Muslim attorney and civil rights activist Deedra Abboud has faced many threats and hate-filled comments since she announced her Democratic run in the upcoming Senate race, but the most recent eruption of social media hate has been shocking. After a political post on her Facebook page, Abboud has received numerous bigoted comments, with many pertaining to her religion. Some of the messages have referred to her as being part of a “filthy death cult,” and she has been called as “American as Chinese Crackers.”
According to AZ Central, Abboud regularly has a police escort at her events due to the hateful comments she receives. Despite this, her campaign efforts are still going strong. Her Republican competitor and current Senator Jeff Flake has even tweeted against the hate Abboud has received.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) July 19, 2017
His supportive tweet is encouraging in this polarizing climate—and many people congratulated him for actually seeing the humanity in the situation.
To clarify,he's not "a flake" but Senator Flake,a Republican.
Hats off 4 standing against bigotry where others would have exploited the opp. https://t.co/HCITu7XPBQ
— Hend Amry (@LibyaLiberty) July 19, 2017
— Mike Fassold (@mfassold) July 19, 2017
Abboud responded by thanking Senator Flake for his comments before stating that the hateful messages of the few do not represent Arizona or America as a whole.
— Deedra2018 (@deedra2018) July 19, 2017
President Donald Trump, however, does not view the current Republican senator in a positive light. The two have never seen eye to eye, with Flake staying at home to “mow his lawn” during Trump's inauguration. Their main point of tension is the Muslim ban, which Flake refuses to support.
I remember Senator Flake telling me he could not support Donald Trump because of the Muslim ban. https://t.co/sZ6cwGklGO
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) July 19, 2017
In fact, while Trump and Flake are representatives for the same party, Trump has allegedly been trying to find more supportive opponents to challenge Flake for his seat. According to CNN, Trump has been furious with Flake since last fall, when the senator called on Trump to withdraw after the emergence of the Access Hollywood tape.
The election between Abboud and Flake won't happen until the end of 2018, but it's nice to see some civil discourse between the candidates in the meantime.