A member of the Fairfax County School Board called the Battle of Iwo Jima ‘unfortunate’ and ‘evil’ during a school board meeting on Thursday.
School board member Abrar Omeish was discussing the Day of Remembrance – an observance day for victims of Japanese-American internment during World War II. The day coincides with the U.S. invasion of Iwo Jima, which was on February 19, 1945.
‘Just a few days ago was Japanese Day of Remembrance,’ Omeish said during the meeting. ‘Something for us to certainly reflect on… the days when, you know, Iwo Jima unfortunately happened and set a record for really what, I hate to say, human evil is capable of.’
The Battle of Iwo Jima – which lasted from February 19 to March 26 – was a significant victory for the U.S. during World War II. Nearly 7,000 American service-members lost their lives while trying to capture the island from imperial Japan.
It is the subject of Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph ‘Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.’ which depicts six Marines raising the American flag atop Mount Suribachi.
It is unclear why Omeish said the battle was an example of human evil.
Omeish did not acknowledge any error in what she said in a statement after her remarks.
‘There is no reason to warp what was said and reading more into it merely reflects biases forced in by the listener,’ Omeish said to the Washington Free Beacon.
The 28-year-old school board member has made controversial statements in the past. A Fairfax County parent said that she upset Jewish parents by referring to Israel as an apartheid state.
‘This caused huge outrage among over 250,000 Jewish Americans here in Northern Virginia and it sparked outrage across all political lines and there were calls for her to apologize. She offered no apology. She doubled down on it,’ parent Gary Aiken told ‘Fox & Friends First’ last year.
Omeish also delivered a politically-charged speech to Justice High School students in 2021, warning them that they were entering an unfair capitalist world.
‘Our world is overwhelmed with need. We struggle with human greed, racism, extreme versions of individualism and capitalism, White supremacy, growing wealth gaps, disease, climate crisis, extreme poverty amid luxury and waste right next door. And the list goes on,’ Omeish said.