Fairfax County, Virginia, school board member Abrar Omeish lambasted her fellow Democrats for not supporting a resolution that she had offered. Its contents had not been revealed until now. Her proposal contained on paragraph on the 3000 Americans killed by Islamic extremists and an additional 10 paragraphs condemning Americans for racism against Muslims. Rumors had been that her proposal was extreme, but until she released it publicly, it was not known how extreme.
Omeish lives with her father, Esam, whose own extremism is well known. He was on the board of the mosque where the 9/11 hijackers attended. He hired as imam a top Al-Qaeda operative, Anwar al-Awlaki, whom former President Barack Obama later ordered to be killed by drone strike. al-Awlaki was the inspiration behind many jihadists and their violent acts of terrorism.
Abrar Omeish disapproved of a resolution by the Fairfax County, Virginia, school board to honor those who died in the 9/11 terror attacks. So, she wrote her own resolution, which the other members of the school board rejected. Her resolution was titled, “Commemorating Twenty Years of Social and Political Impact of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks”.
Her resolution ended with the following paragraph:
“BE IT RESOLVED, that the Fairfax County School Board encourages the teaching of September 11, 2001 and its social and political impacts on our community and our country, as a lesson in the dangers of collective blame, xenophobia, and the demonization of entire populations,” and that the School Board “denounces two decades of policies, actions, and rhetoric which disproportionately impacted Arab Americans, American Muslims, and those perceived [sic] to be Arabs or Muslims here in Fairfax County and across our country.”
Her resolution reads in full:
WHEREAS, on the occasion of the Twentieth Anniversary of September 11, 2001, the Fairfax County School Board honors the memory of the nearly 3,000 lives lost, including the three victims from Fairfax County, and the first responders, such as firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), paramedics, rescue and recovery workers, and police officers who risked their lives that day and in the weeks following to save others, including those deployed from Bailey’s Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department to respond to the attack on the Pentagon; and
WHEREAS, according to FBI statistics, there have been nearly 5,000 victims of reported anti-Arab or anti-Muslim hate crime since 2001, including others percieved to be Arab or Muslim, which increased exponentially in the backlash following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, much of which impacted our families here in Fairfax County; and,
WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Justice, just days after September 11, 2001, documented that members of our own Fairfax community were discriminated against, and according to the Virginia State Police there were 28 reported anti-Arab and 25 reported anti-Muslim hate crimes in the Commonwealth in 2001 alone, though the actual number of victims is much larger as hate crime is severely under-reported; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. government also engaged in extensive and unwarranted discrimination and ethnic and religious profiling following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks which harmed FCPS families and students, some of which targeted FCPS Muslim student groups; and,
WHEREAS, the American Psychological Association documents this as among the most significant barriers to learning with mental health impacts that cannot be ignored, as stress stemming from discrimination can lead to achievement gaps in academic performance for students; and,
WHEREAS, a quarter of Arab Americans polled in 2010 reported post–September 11 abuse which led to higher levels of psychological distress, lower levels of happiness, and worse health status; and more than half of Muslim students polled in 2015 reported experiencing bullying, which is twice the national average; and in a 2020 American Muslim poll half of American Muslim parents reported that their children experienced religious-based bullying in schools, and in the same survey parents reported that one out of every three incidents involved a school official; and in early findings of a larger research study of Muslim student experiences in Northern Virginia, presented to the Virginia Department of Education reveal that Muslim students experience targeted bullying during September 11 lessons, such trends of religious- and ethnic-based bullying are experienced by FCPS families, staff, and students on a daily basis; and,
WHEREAS, the wars launched following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, according to Brown University, directly led to the loss of about 7,000 of our U.S. military personnel and nearly 400,000 civilians, journalists, and humanitarian aid workers, including members of our families here in Fairfax, at an estimated cost of $5.8 trillion in public taxpayer monies; and,
WHEREAS public discourse surrounding the refugees of the post-2001 wars, including those who live in our own neighborhoods, remains harmful to our most vulnerable families in the ways it includes xenophobia and misinformation about security risks and threats, and with particular attention to recent influxes as we protect existing FCPS families and welcome new ones; and,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Fairfax County School Board encourages the teaching of September 11, 2001 and its social and political impacts on our community and our country, as a lesson in the dangers of collective blame, xenophobia, and the demonization of entire populations, and affirms the need for proactive and intentional anti-bias education and policies as a means toward examining these societal ills; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that mental health services for the families of victims of September 11, 2001, first responders, military veterans, victims of hate crime and discrimination, and refugees are essential to addressing how these events continue to shape our community; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Fairfax County School Board condemns violence, hate, bigotry, discrimination, and xenophobia in all forms, and denounces two decades of policies, actions, and rhetoric which disproportionately impacted Arab Americans, American Muslims, and those perceived to be Arabs or Muslims here in Fairfax County and across our country.
Not even one other board member supported her extremist resolution.