GOP Senator Stands Up to Rants Against Muslim Rival
Jeff Flake offered words of support to Deedra Abboud after storm of anti-Islam sentiment
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2017 8:36 AM CDT
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., speaks to members of the media as he walks to a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Attorney Deedra Abboud is one of the contenders in Arizona's Democratic primary who hopes to unseat GOP Sen. Jeff Flake in 2018, reports the Hill, but the fact that she's also a Muslim has spurred a flood of Islamophobic comments on her social media posts and videos. The Arizona Republic has documented some of the incendiary remarks, which it notes range from "disturbing to just plain scary," including, "Get out stinking Muslim" and "BAN ISLAM IN THE USA … WE HATE YOUR FILTHY DEATH CULT." But it was Flake himself who appeared on Twitter on Tuesday night with an online message of support for his political adversary.

"Hang in there @deedra2018," Flake tweeted Tuesday evening. "Sorry you have to put up with this. Lots of wonderful people across AZ. You'll find them." Online commenters praised Flake for his note, saying he had "class" and thanking him for promoting "decency." And Abboud herself responded to the senator on Twitter early Wednesday, offering her own thanks for "leadership in rejecting behavior that doesn't reflect our American values. AZ's amazing people deserve more of this." Not everyone was applauding Flake, however, with some commenters noting his stance against same-sex marriage and wanting to defund Planned Parenthood, among other issues. "The person who feeds the captive in his basement should be applauded for keeping them alive? I'll clap with one hand," one person sniffed.

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