US Islamist leader lays out censorship list to stigmatize critics & distort perceptions

by J Michael Waller / Center for Security Policy / March 20, 2019

A Virginia-based Islamist leader has published a list of words and terms to be stamped out of American political and national security discourse.Critics who call out jihadists, Islamist terrorism, radical Islam, and Islamist extremists should be shunned and branded as haters, according to Esam Omeish, a board member of the radical Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center outside Washington, DC.

“Anyone who uses the following terms is Islamophobic and must stop their hate,” Omeish said in a March 16 Facebook post. John Rossomando of the Investigative Project on Terrorism discovered the post and first wrote about it.

By removing the words from American political, scholarly, intelligence, and law enforcement discourse, one removes the very concepts from analysis, discussion, and action.

The Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center is part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s North America network. According to Rossomando, Omeish “previously served as president of the Muslim American Society (MAS), which prosecutors say was established as the ‘overt arm’ of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.”

“Anwar al-Awlaki, a key official with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2011, was Imam at this mosque between January 2001 and April 2002. Two of the 9/11 hijackers worshipped there,” we reported as the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center prepared to influence the 2016 elections.

Omeish, born in Libya, has praised the Muslim Brotherhood by name. He was forced to resign in 2007 from Virginia govornor Tim Kaine’s Commission on Immigration after a video surfaced of Omeish exhorting Palestinians to wage “jihad” on Israel.

He told Washington-area Muslims in the video: “you have learned the way, that you have known that the jihad way is the way to liberate your land.” The full video can be seen here.

The Muslim Brotherhood list of terms to be stomped out

Omeish’s call should be considered an authoritative instruction from the Muslim Brotherhood to followers and sympathizers.

We should expect to see this list percolate into public discourse, with attempts to limit, censor, or silence the use of the forbidden words. It would be unsurprising if the Southern Poverty Law Center and others incorporate Omeish’s forbidden terms into their “hate group” criteria.

Omeish’s censorship list includes a ban on the following words and terms:

  • Islamist terrorism
  • Jihadist
  • Violent jihad
  • Violent jihadism
  • Islamic extremist
  • Islamist extremist
  • Radical Islam
  • Ban Shariah law
  • Shariah is antithetical to US Constitution

Omeish follows up with: “Hate kills! Islamophobia kills! Enough of this hate and Islamophobia!”

Rossmando reported that Omeish issued the censorship call “in the emotional wake of the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand.”