Virginia school board member, who opposes 9-11 moment of silence, slams Battle of Iwo Jima as evil

A Virginia school board member with ties to the ‘9/11 mosque’ sparked new controversy when she described a pivotal win for the United States during WWII as an example of “human evil.”

Thursday at the Fairfax County School Board meeting, member Abrar Omeish seemingly decried the bravery of the greatest generation as she called attention to the opening of internment camps falling on the same date in February as the beginning of the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima.

“Just a few days ago was Japanese Day of Remembrance,” she began. “Something for us to certainly reflect on as we learn our history and think about it, the days when, you know, Iwo Jima unfortunately happened and set a record for really what, I hate to say, human evil is capable of.”

The remarks left many seeking clarity as to whether she was condemning internment or the battle where roughly 7,000 Americans lost their lives fighting to turn the tide on the Pacific front, and her response to the Washington Free Beacon did little to help.

“There is no reason to warp what was said, and reading more into it merely reflects biases forced in by the listener,” she wrote in an email that noted then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order to force Japanese-Americans into internment camps in 1942 “happens to fall on the same day” as the start of the fighting on the island of Iwo Jima in 1945, when that order was still in place.

Omeish is no stranger to controversial remarks as, ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, she slammed a moment of silence as harmful during a meeting and said, “I do ask, why can we not also explicitly recognize the extensive and unwarranted structural discrimination and ethnic and religious profiling following 9/11 that tens of thousand of [Fairfax County Public Schools] students experience on a daily basis, the pain that trillions of dollars have gone into creating and perpetuating and that continues in our very classrooms today…”

“As a nation, we remember a jarring event, no doubt, but we choose to forget, as this resolution does, the fear, the ostracization, and the collective blame felt by Arab Americans, American Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus and all brown or other individuals that have been mistaken for Muslims since that day over the past two decades,” she went on. “Why are we forgetting the experience of these families, their traumas?”

Of note, Omeish is not merely a school board member. She is also the daughter of Dr. Esam Omeish, former President of the Muslim American Society, and member of the Board of Directors of the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque, routinely referred to as the 9/11 mosque.

Dar Al-Hijrah was the mosque led by extremist Anwar al-Awlaki and the place of worship for Fort Hood murderer Nidal Hasan as well as two of the 9/11 hijackers.

Libyan-born Dr. Omeish sat on the Virginia Commission on Immigration until 2007 when a video from the year prior had surfaced where he condemned Israel and advocated for “the jihad way.”

The younger Omeish also served as co-chair for Bernie Sanders’ campaign and was on the Democratic National Convention’s rules committee and offered similar remarks to her father when delivering a commencement speech at Justice High School in Falls Church, Virginia in 2021 where she told students to remember their “jihad” as she raged against “extreme versions of individualism and capitalism” juxtaposed with “white supremacy.”

She represents the same county recently under fire for failing to report National Merit commendations in the name of equity.

Kevin Haggerty

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