By Luke Rosiak
A school board member whose father was on the board of the mosque attended by 9/11 hijackers and hired as imam a top Al-Qaeda operative on Wednesday forcefully opposed a resolution honoring the victims of the attacks.
Abrar Omeish is on the school board of Fairfax County Public Schools, near the Pentagon. She lives with her father Esam, who was a director of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, and hired as its imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who President Barack Obama later ordered killed by drone strike. The mosque was attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers as well as the shooter in the 2009 attack on Fort Hood, Texas.
She said a school board resolution calling for a moment of silence marking the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 was not “anti-racist.”
While 9/11 was “jarring” and a “historic turning point in our nation’s history,” she said, the resolution failed to address “state-sponsored traumas” to Muslims. “Just two years ago, even I was profiled as a threat, in one of the most traumatic experiences of my life,” she said.
That refers to an incident in which she was pulled over by the police for running a red light, then removed from her car for repeatedly refusing to show her license. Video shows an obvious traffic infraction and that the officer could not see her appearance when he pulled her over.
She called for a school system “where all pain and trauma is acknowledged as legitimate and worthy of recognition.”
“I vote against this today because our omission of these realities causes harm. We are elevating a traumatic event without sufficient cultural competence,” she said.
She said she trusts that Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS)’s “equity team will follow up with Dr. Amaarah Decuir and other state advisors whose expertise enlightens us on this topic. I hope we can include these components in our broader anti-racist, anti-bias work.”
Decuir produced a video for the Virginia Department of Education, which is led by Atif Qarni, instructing educators on how to teach about 9/11, which said:
We are not going to reproduce a false assumption of Muslim responsibility for 9/11. We’re just going to begin right there and name that there is no responsibility… We’re also not going to reproduce what’s understood as American exceptionalism… You name what happened and that’s it. There’s no need to further describe it, embellish it, name them, provide details. That’s not relevant… Don’t reproduce a single American narrative, that there’s only one way to understand 9/11.
In June, Omeish gave a graduation speech in which she told a mainly-immigrant class of high schoolers that they were entering a world filled with “white supremacy” and encouraged them to remember their “jihad” and reject the concepts of objectivity and neutrality. A photograph shows her as the only person without her hand over her heart during the pledge of allegiance at another graduation ceremony.
America is a Great Country in which to live.