to counter anti-refugee and anti-Muslim immigration sentiment.” The policy agenda of the Open Society Foundation is to insist that the main source of “hate crimes” in the United States is a never clearly-defined “Islamophobia,” which vague term is used to describe and consign to the outer darkness all criticism of Islam, to suggest that Islam itself is always and everywhere beyond criticism, which – given the observable behavior of Muslims in the United States and all over the world – becomes more ludicrous every day. Can anyone with a straight face still maintain that all those who are made anxious, angry, fearful about Islam, because of what has happened in Paris and Nice, in Brussels and Amsterdam, in London and Madrid, in Moscow and Beslan, in Beijing and Bali, in New York and Washington and Boston, at Fort Hood and in Chattanooga and San Bernardino (you can fill up notebooks with the list of nearly 30,000 attacks by Muslim terrorists, following the texts of Islam, that have been committed since 9/11/2001) are merely hate-filled Islamophobes?

Soros has not listened to, much less heeded, the testimony of that growing number of ex-Muslims who actually grew up within Islam, and in the West found both the intellectual freedom and physical security (though that security is relative; most must live under constant guard for fear of their former coreligionists), to find their way out of Islam and have chosen to sacrifice their safety in order to alert the non-Muslim world about the teachings and texts of Islam. These ex-Muslims are particularly worrisome because they are thoroughly versed in what Islam teaches, cannot be bullied into backing down by claims they “don’t know what they are talking about,” and offer from the inside an authentic view of Islam and of Muslims, which may be unflattering, but also happens to be true. If Soros were truly interested in “reforming” Islam – assuming that such a difficult and doubtful undertaking might improve matters – then surely one would want to publicize and to promote Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, Nonie Darwish, Ibn Warraq, Magdi Allam and others like them. Soros has never been interested sin these witnesses; for him there are only victimized Muslims and Islamophobes. Yet these ex-Muslims are as valuable now as, decades ago, were defectors from the K.G.B. who alerted the West to the full menace of Soviet Communism.

When Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for example, writes that on September 11, 2001 she was horrified by the news of the attack on the World Trade Center, but not at all surprised, because she knew from her own Muslim upbringing of the intense hatred of Infidels to be found in Islam, does Hirsi Ali’s remark constitute “hate speech”? When Wafa Sultan or Nonie Darwish or Magdi Allam describe in similar terms the passages of murderous hatred toward non-Muslims to be found in the Qur’an and Hadith, and that they were constantly subjected to when they grew up in Muslim environments in Syria and Egypt, shouldn’t George Soros want to support them in their commitment to warning the West? Soros has taken his stand: he will do nothing to encourage the truthful study of Islamic texts, and will instead do everything he can to avoid having the American public be made aware of, for example, this telling — if oft-repeated — list of Qur’anic passages pertaining to Infidels:

Qur’an 2:191 “Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them”
Qur’an 3:21 “Muslims must not take the infidels as friends”
Qur’an 5:33 “Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam”
Qur’an 8:12 “Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Koran”
Qur’an 8:60 “Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels”
Qur’an 8:65 “The unbelievers are stupid, urge all Muslims to fight them”
Qur’an 9:5 “When the opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you find them”
Quran 9:123 “Make war on the infidels living in your neighbourhood”
Qur’an 22:19 “Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water, melt their skin and bellies”
Qur’an 47:4 “Do not hanker for peace with the infidels, behead them when you catch them”

Soros does not want to acknowledge such passages. I suspect at this point nothing could induce him to read the Qur’an and Hadith. He doesn’t want to know for certain what he suspects he might find. He wants, rather, to live in a comfortable cocoon of high-minded ignorance, where he is flattered sycophantically by the recipients of his largesse, and can remain happily convinced that for some reason he can’t quite fathom, all over the world, Christians and Jews, Hindus and Buddhists, atheists and agnostics, are engaged in an effort to persecute defenseless Muslims in an orgy of Islamophobia. For Soros, there is only one way to bring about the heavenly kingdom, or some reasonable facsimile thereof, which is for non-Muslims to recognize, and reject, the “climate of fear” they have created for Muslims, a fear for which there is no discernible reason. Never mind the Muslim clerics who speak openly about deliberately leaching on Infidel societies, with Muslims helping themselves to a proleptic Jizyah both from the receipt of every possible welfare-state benefit they can get, and by property crimes, also seen as a kind of Jizyah, against Infidels. Never mind the skyrocketing statistics on Muslims committing sex crimes on non-Muslims (women, men, children of both sexes). Never mind those Muslims who speak openly of how they are using demography as a weapon of Jihad – outbreeding while battening on their helpless hosts, so that with each year their percentage of the population inexorably rises.

