A Virginia school board is now facing various requests to ditch a member who claimed that a 9/11 moment of silence "causes harm."
On the eve of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Fairfax County School Board entertained a resolution for a moment of silence to honor the victims who died that day in New York City, Shanksville, Pa., and the Pentagon, those who suffered injuries, and the first responders who rushed to save lives. But board member Abrar Omeish voted against the resolution, saying it was not "anti-racist" and failed to address "state-sponsored traumas."
"I vote against this today, because our omission of these realities causes harm. We're levitating a traumatic event without sufficient cultural competence," she said.
"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." she said.
"Why are we forgetting the experience of these families, their traumas? " Omeish asked.
She later said, "I hope we can include these components in our broader anti-racist, [and] anti-bias work."
And while Omeish voted against the motion, it was ultimately passed thanks to votes from all other members of the board, reported the Daily Mail.
Many parents are upset due to the hateful and callous rhetoric of Omeish. Her comments also led to an op-ed from the Fairfax County Times that called for her censure and removal from the school board.
Omeish Has History of Anti-Semitic Rhetoric
In June 2021, Omeish had created created an uproar during her speech at a graduation ceremony as she urged graduating students to remember ''jihad'' while they step in to a ''world of white supremacy.'' She also sparked controversy recently for her tweet attacking Israel.
Social Media Reactions
Omeish's recent remarks have not gone well with netizens. One Twitter user wrote, "You disgust me by spitting on the graves of the 3,000 innocent people murdered on 9/11. If you preach love you would've honored those murdered people. You were a child that day. For many of us who were adults it's a memory seared into our minds that will never go away." Another wrote, "Using 9/11 tragedy to invoke wokism is wrong in so many levels."
One comment read, "She is talking rubbish, as a person of color, I standby the resolution of moment of silence and *Never Forget*. If we keep forgetting what happened in History, we will be bound to face such issue (9/11) in future. And outrageously she has tried to include others with her."
Another user shared, "This is what my state has become... If you're white, patriotic, military, law enforcement, then you are the enemy. Don't think for yourself, the government does that for you. #virginia #DemocratsAreADisaster."