A scandal has plagued the Virginia school board now faces calls to dismiss a member who claimed that a moment of silence to mark the anniversary of the terrorist attacks would harm minorities who have been persecuted as a result of the ‘terrorist attack.
On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Fairfax County School Board members accepted a resolution for a minute of silence. It was intended to honor the first responders who risked their lives to save countless lives, as well as the nearly 3,000 victims who died and those who were injured as a result of the terrorist attacks that day.
But outspoken board member Abrar Omeish, who has previously sparked outrage over alleged anti-Semitic comments and encouraged high school students to remember ‘jihad’, voted against the resolution, saying it did not was not “anti-racist” and did not address “state sponsored”. trauma. ‘
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Fairfax County School Board has been called on to drop board member Abrar Omeish (pictured) after claiming a moment of silence on 9/11 “was causing damage”
Omeish’s speech caused an outburst of anger in a parent as she shouted at the blackboard “This is a sham, this is a show, enjoy it!”
âI am voting against this today because our omission of these realities causes harm. We are levitating a traumatic event without sufficient cultural competence, âshe said.
âThe symbolic wording around 9/11 is ‘Never forget.’ As a nation we remember a shocking event, no doubt, but we choose to forget, as this resolution does, the fear , the ostracism and collective blame felt by American Arabs, American Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus and all the brown-haired or other individuals who have been mistaken for Muslims since that day for the past two decades. added.
âWhy do we forget the experience of these families, their traumas? Omeish asked.
She later added: “I hope we can include these components in our larger anti-racist, [and] anti-bias work.
His speech saw a reprimand from another board member, Dr Ricardy Anderson, who accused Omeish of attempting to derail a motion that had already been discussed.
And while Omeish voted against the motion, it was ultimately passed thanks to votes from everyone else on the board.
It also sparked fury with a relative in attendance.
âI would expect that no parent could talk about this, we are limited on howâ¦â she said before being interrupted by board member Stella Pekarsky, who asked her “please sit down and be silent”.
Omeish, (pictured) who is the only Muslim member of the Virginia school board, is no stranger to the controversy
The Fairfax County School Board was considering a resolution for a minute of silence in honor of 9/11 victims on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The woman screamed inaudibly and was greeted by applause from other parents sitting in the auditorium.
She was captured grabbing her purse and screaming “This is a sham, this is a show, enjoy it!” As she left the auditorium.
Omeish’s comments even led to a call for a local newspaper to censor her and remove her from the school board.
“As members of the Fairfax County School Board, you must immediately issue a public statement separating yourself from your colleague’s hateful and callous rhetoric and hold Ms. Omeish accountable for her words and actions, once and for all,” did he declare. Fairfax County Hours said in an editorial.
On Saturday, it emerged that 16 local education groups had also signed a letter to the newspaper calling on Omeish to step down.
Activist Asra Nomani – who is also Muslim – led Omeish’s conviction and tweeted: â16 groups send letter @fairfaxtimes to @fpcpsnews School Board: A Call to Censure and Remove Abrar Omeish. They cite his hateful and culturally repugnant rhetoric. She voted ‘No’ to honor the victims of 9/11 + embarked on a self-centered tirade. ‘
Omeish, who is the only Muslim member of the Virginia school board, is no stranger to the controversy.
This summer, she called on high school graduates to remember ‘jihad’ when they first started out as she warns them that they are entering a world of ‘racism, extreme versions of individualism and capitalism, [and] white supremacy. ‘
In English, she told them: âThe world sees the distinction, the diploma, the fruit of all your years, but remember the details of your struggle.
But when she repeated the speech in Arabic, she told the students to remember their “jihad” – a word that means both “struggle” and, more specifically, holy war waged in the name of Islam. .
Omeish, who was 24 when she won her seat on the board in November 2019, making her one of Virginia’s youngest elected officials, has touted various progressive initiatives at the school.
She promoted a Black History Month convention that ensured, she said, “that we confront our history and respond honestly to the evils of our past.”
Others included the school’s recognition for Asian and Pacific Island Heritage Month for the first time this year, and the school’s Equity Club, which it said had become a standard in the school district of Fairfax.
She also sparked controversy recently for her tweet attacking Israel.
On May 13, she posted: âIt hurts my heart to celebrate as Israel is killing Palestinians and desecrating the Holy Land right now.
âApartheid and colonization were wrong yesterday and will be wrong here and there todayâ.
The tweet sparked such a strong backlash that the Fairfax County Republican Committee called on Omeish to step down.
Instead, she refused and hit out on her “enemies” by calling them a “different breed” of cheerleader.
âNo matter how many haters that emerge, I’m sure you’ve encountered them yourself, and trust me, they’re a sign that you are disrupting the status quo towards justice,â she said.
âJust think of them as your cheerleaders from another breed. When they try to bury you, remind them that you are a seed. ‘
Fairfax himself has made headlines amid clashes over teaching critical race theory, from parents including Nomani, also claiming the school is cutting its curriculum a bit to achieve equity – l equality of outcomes – for students.