School official says Battle of Iwo Jima set record for ‘human evil’

Source: Twitter

A member of a Virginia school board is catching some slack for some bizarre comments made in regard to the Battle of Iwo Jima, claiming it “unfortunately happened” and was a milestone for “human evil.”

The comments were part of a much longer rant made last Thursday by Abrar Omeish, a member of the Fairfax County School Board.

The rant was related to a discussion of the US’s recent implementation of the Japanese Day of Remembrance, which commemorates the 1942 internment of Japanese Americans by then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“Something for us to certainly reflect on as we learn our history and think about it,” she said of Japanese Remembrance Day. “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.”

While it is unknown what context the board member was using or whether the entire statement was just out of left field, the Fairfax County Parents Association deemed the comments a “(mis?)statement” in a Twitter post.

However, critics were quick to snap back.

“That was no mis-statement. This board’s rhetoric is against promoting patriotism,” Harry Jackson said.

“@usmc and @CMC_MarineCorps – please know that Fairfax County families love our Marines!” wrote Jo-Ann Sears, a Fairfax County resident. “@AbrarOmeish is an idiot and the pride and joy of @FairfaxDems.”

According to the New York Post, this isn’t the first time Omeish has said controversially condemning things while serving as Virginia’s youngest female elected official.

Previously, the board member voted against a moment of silence for the victims of September 11th, 2001.

“As a nation, we remember a jarring event, no doubt, but we choose to forget -as this resolution does- the fear, the ostracization and the collective blame felt by Arab Americans, American Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus and all brown or other individuals that have been mistaken for Muslims since that day over the past two decades,” she said at the time. “Why are we forgetting the experience of these families? Their traumas?”

In a statement to the Post, Omeish said that “it was not Iwo Jima that I was saying showed what evil humans are capable of- it was the incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent.”

For those unfamiliar with the Battle of Iwo Jima, the five-week battle took place in early 1945, when US Marines attempted to take a volcanic island from heavily-entrenched Japanese troops, in hopes of turning it into an airfield.

The battle itself was one of the bloodiest of World War II, and was forever immortalized by the photo of US Marines raising the American flag at the peak of Mount Suribachi.

The image would go on to be one of the most recognizable photographs from World War II, and one that would forever be associated with the sacrifice US Marines are willing to commit to in order to achieve victory.

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