Here is Hirsi Ali in a 2007 interview in the London Standard:

Just like Nazism started with Hitler‘s vision, the Islamic vision is a caliphate — a society ruled by Sharia law – in which women who have sex before marriage are stoned to deathhomosexuals are beaten, and apostates like me are killedSharia law is as inimical to liberal democracy as Nazism.” In this interview, she said, “Violence is inherent in Islam – it’s a destructive, nihilistic cult of death. It legitimates murder.

Islam – not “Islamism” –is a cult that you can be born into, or join, but once in you can’t get out; the punishment for apostasy is death. It is both a fanatic and a fighting faith, where Infidels are likened to animals, women and homosexuals can be beaten or killed, and those who leave the faith killed for defecting from the Army of Islam. Could George Soros allow himself to recognize the simian similarities between Islam and the Nazism from which he just barely escaped? Does George Soros think that apostates are not killed, that women are not beaten (or killed) for sex outside marriage, that homosexuals are not killed simply for being homosexuals? Does he think the murderous depiction of Infidels, and especially of Jews (for being the firmest in their opposition to Muhammad) is simply made up?

And why does Soros promote campaigns that spread false Islamophobia on social media? There is so much of this already going around, these anti-Muslim “hate crimes” designed to elicit sympathy for Muslims that turn out to be hoaxes, that Soros need hardly bother. The latest example is the story about one Abdul Aziz Usmani, a 7-year-old whose father claimed he was repeatedly beaten up by fellow students on a school bus in Cary, North Carolina, though neither the bus driver nor any of the other students noticed anything awry, and furthermore, the boy bore no signs of any injury, nor reported any attack, until his father did. Liza Luten, a spokesman for the school, told BuzzFeed news: “[The principal] interviewed seven students sitting near this child, and none of the students, nor the bus driver, witnessed any type of altercation or incident.” When [the family] originally shared the information, they didn’t share any information about religion or race, and just that their child was bullied.

The police investigated, and concluded that it was a charge without merit, one more pretend-hate crime. Robert Spencer has also noted the case in New Jersey of a Muslim who was convicted of a murder that he had tried to depict as an “Islamophobic” attack, and another in California of a man convicted of killing his wife, an attack he tried to blame on “Islamophobia.” And then there was the woman who said she was called a terrorist and her cheek slashed in Manhattan, who later admitted she made up the story. If you click on each word here — CAIR and other Muslims have on many occasions not hesitated — you will have ten more examples of claimed anti-Muslim “hate-crimes” that turned out to be hoaxes. And tomorrow, or next week, there will be still more to add to the list.

Does George Soros allow himself to know anything about this long catalogue of “hate crimes” where there was no crime, or where the crime in question was indeed committed, but by Muslims? A moment’s thought would tell him that if he really cared about the reputation of Muslims, he would want to do whatever he could to put a stop to these false reportings. For when they are finally revealed (as so many of them have been), they only earn Muslims still more suspicion and contempt. But Soros will have none of that. He prefers simply to ignore the whole lengthening list of fabricated hate crimes, and instead, dwells in a phantasmagoric world where Muslims live in constant fear of attack. Nor is there convincing evidence of such fear. Instead of cowering, Muslims appear quite aggressive throughout the Western world in pushing their own agendas: demands for prayer rooms in schools and workplaces, insistence upon wearing hijabs that violate longstanding dress codes, prayer times that interrupt the work day schedule, rewriting of history in school textbooks — wherever they sense Infidel weakness, demands are made.

