Arizona Senate Candidate Attacked Online for Her Muslim Faith

Deedra Abboud is running for Arizona’s Senate seat. Photo: Courtesy of Facebook/Deedra2018

In April, Deedra Abboud — an attorney and the founder of a leadership-consulting firm who’s lived in Arizona for almost 20 years — announced she was running to unseat Arizona senator Jeff Flake in the 2018 election. She told CNN on Tuesday that, though the announcement had triggered “negative comments about her religion” (Abboud is Muslim), they’d “tapered off after the first two weeks.”

But yesterday, a post on Abboud’s Facebook page triggered another round of online attacks, with commenters telling her to, among other things, “get out stinking Muslim.”

The post itself discussed the Founding Fathers’ decision to separate church and state — “government would be free from religious overreach, and religion would be free from government interference,” it read. In response, Facebook users wrote things like, “How about go fuck yourself. Towel headed piece of shit” and, “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.” And there are plenty more:

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

Here’s Michael Scozzari: “Vote to send them back to the sand pit, were (sic) these scumbag people belong!”

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

Oh, just one more, from Chris Ruen: “BAN ISLAM IN THE USA…WE HATE YOUR FILTHY DEATH CULT.”

Jaclyn Freedman, a spokesperson for Abboud, said the campaign has had to hire extra protection for its events. “We make sure to have police escorts because yes, we have received a lot of hate,” she said. “We had an event at the Pomegranate Cafe that the alt-right showed up at.”

Abboud will run in the state’s August 2018 Democratic primary. If she wins, she’ll face off against Republican senator Jeff Flake in the fall. Flake tweeted his condolences to Abboud on Tuesday, and in a statement to CNN, Abboud appeared to brush off the attacks. “We have to step forward because this is America,” she said. “There is a promise that every person has equal opportunity.”

Arizona Senate Candidate Attacked Online for Being Muslim