Phoenix activist sees New Zealand attacks as out-of-control racism
PHOENIX – A Phoenix activist-lawyer and former political candidate said the United States should do more to stop hate-filled tirades that fueled a mass shooting in New Zealand.
At least 49 people were killed and 48 wounded in mass shootings at two mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch by a self-proclaimed racist, authorities said.
A suspect was arrested and charged with murder and two other suspects with weapons were taken into custody.
“This white supremacy and these attacks on people going to their place of worship by haters is getting out of control,” Deedra Abboud, a Muslim, said Friday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.
“And the United States is not being the leader in stopping the rhetoric.”
Abboud has faced bigoted vitriol. When the Democrat challenged Republican incumbent Jeff Flake for his U.S. Senate seat in 2017, she was bullied online for weeks.
Comments on a video posted to Abboud’s campaign Facebook ranged from mocking her hijab (a traditional Muslim women’s head wrap) to abusive name-calling.
The man who claimed responsibility for the carefully planned shootings left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained his reasoning for the attack.
He said he was a 28-year-old white Australian and a racist.
“To take a human life is a sin, regardless of the religion,” Abboud said.
Abboud added that she didn’t believe the shootings would keep Muslims away from their mosques.
“Muslims who want to the mosque and pray will go.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.