by Lev Tsitrin
What struck me when I read about a graduation address given by an Islamist board member of the Fairfax County School Board Abrar Omeish at the Justice High School in Virginia was, above all, its monumental hypocrisy.
The speech was so soaked in it, that it is hard to even know where to start. Her telling the students "that they’ve been attending school on the “stolen land” of the Manahoac Indian tribe and that “[t]his theft is a reminder to us of what happens when we delay justice, when we don’t speak up, when we don’t stand up in time,” is as good a place as any. In recent years, such invocations have become a staple on many college campuses both in the US and Canada, public events or lectures starting with this now-standard pronouncement. Fair enough; the question is, what conclusions are being drawn? I would have been impressed with Ms. Omeish's integrity if she declared in her speech that, being an honest person eager to "stand up" for justice and being too ashamed to live on "stolen land," she decided to move to Saudi Arabia -- all other Arab countries also sitting on "stolen land" -- stolen during Arab conquests which, two centuries after Mohammed's death, resulted in an Arab empire stretching over half of the than-known world. After all, what is the difference between the European settler-colonizers who followed Columbus to settler-colonize America, and the Arab settler-colonizers who followed the Moslem Caliphs and settler-colonized Spain, North Africa, and the Middle East? Since Ms. Omeish's didn't say anything of a kind though, I don't think she is particularly worried about living on "stolen land." Ms. Omeish is comfortably settler-colonizing herself in Virginia, getting a JD at Georgetown University -- while preaching to us the injustice of settler-colonization. In fact, Ms. Omeish is quite vocal in her support of -- guess what? -- Arab settler-colonizers in "Palestine". Rather than welcoming the end of the settler-colonization regime there, she opposes the return to the land of its pre-Arab owners, as evident from her tweet during the latest war with Hamas that it “Hurts my heart to celebrate [Ramadan] while Israel kills Palestinians & desecrates the Holy Land right now. Apartheid & colonization were wrong yesterday and will be today, here and there.” Who "desecrates" whose "Holy Land"? And who "colonized" it? And who is de-colonizing it? For all the classes she took at Georgetown, Ms. Omeish is utterly ignorant of basic Arab history. Or, she is a hypocrite with a capital H.
Since she studies for a law degree, the way she treats the American law is hypocritical, too. She either encouraged, or countenanced, students' willful change to the language of the pledge of allegiance, in which “one nation under God” was replaced with “one nation under Allah.” In fact, the text was codified by Congress and hence, is a law; altering the pledge is hardly legal. Ms. Omeish apparently did not intervene in this display of illegality, showing either her ignorance, or hypocrisy (and certainly, the wilful disrespect for the country.) "Allah" simply means "God" in Arabic, so why this odd substitution that narrowed the meaning of the word? Why not say "God" -- which is acceptable to all, unless one's allegiance is really only to "ummah," the world-wide community of Moslems, and not to the United States? Was that a Freudian slip displaying to all the true object of Ms. Omeish's patriotism?
“The world may try to quiet you by deciding for you what’s cool, what’s weird, what is or isn’t objective. It may try to convince you that what you hold dear is too different to be accepted. You are walking into a world that will be uncomfortable when you seek to cause good trouble. And that may seek to intimidate you or make you think the truth is controversial,” Ms. Omeish told the students. And she likely believes that she was causing "good trouble" by her speech -- and even that she was telling "the truth." In truth, to do justice to Ms. Omeish's oration at the Justice High School in which the Islamist kettle was calling the American pot black, it should be just laughed off.