George Soros seems strangely unaffected by the rise of antisemitism in Europe. Though he escaped from the Nazis by the skin of his teeth, he appears unwilling to recognize the source of the new wave of antisemitism in Europe – the burgeoning population of Muslims. One wonders if he is aware of the description of the Jews in the Qur’an as the “descendants of apes and pigs,” the people who were most firm in their opposition to Muhammad, and who even were responsible — see the Sira — for poisoning Muhammad. Here is the conclusion to a 700-page treatise, Jews in the Qur’an and the Traditions, by Grand Sheik Tantawi, Sunni Islam’s leading cleric, and the head of Al-Azhar University in Cairo:

[The] Qur’an describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah, corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness … only a minority of the Jews keep their word. … [A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims, the bad ones do not.

Descriptions of Jews by prominent Muslim clerics are quoted by Robert Spencer in an omnium-gatherum article on the persistence of antisemitism in Islam:

The grand sheikh of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the most respected cleric in the world among Sunni Muslims today, has called Jews “the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs.” Saudi sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudayyis, imam of the principal mosque in the holiest city in Islam, Mecca, said in a sermon that Jews are “the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs.” Another Saudi sheikh, Ba’d bin Abdallah al-Ajameh al-Ghamidi, made the connection explicit: “The current behavior of the brothers of apes and pigs, their treachery, violation of agreements, and defiling of holy places … is connected with the deeds of their forefathers during the early period of Islam—which proves the great similarity between all the Jews living today and the Jews who lived at the dawn of Islam.

The steady rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Europe has been attributed, by European authorities, to Muslims who have taken to heart what the Qur’an and Hadith have to say about Jews. Why should we not believe that as the Muslim population grows in the United States, there will not be the same rise in hate crimes by Muslims against Jews here, too? Or should we believe, as some fondly do, that there is something unique about “American” Muslims – uniquely tolerant, as opposed to Muslims elsewhere in the world, even though all Muslims read the same Qur’an, the same Hadith, the same Sira? Doesn’t the less aggressive behavior, so far, of American Muslims reflect only the fact of lesser numbers, of their constituting 1% rather than 3% or 5% or 10% of the population?

It is too bad that George Soros, with his willingness to deploy millions to work his will, remains adamantine in his refusal to look at the evidence of Muslim “hate speech” that then gives rise to “hate crimes.” It is too bad that he has decided that it is Muslims who need to be protected from a potential wave of violence from “Islamophobes,” though there has been no such wave, not in North America, and not anywhere in the Western world. It is too bad that George Soros does not recognize that the charge of “Islamophobia” is a Muslim invention, designed to silence all criticism of Islam, and misleadingly characterizing as “irrational hatred” the criticism of Islam that is solidly based on a familiarity with the contents of the Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira.

George Soros fancies himself more than merely a supremely enlightened Maecenas. He thinks of himself as a philosopher, keeper of the flame of the late Karl Popper who, like Soros, was of Jewish descent and, like Soros, escaped the Nazis in time. Popper’s most influential work for Soros was his “The Open Society and Its Enemies.” But whatever Soros learned from that work of political philosophy, he seems not to have taken to heart the single most celebrated remark of Popper, made in 1945, after the final defeat of the Nazis: “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.” Soros may have learned, or thinks he learned, a great deal from Karl Popper,but he did not learn this. And because he is more than tolerant of the most intolerant and fanatical force now bestriding the earth, he has made himself one of the enemies of the “open society” that Popper championed.

But there is one personage whom Soros, in his willful blindness about Islam, does resemble. That is Dickens’ Mr. Podsnap:

…Mr Podsnap settled that whatever he put behind him he put out of existence. There was a dignified conclusiveness–not to add a grand convenience–in this way of getting rid of disagreeables which had done much towards establishing Mr Podsnap in his lofty place in Mr Podsnap’s satisfaction. ‘I don’t want to know about it; I don’t choose to discuss it; I don’t admit it!’ Mr Podsnap had even acquired a peculiar flourish of his right arm in often clearing the world of its most difficult problems, by sweeping them behind him (and consequently sheer away) with those words and a flushed face. For they affronted him.

“I don’t want to know about it; I don’t choose to discuss it; I don’t admit it” – that is George Soros, on Islam. He fancies himself a disciple of Karl Popper. But when it comes to “clearing the world of its most difficult problems,” he turns out to be, though he would be outraged at the suggestion, merely, and maddeningly, an avatar of Mr. Podsnap.

First published in Jihad Watch.


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