Virginia School Board Member Says American Victory in Iwo Jima ‘Set a Record for Human Evil’
A Virginia school board member is taking fire after saying that the Battle of Iwo Jima, a major American victory in World War Two, was “unfortunate” and “evil.” The comments were made on Thursday. The board member, Abrar Omeish, 28, has a long history of making offensive statements about the United States.
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The Fairfax County School Board was discussing Japanese Remembrance Day, an annual commemoration of the internment of Japanese Americans in 1942.
“Something for us to certainly reflect on as we learn our history and think about it,” Omeish said during the discussion. “The days when, you know, Iwo Jima unfortunately happened and set a record for really what – hate to say – human evil is capable of.”
The Battle of Iwo Jima lasted from February 19 to March 26, 1945. Nearly 7,000 U.S. Marines died, and over 20,000 were wounded fighting for the island. The Fairfax County Parents Association shared a video of Omeish’s statements on Twitter.
Here's video of the above quoted (mis?)statement from Ms. Omeish. pic.twitter.com/D05eJfuVAH
— Fairfax County Parents Association (@FFXParentsAssoc) February 24, 2023
“Not sure what Ms. Omeish was saying here, is she condemning the brave US Marines that invaded Iwo Jima? Perhaps she meant to say something else,” the parents association said.
“That was no misstatement,” said one reply. “This board’s rhetoric is against promoting patriotism.”
Omeish later responded, saying in an email obtained by the group Parents Defending Education that “there is no reason to warp what was said and reading more into it merely reflects biases forced in by the listener.”
“Japanese Remembrance Day reminds us of the evil human beings are capable of, the diverse emotions and complex meanings February 19th has for a variety of members of our community.”
Omeish did not elaborate on her comments surrounding the Battle of Iwo Jima.
This is not the first time the controversial board member has come under fire. In 2021, parents demanded that she be removed from the school board after Omeish voted against having a moment of silence for the victims of 9/11. Omeish argued that a moment of silence would “cause harm” for minorities who were discriminated against after the attacks. She accused board members of “levitating a traumatic event without sufficient cultural competence.”
“The token phrasing around 9/11 is ‘Never Forget.’ As a nation we remember a jarring event, no doubt, but we chose 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.”
The Daily Mail reported that Omeish’s father is a member of the Board of Directors for a Virginia mosque, which three of the 9/11 hijackers attended before the attacks.
That same year, she called on graduating students to remember their “jihad”—meaning their ‘struggle’—as they entered a world filled with “racism, extreme versions of individualism and capitalism, [and] white supremacy.”
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Omeish has served on the Fairfax School Board since 2019.
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