US media is reporting Virginia School Board member-at-large Abrar Omeish, the first Muslim elected to public office in the state of Virginia, has been criticized after using her official twitter account to accuse Israel of “Apartheid & colonization” and of “descreating the Holy Land.” According to an NBC Washington report:
May 20, 2021 A Fairfax County school board member has received strong support and strong backlash for a tweet about violence between residents of Israel and the Gaza Strip. School Board Member-at-Large Abrar Omeish, a woman of faith, tweeted on May 13, “Eid Mubarak! Congrats on 30 days of worship! Hurts my heart to celebrate while Israel kills Palestinians & desecrates the Holy Land right now. Apartheid & colonization were wrong yesterday and will be today, here and there. May justice + truth prevail.”
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Abrar Omeish is the daughter of Esam Omeish, former President of the Muslim American Society, a part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB) in the US and closely tied to the Egyptian organization. Esam Omeish also acts as chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Waqf Washington Trust and in 2007 had to step down from a Virginia State Commission post after advocating for jihad. In March 2021, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) also identified Abrar Omeish as an alumna of the Sinan Wren Foundation, a Turkish-British self-described “thought leadership” group providing training to GMB youth leaders and that is led by a former official of the Turkish charity IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, the major sponsor of the June 2010 Gaza Flotilla that involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. Also in March 2021, the GIOR reported that Abrar Omeish spoke at a virtual edition of CAIR’s annual “Muslim Day” at the Oklahoma State Capitol, a civic engagement event providing Muslim citizens an opportunity to stay engaged with lawmakers.
Prior reporting by the GIOR about the GMB in the US has included:
- A November 2020 report that CAIR had issued a statement congratulating Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on his victory, vowing to hold the forthcoming administration accountable on Muslim inclusion and civil rights issues.
- An April 2021 report that a coalition of American Muslim advocacy organizations tied to the US Muslim Brotherhood had published a report on American Muslims elected or re-elected to public office during 2020.
- A May 2021 report that a main US MB umbrella had published an open letter calling on President Joe Biden to appoint a State Department special envoy to monitor and combat Islamophobia.
- A May 2021 report that CAIR had joined other GMB groups in boycotting a planned virtual White House Eid celebration to be hosted by President Biden in connection with his stance on the violence in Israel and Gaza.