U.S. Senate candidate Deedra Abboud speaks with attendees at a campaign announcement for David Garcia for governor of Arizona at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on April 12, 2017. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Arizona Senate candidate under attack for being Muslim

(USA Today) — She’s a challenger to U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.

A native of Little Rock, Ark. A Phoenix attorney and civil rights activist. An independent turned Democrat. A 19-year resident of Arizona who wants to represent “the state where I found my home, family and dreams.”

And, as it turns out, a few nightmares.

Deedra Abboud is also Muslim. This morning, she posted this rather innocuous piece on her Facebook page:

“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.”

The responses over the last 24 hours to that and to some of her other posts and videos have ranged from disturbing to just plain scary. Hundreds upon hundreds of hateful responses.

Here’s S. Jason Parr: “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.”

Here’s Roy Sanders: “Get out stinking Muslim.”

Let’s hear from Tony Madden: “I bet you’ll be a BLAST with constituents.”

Here’s Brian Zappa: “How about go $#%# yourself. Towel headed piece of $#^%.”

Here’s Michael Scozzari: “Vote to send them back to the sand pit, were (sic) these scumbag people belong!”

And from Vik Odinson: “I say do whatever you have to do kickstart We people of the USA to finally rise against you and your ilk.”

Oh, just one more, from Chris Ruen: “BAN ISLAM IN THE USA…WE HATE YOUR FILTHY DEATH CULT.”

Because religious freedom in America is all about having the freedom to ban religions we don’t like, right?

Abboud’s spokeswoman said the candidate has been subjected to a whole lot of nasty since getting into the campaign this spring.

“We make sure to have police escorts at our events because yes, we have received a lot of hate,” said Jaclyn Freedman, via email. “We had an event at the Pomegranate Cafe that the alt-right showed up at.”

I don’t know much about Abboud, other than the fact that she converted to Islam 19 years ago and helped open the first Arizona office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations after 9/11.

I do know this. She won’t win.

The last Democrat to win a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona was Dennis DeConcini in 1988.

Still, I’d encourage you to take a look at Abboud’s Facebook page.

You won't learn much about her. The stuff she’s posted is your typical campaign feed.

But the responses — many of them from people who live outside Arizona — say quite a bit about us.

(Laurie Roberts is a metro columnist for The Republic/azcentral.com, where this post first appeared)


  1. She would do well for herself, muslims, to respectfully address these disgusting remarks she has received because they come about from fear. She needs to reassure against a common fear regarding muslims and the introduction of Sharia Law that too many believe is threatening the US. She needs to step away from the common responses, though valid, and get right to the heart of all this. If she fails to do this, these comments will not be challenged and allowed to fester.

  2. She can give all the responses she wants, the anti-Muslim crowd will just scream about “taqiyyah” and say she’s lying. But I do think a honest response from her would be helpful.

  3. The funny thing is that Chinese Checkers is based on an American game from the late 19th century. I’m not surprised that morons like S. Jason Parr don’t know how to use the Internet to make even witty bigoted remarks. He’s also too dumb to make his Facebook private, which is where you can see what a proud fascist he is.

  4. I wonder how many of these reviling slanderers refer to themselves as good Christians. They would mewl like little babies if others treated THEM the way they are treating HER.

    As for the fears of Muslim sharia, I am far more concerned about the Chrisharia that I would guess so many of them favor.

  5. Sad reflection that on a country that defines itself as being democratic that an American cannot choose to run for public office without being a Christian – apparently an unspoken qualification for holding office. I note the irony based on comments I have previously read here in that Deedra is a woman and not a man running for office (as to how women are allegedly treated) and that she requires police protection because she assumes a non-Christian religious identity.. Kudos on her courage for putting herself out there in the public eye which should also spawn dialogue, public awareness and highlight an ugly underbelly that too many people want to deny.

  6. The real question is why this woman wants to remain a Muslim?

    Islam gives women almost no rights and treats them like fodder for the male species as so bluntly noted by Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her autobiography, Infidel.

    “Thus begins the extraordinary story of a woman born into a family of desert nomads, circumcised as a child, educated by radical imams in Kenya and Saudi Arabia, taught to believe that if she uncovered her hair, terrible tragedies would ensue. It’s a story that, with a few different twists, really could have led to a wretched life and a lonely death, as her grandmother warned. But instead, Hi-rsi Ali escaped – and transformed herself into an internationally renowned spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women.”
    ref: Washington Post book review.

    some excerpts:

    “Some of the Saudi women in our neighborhood were regularly beaten by their husbands. You could hear them at night. Their screams resounded across the courtyards. “No! Please! By Allah!”

    “The Pakistanis were Muslims but they too had castes. The Untouchable girls, both Indian and Pakistani were darker skin. The others would not play with them because they were untouchable. We thought that was funny because of course they were touchable: we touched them see? but also horrifying to think of yourself as untouchable, despicable to the human race.”

    “Between October 2004 and May 2005, eleven Muslim girls were killed by their families in just two regions (there are 20 regions in Holland). After that, people stopped telling me I was exaggerating.”

    “The kind on thinking I saw in Saudi Arabia and among the Brotherhood of Kenya and Somalia, is incompatible with human rights and liberal values. It preserves the feudal mind-set based on tribal concepts of honor and shame. It rests on self-deception, hypocrisy, and double standards. It relies on the technological advances of the West while pretending to ignore their origin in Western thinking. This mind-set makes the transition to modernity very painful for all who practice Islam”.

