GOP Senator Defends Muslim Opponent From Online Abuse

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The Muslim Democrat was attacked after posting a patriotic message on Facebook, prompting Republican Sen. Jeff Flake to show her some support online.

 

A Muslim attorney from Phoenix, Arizona, is running for Senate and hoping to unseat Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, so she may have been pleasantly surprised when Flake came to her aid after bigots attacked her online.

Deedra Abboud, who's running as a Democrat, has been under intense scrutiny due to her religion. Recently, she was aggressively harassed after posting a patriotic message on her Facebook page. In no time, she was hit by a wave of threatening and violent messages that attacked her for her religion.

Promptly after The Republic reported on this horrific incident, Flake took to Twitter to send a message of support to Abboud, telling her he was sorry she was subject to such harassment.

Abboud, who's from Little rock, Arkansas, converted to Islam 19 years ago. In Arizona, she was a pioneer civil rights advocate, who helped to open the state's first office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) after 9/11.

Calling Arizona the state “where I found my home, family and dreams,” Abboud used her Facebook page to write a post about the founding of the United States.

It was in response to this post that a series of social media users came out against her, with some going as far as telling her that her religion was a “death cult.”

Below are some of the awful — and personally threatening — comments she received after posting a positive message about the origins of the country.

“Nice try but your first love is Satan (AKA Allah) and your second love is to a litter box your ‘people’ come from. You are as American as Chinese checkers.”

“Get out stinking Muslim.”

“I bet you’ll be a BLAST with constituents.”

“How about go $#%# yourself. Towel headed piece of $#^%”

“Vote to send them back to the sand pit, were (sic) these scumbag people belong!”

“I say do whatever you have to do kickstart We people of the USA to finally rise against you and your ilk.”

“BAN ISLAM IN THE USA…WE HATE YOUR FILTHY DEATH CULT.”

While these particularly hateful messages made the news, Jaclyn Freedman, Abboud's spokeswoman, said that Abboud has been targeted by similar threats all through her campaign.

“We make sure to have police escorts at our events because yes, we have received a lot of hate,” she told reporters.“We had an event at the Pomegranate Cafe that the alt-right showed up at.”

It's simply terrifying that in a country like the United States, where religious freedom is protected by the Constitution, people are harassed and threatened in such a manner. Still, it's good to see that even some conservatives have been able to go beyond politics in times of hate to reach out and show support.

Hopefully, Abboud's race will serve as a reminder to her fellow Americans that religious freedom is worth fighting for, and that in the end, hope and unity will always beat hate.

Thumbnail and banner image credit: Reuters/Stephanie Keith.

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