Delegates raising issue with immigration-commission appointment
Story by Chris Graham
State delegates Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, and Clay Athey, R-Warren, are calling on House Democratic Caucus chair Brian Moran to disclose what role, if any, he played in the appointment of the controversial leader of the Muslim American Society to the Virginia Commission on Immigration.
The what role, if any part relating to Moran in the appointment of Esam Omeish is left unclear in a news release issued by the delegates today. The release included a photograph of Moran at a 2005 event hosted by the Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque, where Omeish serves on the board of directors.
The appointment of Esam Omeish to the Virginia Commission on Immigration was made, the delegates said, following the recommendation of Secretary of the Commonwealth Katherine K. Hanley, a Democrat and former chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Gilbert and Athey have filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking all communications from Hanley regarding the appointment of Omeish and others to the Commission on Immigration.
Omeish resigned his seat on the commission after revelations regarding his ties to an Islamic center that has been called “the 9/11 mosque” and his comments in videos in which he condemns Israel and advocates the “jihad way” came to light last month.
“I have waited for three weeks for this administration to make public the flawed process which led to this appointment,” Athey said today. “It is incumbent upon Secretary Hanley and the Kaine administration to make public the process by which an individual who obviously supports an open-border policy because of his radical associations could be named to this important commission studying our border security.
“What, if any role, in Omeish’s appointment is related to his organizations ties to prominent Northern Virginia Democrats like Katherine Hanley and Brian Moran also need to be made public so that the flawed appointment process can be properly evaluated,” Athey said.
“In my opinion, the appointment of a radical Islamic leader who favors open borders has damaged the integrity of the Virginia Commission on Immigration,” Gilbert said. “As a member of the commission, I previously demanded through the issuance of a Virginia Freedom of Information Act claim that Northern Virginia Democrat Katherine Hanley make public all of the correspondence and conversations which led to this breach of Virginia’s security.
“After I first revealed to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia that our governor had appointed the leader of a group closely associated with radical Islam to this important commission, I was met with accusations impugning my motives and integrity,” Gilbert said. “This release makes good on my promise to defend my honor over the coming weeks and months by fully disclosing all the ties between this administration, radical Islam and the open-border lobby in Richmond.
“Del. Moran needs to disclose what role he played in this flawed appointment of the leader of the Muslim American Society to this commission, and more importantly what if any knowledge he possessed concerning their radical associations,” Gilbert said.
Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.