Image Credit: Virginia Department of Education
Atif Qarni Defames County Parent, Bars TJ High School PTA from Sham “Listening Sessions”
Press Release | Fairfax GOP
Fairfax GOP Chairman Steve Knotts is calling for the resignation of Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, in a blistering statement issued today. “With Atif Qarni, the special interests always come first,” Knotts lamented. “Now more than ever, we need a Secretary of Education who is laser-focused on serving the needs of Virginia’s students.”
“Secretary Qarni cruelly and baselessly defamed Asra Nomani — a devoted single mother, renowned investigative journalist and tireless human rights advocate,” Knotts said. “Worse, Qarni is denying local parents a voice in so-called ‘listening sessions’ devoted to the fate of their own children’s school.”
Knotts’s statement comes on the heels of today’s report from the Associated Press, chronicling Qarni’s clash with the Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology PTA. According to the Associated Press, Nomani’s “religious activism” was a major factor in Qarni’s decision to deny her a voice in official Department of Education “listening sessions.” Nomani is a self-described “liberal Muslim” who advocates for women’s rights and voted for Donald Trump in 2016.
Qarni falsely accused Nomani — a Muslim woman — of being a member of an anti-Muslim “hate group.” She is a founding member of the Muslim Reform Movement, which affirms “freedom of religion and the right of all people to express and practice their faith, or non-faith, without threat of intimidation, persecution, discrimination or violence.”
“Secretary Qarni’s bigotry, intolerance and discrimination on the basis of religion is not consistent with his role to serve all Virginians,” Knotts said today. “If he won’t resign, Qarni should be removed from office.”
The Fairfax GOP is the Republican Party of Virginia’s largest political unit. Follow us on Twitter: @FairfaxGOP.