RSS

A Republican senator just defended his Muslim opponent against Islamophobic trolls.

24 Jul

Deedra Abboud is running for the Arizona U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Jeff Flake.

Photo via Deedra for U.S. Senate 2018.

On July 18, Abboud, a Muslim and an attorney and a Democrat, posted a tribute to the First Amendment on her Facebook page.

“In their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers decreed that this nation would separate church and state, and in doing so protect both institutions,” she wrote. “Government would be free from religious overreach, and religion would be free from government interference.”

Many of the replies, as first reported in AZ Central, targeted Abboud on the basis of her faith.

“F*** you Muslim b*tch,” wrote one commenter.

“Nice try but your first love is Satan (AKA Allah) and your second love is to a litter box your “people” come from,” wrote another.

“Sorry no room for Muslims in our government. Nice try though you are quoting the Muslim brotherhood,” another responded.

While many of her supporters replied with words of encouragement, one voice was unexpected: Abboud’s political opponent.

Flake reached out to Abboud on Twitter to express his sympathy and urge her to ignore the bigots.

Hang in there @deedra2018. Sorry you have to put up with this. Lots of wonderful people across AZ. You’ll find them. http://bit.ly/2u7TP36 

Roberts: Arizona Senate candidate under attack for being Muslim

Responses to Deedra Abboud’s Facebook posts have ranged from disturbing to just plain scary.

Abboud thanked Flake for rapidly and unequivocally denouncing those harassing her.

Thank you @JeffFlake for leadership in rejecting behavior that doesn’t reflect our American values. AZ’s amazing people deserve more of this https://twitter.com/JeffFlake/status/887490249013825536 

Many others on Twitter — supporters of both candidates — applauded Flake for putting politics aside to stand up for civility.

Hang in there @deedra2018. Sorry you have to put up with this. Lots of wonderful people across AZ. You’ll find them. http://bit.ly/2u7TP36 

Bravo. Decency should always be the norm. Thanks for making a point of being decent.

Hang in there @deedra2018. Sorry you have to put up with this. Lots of wonderful people across AZ. You’ll find them. http://bit.ly/2u7TP36 

Sen Flake thank you. You have more class than many people in your party. Your actions with this & the shooting in VA make Arizona proud.

Others encouraged the Republican senator to spread the word to others in his own party — including its leader, whose campaign and administration frequently employed incendiary anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Hang in there @deedra2018. Sorry you have to put up with this. Lots of wonderful people across AZ. You’ll find them. http://bit.ly/2u7TP36 

Thanks for saying the right thing Senator Flake. Please express this sentiment to the president as well.

Abboud’s campaign manager Joseph Harris says in an email that his candidate hopes to “focus on this being an opportunity to change the landscape.”

“Our elected leaders should be leading in the civil discourse, of calling out behavior that does not reflect our American values, of being competitive without character attacks,” he says.

Flake and Abboud don’t agree on much, but they don’t have to in order to model respectful disagreement.

Abboud supports preserving the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act while Flake supported Ted Cruz’ measure allowing insurers to resurrect “bare bones” health plans. Abboud supports net neutrality while Flake recently introduced a bill that would allow internet service providers to collect more personal information from customers.

Share

Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images.

One thing they seem to agree on — attacks on an opponents faith are out of bounds and disputes are better approached from a place of mutual respect.

Props to Abboud for using the harsh words directed at her as a teachable moment.

And props to Flake for demonstrating that even in an age of heightened partisan rancor, politics doesn’t have to be personal.

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: