September 28, 2007
The Muslim man that resigned Thursday from the Virginia Commission on Immigration, after online videos surfaced showing him denouncing Israel, spoke out on Friday.
Calling the situation a "smear campaign" Dr. Esam S. Omeish met with
media members Friday morning. His resignation was accepted by
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.
Omeish, the president of the Muslim American Society, is shown in videos denouncing Israel for actions ranging from its invasion of Lebanon to its alleged "control" of the U-S Congress. The taped incident dates back to the summer of 2006. In another undated video, he tells a crowd of Washington, D.C. Muslims that the "jihad way is a way to liberate your land."
Omeish had the following to say:
"My resignation as a member of the Virginia Commission on
Immigration and as the President of the Muslim American Society
(unintelligible) was submitted to Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.
I submitted the resignation from the commission because of the controversy that erupted following the allegations and the smear campaigns about past activities.
I submitted the resignation willingly to prevent any controversy from distracting the very important work of the commission on immigration and I continue to wish them utmost success in addressing this very vital matter for the future of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
I, while clearly disappointed and dismayed, along with the Muslim community of Virginia wish to continue to work with the Governor and his staff in any future capacity for the betterment of the Commonwealth.
We have appreciated the opportunities in the past and we continue to do so and we will make certain that the betterment of the Commonwealth supreme."