Deedra Abboud is a pro-refugee, pro-LGBTQ rights, pro-Obamacare Democrat running to unseat U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona. That would likely be enough to incur the wrath of abusive online trolls, but because she’s also Muslim, the torrent of hate that’s flown her way has been staggering.
Abboud posted what should’ve been an innocuous message on her campaign Facebook page on Tuesday:
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.
Here’s just a sampling of the dozens of hateful comments that followed. Some called her a Satan worshipper:
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.
There was also a simple “Fuck you Muslim bitch,” and another comment blaring “BAN ISLAM IN THE USA…WE HATE YOUR FILTHY DEATH CULT.” She was also greeted by every variation of “towel head” and “rag head” that the semi-literate, racist online masses could come up with.
The vitriol reached such a fever pitch that even Flake tweeted his sympathy about how Abboud has been treated.
Abboud tweeted her appreciation back:
While she hasn’t publicly addressed this latest wave of online abuse, Abboud replied to a well-wisher apologizing for other users’ behavior in a comment on her Ask Deedra Facebook page.
“I’m sorry others have to read it. It doesn’t bother me, but I am sure it hurts others to their very soul,” she wrote in a comment.