Deedra Abboud is a Muslim American seeking the 2018 Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in Arizona against Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz).
While no Democrat has won a seat for the U.S. Senate in Arizona since 1988, it wasn’t her party affiliation, rather her religion, that made the headlines.
Abboud posted a tribute to the Founding Fathers about religious freedom on her Facebook page when she was met with many xenophobic insults and comments.
Her post read, “Almost 250 years ago a group of dreamers came together and sketched out a revolutionary vision. No longer would they be shackled to the whims of a distant government, nor bound to the religion of an idiosyncratic king. They set out to forge their own futures, determine their own destinies, and follow their own faith. In their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers decreed that this nation would separate church and state, and in doing so protect both institutions. Government would be free from religious overreach, and religion would be free from government interference. Learn more at www.Deedra2018.com.”
One individual responded, “Sorry no room for Muslims in our government. Nice try though you are quoting the Muslim brotherhood.”
“All you fu***** ragheads need to cut your own heads off, get the hell back to your sandpit,” commented another user.
Despite the hundreds of hateful comments, many supported Abboud and her candidacy, including her opponent, Sen. Flake.
He supported her on Twitter by stating, “Hang in there @deedra2018. Sorry you have to put up with this. Lots of wonderful people across AZ. You’ll find them.”
Hang in there @deedra2018. Sorry you have to put up with this. Lots of wonderful people across AZ. You'll find them. https://t.co/uVfLaAfVV2
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) July 19, 2017
Abboud, a native of Little Rock, Ark., has been a resident of Arizona for 19 years. As an attorney and civil rights activist, she helped open the first office for the Council on American Islamic Relations in Arizona.
Her platform is in line with many Democratic causes including raising the federal minimum wage, improving the Affordable Care Act to ensure healthcare for all Americans and supporting LGBTQ rights.
Candidates are usually spoken about in regards to their platforms, and Abboud has an established one.
But Abboud recently told CNN’s Don Lemon regarding the hateful comments she received and the alt-right activists who appeared at her campaign events, that, “I came in this with full ice. I knew that this was exactly what I was going to pull out of the woodwork, and I want to pull it out of the woodwork. Because we need to have a conversation about whether or not those people (hateful commentators) represent America. I don’t think they do and I believe the majority of Americans don’t either.