“Jihadist,” “Islamic violence,” “Islamist extremist” and “radical Islam” are all Islamophobic terms, Esam Omeish wrote on Facebook in the wake of the New Zealand mosque massacre.
Omeish is a board member at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia, which has expressed Muslim Brotherhood sympathies. He previously served as president of the Muslim American Society (MAS), which a Chicago Tribune investigation reported was established as the branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.
In the Facebook post, Omeish wrote that anyone who used the listed terms is “Islamophobic and must stop their hate.”
Omeish has some history with the listed terms. In 2000, he spoke at a Jerusalem Day Rally in Washington D.C., saying that Palestinians had learned “that the Jihad way is the way to liberate your land,” according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT). Omeish encouraged the crowd to take action that would "make this administration change its mind about its unconditional support for the Zionist entity in Filastin.”
Video of the speech led to Omeish’s resignation from Virginia’s Commission of Immigration in 2007.
Omeish also mourned Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin at a MAS conference in 2004, after Yassin was killed in an Israeli airstrike, referring to Yassin as “our beloved brother,” the IPT reported.