A Republican senator just defended his Muslim opponent against Islamophobic trolls.

Deedra Abboud is running for the Arizona U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Jeff Flake.

Photo via Deedra for U.S. Senate 2018.

On July 18, Abboud, a Muslim and an attorney and a Democrat, posted a tribute to the First Amendment on her Facebook page.


"In their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers decreed that this nation would separate church and state, and in doing so protect both institutions," she wrote. "Government would be free from religious overreach, and religion would be free from government interference."

Many of the replies, as first reported in AZ Central, targeted Abboud on the basis of her faith.

"F*** you Muslim b*tch," wrote one commenter.

"Nice try but your first love is Satan (AKA Allah) and your second love is to a litter box your "people" come from," wrote another.

"Sorry no room for Muslims in our government. Nice try though you are quoting the Muslim brotherhood," another responded.

While many of her supporters replied with words of encouragement, one voice was unexpected: Abboud's political opponent.

Flake reached out to Abboud on Twitter to express his sympathy and urge her to ignore the bigots.

Abboud thanked Flake for rapidly and unequivocally denouncing those harassing her.

Many others on Twitter — supporters of both candidates — applauded Flake for putting politics aside to stand up for civility.

Others encouraged the Republican senator to spread the word to others in his own party — including its leader, whose campaign and administration frequently employed incendiary anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Abboud's campaign manager Joseph Harris says in an email that his candidate hopes to "focus on this being an opportunity to change the landscape."

"Our elected leaders should be leading in the civil discourse, of calling out behavior that does not reflect our American values, of being competitive without character attacks," he says.

Flake and Abboud don't agree on much, but they don't have to in order to model respectful disagreement.

Abboud supports preserving the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act while Flake supported Ted Cruz' measure allowing insurers to resurrect "bare bones" health plans. Abboud supports net neutrality while Flake recently introduced a bill that would allow internet service providers to collect more personal information from customers.

Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images.

One thing they seem to agree on — attacks on an opponents faith are out of bounds and disputes are better approached from a place of mutual respect.

Props to Abboud for using the harsh words directed at her as a teachable moment.

And props to Flake for demonstrating that even in an age of heightened partisan rancor, politics doesn't have to be personal.

Upworthy reached out to Flake's office for comment, and this story may be updated.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are feeling the weight of it growing heavier and heavier. We miss normal life. We miss our friends. We miss travel. We miss not having to mentally measure six feet everywhere we go.

Maybe that's what was on Edmund O'Leary's mind when he tweeted on Friday. Or maybe he had some personal issues or challenges he was dealing with. After all, it's not like people didn't struggle pre-COVID. Now, we just have the added stress of a pandemic on top of our normal mental and emotional upheavals.

Whatever it was, Edmund decided to reach out to Twitter and share what he was feeling.

"I am not ok," he wrote. "Feeling rock bottom. Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you."

O'Leary didn't have a huge Twitter following, but somehow his tweet started getting around quickly. Response after response started flowing in from all over the world, even from some famous folks. Thousands of people seemed to resonate with Edmund's sweet and honest call for help and rallied to send him support and good cheer.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

The subject of late-term abortions has been brought up repeatedly during this election season, with President Trump making the outrageous claim that Democrats are in favor of executing babies.

This message grossly misrepresents what late-term abortion actually is, as well as what pro-choice advocates are actually "in favor of." No one is in favor of someone having a specific medical procedure—that would require being involved in someone's individual medical care—but rather they are in favor of keeping the government out of decisions about specific medical procedures.

Pete Buttigieg, who has become a media surrogate for the Biden campaign—and quite an effective one at that—addressed this issue in a Fox News town hall when he was on the campaign trail himself. When Chris Wallace asked him directly about late-term abortions, Buttigieg answered Wallace's questions is the best way possible.

"Do you believe, at any point in pregnancy, whether it's at six weeks or eight weeks or 24 weeks or whenever, that there should be any limit on a woman's right to have an abortion?" Wallace asked.

Keep Reading Show less

When it comes to the topic of race, we all have questions. And sometimes, it honestly can be embarrassing to ask perfectly well-intentioned questions lest someone accuse you of being ignorant, or worse, racist, for simply admitting you don't know the answer.

America has a complicated history with race. For as long as we've been a country, our culture, politics and commerce have been structured in a way to deny our nation's past crimes, minimize the structural and systemic racism that still exists and make the entire discussion one that most people would rather simply not have.

For example, have you ever wondered what's really behind the term Black Pride? Is it an uplifting phrase for the Black community or a divisive term? Most people instinctively put the term "White Pride" in a negative context. Is there such a thing as non-racist, racial pride for white people? And while we're at it, what about Asian people, Native Americans, and so on?

Yes, a lot of people raise these questions with bad intent. But if you've ever genuinely wanted an answer, either for yourself or so that you best know how to handle the question when talking to someone with racist views, writer/director Michael McWhorter put together a short, simple and irrefutable video clip explaining why "White Pride" isn't a real thing, why "Black Pride" is and all the little details in between.


Keep Reading Show less