Sen. Jeff Flake reaches out to bullied Muslim candidate eyeing his job

Jul 19, 2017, 3:47 PM | Updated: Jul 20, 2017, 11:40 am
(Screenshot; AP Photo)...
(Screenshot; AP Photo)
(Screenshot; AP Photo)
LISTEN: Deedra Abboud, candidate for Senate

PHOENIX –A Phoenix Democrat and Muslim running for office has learned how bipartisanship works, after a Republican offered support after she was bullied online.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) tweeted support to Deedra Abboud, a lawyer who has been the target of online abuse for the past few weeks.

Flake told her to “hang in there” in his tweet.

Abboud replied to the tweet, saying she appreciated the senator’s support.

Comments on a video posted to Abboud’s campaign Facebook on June 30 ranged from mocking her hijab (a traditional Muslim women’s head wrap) to abusive name-calling.

Abboud said she expected abuse during her campaign, although she was unsure what would trigger it.

“I came into this eyes wide open,” she told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos. “I knew what this would pull out of the woodwork and I was prepared for it.”

Abboud said she and her staff investigated the people who made the comments and found more than half were fake accounts. Another large portion were made by people who live outside of Arizona.

The lawyer also said she had been targeted by white supremacists outside of a campaign event she held and, though she’s running for office in Arizona, knows those voice do not speak for her state.

“I know for a fact that this does not reflect Arizona,” she said. “I’ve been all over this state for 20 years and Arizonans are wonderful people.”

Abboud said she is not running to prove a point, but start a dialogue about attitudes toward others in our country.

“What I have is an American value that we can do better,” she said.

Abboud said she would like to see herself and other Muslims portrayed in a positive light from time to time, rather than as victims or perpetrators.

“Muslims are doing everything they can on a daily basis to be a good American,” she said.

Abboud, who’s also a community activist, announced her candidacy in April.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Twitter Photo/@DMAFB)...
Associated Press

Arizona Air Force base troops could be deployed if Russia invades Ukraine

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson is one of several military installations the Department of Defense has identified as having troops that could be deployed if Russian forces invade Ukraine.
13 hours ago
(Screenshot via Phoenix Police Facebook)...
Marcia Hammond

2 Phoenix officers, 2 bystanders pull injured driver from burning car

Two Phoenix police officers who pulled an unconscious man from a burning SUV this week shrugged off praise and said the rescue was all in a day's work.
13 hours ago
A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of coronavirus walks past a health campaign poster f...

Arizona’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses 26,000, 11th most in nation

Arizona’s COVID-19 death count surpassed 26,000 on Friday, 15 days after reaching the 25,000 mark.
13 hours ago
William Rice, left, and Christina Harnish (Pima County Sheriff's Department Photos)...
Associated Press

2 suspects in 2017 Maryland murder case arrested at Arizona homeless camp

A man and woman wanted in connection with a Maryland murder case in 2017 have been arrested at a homeless camp in southern Arizona, authorities said Thursday.
13 hours ago
(Screenshot/ADOT Webcam)...

2 die in wrong-way crash on southbound Loop 303 in West Valley early Friday

Two people died in a wrong-way crash that shut down part of Loop 303 in the West Valley early Friday.
13 hours ago
(ASU Screenshot)...
Taylor Tasler

ASU professor, students build air filters to help keep kids safe from COVID-19 while in class

Infectious Disease Epidemiologist Meghan Jehn and students from Arizona State University are building DIY Corsi-Rosenthal boxes, which can filter out air particles that can carry viruses like COVID-19.
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Canvas Annuity

Annuity basics: how to retire with a guaranteed paycheck for life

Does the thought of retirement fill you with stress or with happiness? Everyone wants to spend their retirement in a way that brings them the most joy, whether that’s traveling the world or spending extra time at home with grandkids.
Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford offers cars and deals for all this holiday season

Sanderson Ford’s No! Vember Black Friday sale is giving an opportunity to purchase a new 2021 vehicle just in time for the holiday season.

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Sen. Jeff Flake reaches out to bullied Muslim candidate eyeing his job