News & Politics

This Virginia School Board Scuffle Does Not Bode Well for the Left's Diversity Coalition...

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

LGBT activists will not be satisfied with half measures, and they are willing to turn on their political allies if they refuse to toe the line. On Friday, an LGBT activist group in Fairfax, Va., openly condemned a Muslim school board member who dared to hesitate before “100 percent” endorsing the activists’ lifestyles and demands. While the Muslim school board member is an outspoken leftist Democrat, the activists demanded complete support and total agreement with their orthodoxy. They condemned her for “emotional violence” and demanded a groveling apology, along with a complete endorsement of their lifestyles in public schools.

Last month, “Queer Muslim and Brown” activists with the Pride Liberation Project met with at-large School Board Member Abrar Omeish. At the meeting, Omeish reportedly declared that she did not believe she could “ever be a 100 percent ally” of the LGBT community. “Over the course of our meeting, Ms. Omeish created a deeply hurtful and traumatic environment for members of the Pride Liberation Project through her repeated insensitive statements.”

“Throughout the meeting, Ms. Omeish implied that being Queer is a lifestyle and a choice,” the Pride Liberation Project breathlessly reported. “She claimed that it would be a ‘challenge’ for her to provide an ‘outward endorsement or encouragement’ of Queer students, and that there was a ‘difference between going after oppression and endorsing’ LGBTQIA+ students. She also equated having LGBTQIA+ feelings to ‘sex before marriage’ and said that being invited to participate in a Pride parade would ‘give [her] pause.'”

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Oh no! It almost seems as though Omeish might be a — gasp! — practicing Muslim, who takes the socially conservative stance of Islam seriously. The Pride Liberation Project did not explain Omeish’s position in detail, and Omeish has not yet commented on the situation, but most Muslim clerics (who interpret Sharia, a.k.a. Islamic law) very much follow a socially conservative position on marriage and LGBT issues (far too many of them, especially radicals in the Middle East, go so far as to put homosexuals to death, a position Omeish seems to rightly abhor).

“Ms. Omeish also expressed hesitation in committing to fully support LGBTQIA+ students because of perceived backlash,” the Pride Liberation Project continued. “Even after multiple Queer students from Pride Liberation Project shared detailed accounts of the harassment they face for being LGBTQIA+ at school and at home, she claimed that she was ‘putting herself out there y being vocal [about Queer concerns] at all.'”

The Pride Liberation Project quoted a “Queer Muslim student” who recounted that he/she “was immensely disappointed that an elected official who claims to be an advocate for student mental health would not support LGBTQIA+ students, especially when half of lesbian, gay, and bisexual students in Fairfax County have reported feeling depressed in the past year.”

In a Twitter thread with the statement, the Pride Liberation Project noted that one of the students in the meeting described Omeish’s comments as “emotional violence.”

It remains unclear exactly what the school board member said. She reportedly shied away from pledging to be a “100 percent ally” of LGBT activists, implied that either homosexual activity or transgender identity involve making a choice, suggested that open sexual orientation might encourage premarital sex, and expressed hesitation about joining a Pride parade. All of these positions make sense from a socially conservative background, and most serious practicing Muslims tend to be socially conservative on LGBT issues. It seems the Pride Liberation Project read extreme hostility into whatever claims Omeish actually made, so it seems there is likely more to the story.

After recounting this horrid betrayal, the Pride Liberation Project made five demands of Omeish. First, the group demanded that she apologize for her remarks at the June 21 meeting. Of course, not just any kind of apology will do.

“This apology should explicitly acknowledge that Ms. Omeish cannot be an equity advocate if she is not a 100 percent ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, that it is impossible to dismantle the oppression that LGBTQIA+ students face without public statements of unequivocal affirmation and validation, and that exclusively condemning overt bigotry is not the same as empowering Queer students,” the activists demanded.

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In other words, the Pride Liberation Project wants Omeish to admit that unless she’s 100 percent in favor of every part of the ever-expanding LGBT agenda, she can’t truly be a champion of “equity.” In order to dismantle the anti-LGBT “oppression,” she must unreservedly celebrate not just people who struggle with same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria, but she must celebrate their identities and lifestyles, regardless of the dictates of her religion or the convictions of her conscience.

All that made up just one of the five demands. The activists also demanded that she issue “a broad affirmation for LGBTQIA+ students that goes beyond a simple rejection of harassment, and instead, validates the existence and identity of Queer Muslim students, as well as the right for Queer Muslims in [Fairfax County Public Schools] to have access to safe and affirming schools and homes.” They also demanded that she support a motion to “include non-traditional family structures, such as families with two mothers and two fathers in the Family, Life, and Education (FLE) curriculum.” She had not been present for the vote on that motion.

The activists also demanded that Omeish commit “to center marginalized students, including LGBTQIA+ students, within Ms. Omeish’s school board-related advocacy.” Finally, they demanded that she commit “to promote Queer visibility and representation in the future. This should include, but is not limited to, attending family-friendly Pride Parades and posting publicly about Queer issues.”

Omeish is not exactly an ally of conservatives. Fairfax County parents are organizing an effort to recall her from the school board over her delay in reopening public schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She also claimed that Israel engages in “apartheid & colonization” against Palestinians, sparking a backlash. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a leftist Muslim group, filed a lawsuit on Omeish’s behalf earlier this year, claiming that police violated Omeish’s rights in a 2019 traffic stop.

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It seems rather odd that the Pride Liberation Project is willing to target a Democratic icon in the area, but those who are familiar with Sharia and the Quran (to say nothing of the horrific murders of homosexuals in the Middle East, especially those perpetrated by the Islamic State) would expect to see cracks between the Muslim and the LGBT wings of the Democratic coalition. Perhaps this incident represents the beginning of that long-expected crack-up.