  7. The right wing treated Mr. OBama like scheiss for eight years. Not one whining tweet about it.

  8. No such thing as a good or bad Christian. You either ARE or you are not. Only God is good. But I understand what you are saying. I would say “Faithful” on the one hand, and on the other hand “unfaithful” are appropriate. Of course there is always “stupid” Christian – which there are many (and I believe Pope Francis has made it abundantly clear as to the level of stupidity lived by one person in particular who claims to be walking the way of Christ).

  9. But what do you do with all of the TTrue Christians (TM) who say that they are True Christians (TM) and that other True Christians (TM) are not true Christians (TM)?

  10. As a gay man, I must admit that seeing a woman in a Hijab running for office gives me pause in the same manner as a fundamentalist evangelical christian does. Islam openly exhibits a homophobia that can be quite terrifying. I would never say such unkind things about this woman or any other person but to wear a visible symbol of oppression, exclusion and violence forces me to work very hard at listening to the person and not my fears.

  11. That is understandable. My fellow atheists (and I) have no problem attacking some of the beliefs of Christians. Islam should not be a sacred cow. It mirrors many fundamentalist Christian beliefs. For a political candidate it is more about their political positions. That’s my criteria.

  12. Good question – apparently they are too good for everyone. If they use they choose to separate themselves nothing you can do. Religion can either be an means for healing or killing. “True” believers just care about themselves.

  13. There is, after all, Muslim support to be found in the U.S. Senator from MN so I hope she’s in touch with him for moral support. Best of luck.

  14. Obama and his Democrats gave as good as they got, in fact far more.

    Of course, that “far more” aspect may have cost them a thing or two in 2016.

  15. Though all the horrendous comments cited in this article are absolutely abhorrent, none of the individuals in question alluded to their own personal beliefs regarding religious faith. Based on the language and attitudes expressed, which were extremely coarse, I find it unlikely that any of these even nominally identify as Christians. However, it is quite true that some people are so ignorant of the precepts of Christianity that when one enquires of them, “Are you a Christian?” they reply “Of course, I was born in this country wasn’t I?”

  16. True. That’s the usual answer given by Europeans.

  17. RC,
    Perhaps you should ask women who embrace Islam your question. We can speculate all we want, but we are doing so as outsiders. And we should note that not all Muslims are the same. What is done in some nations implies nothing about what is done in other parts of the world. In addition, you should provide documentation for your stories.

  18. Note that I referenced Hirsi Ali’s book , Infidel and also note that the Koran is the the same in all parts of the world, i.e. the book that treats women like third world fodder.

  19. RC,
    And many people in my church who use the same translation of the Bible come up different interpretations.

    And reading one book does not make you aware of the diversity of interpretations Muslims have over certain parts of the Koran. But bigots want to paint Muslims with one broad brush. In addition, if you want to learn Islam from Hirsi Ali’s book, then you ought learn Christianity from Bill Maher’s movie Religiosity.

    Again, talk to multiple Muslim women and see why they embrace Islam. So far, you’ve taken easy short cuts in reaching the conclusions you have.

  20. From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi————–

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using “The 77 Branches of Islamic “faith” a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true “faith” (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings.” i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    “1. Belief in Allah”

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    “2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.”

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the “Gi-b G-nab” (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the “akas” for Allah should be included if you continue to be a “creationist”.

    “3. To believe in the existence of angels.”

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/devils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hittites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No “pretty/ugly wingy thingies” ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as fairies and “tinker be-lls”. Modern devils are classified as the demons of the demented.

    “4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.”

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invalidated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    “5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
    be upon him) alone.”

    Mohammed spent thirty days “fasting” (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a “pretty wingy thingy”. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic violence i.e. turning Mohammed’s “fast, hunger-driven” hallucinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

  21. RC,
    You are going to everything in an effort not to have to talk to Muslims about their faith. At the same time, you show no reluctance in terms of speaking for them about what they believe.

  22. The faithful of Islam and what they believe:

    To wit:


    “Farting is problematic in Islam. During prayer, a worshipper must not fart. Sahih Bukhari (1.4.137) writes that Allah will not accept a Muslim’s prayer if he/she passes wind during the ritual.

    The exception occurs if the worshipper farts silently, or the fart does not smell. In such a case, he/she may continue with the prayer (ibid, 1.4.139).Sunaan Nasai (1.162) writes that if you fart during a prayer you must redo ablution. Sahih Bukhari (9.86.86) says that for a “farter” Allah will not accept his/her prayer until he/she performs another ablution.”


    “Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends.” (Surah 5:51)

    “Believers, when you encounter the infidels on the march, do not turn your backs to them in flight. If anyone on that day turns his back to them, except it be for tactical reasons…he shall incur the wrath of God and Hell shall be his home…” (Surah 8:12-)


    “Make war on them until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme.” (Surah 8:36-)


    “…make war on the leaders of unbelief…Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them…” (Surah 9:12-)


    “Fight against such as those to whom the Scriptures were given [Jews and Christians]…until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued.” (Surah 9:29-)


    “It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it.” (Surah 9:31-)


    “If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men.” (Surah 9:37-)


    “Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home.” (Surah 9:73)


    “Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them.” (Surah 9:121-)


    “Say: ‘Praise be to God who has never begotten a son; who has no partner in His Kingdom…” (Surah 17:111)


    “‘How shall I bear a child,’ she [Mary] answered, ‘when I am a virgin…?’ ‘Such is the will of the Lord,’ he replied. ‘That is no difficult thing for Him…God forbid that He [God[ Himself should beget a son!…Those who say: ‘The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,’ preach a monstrous falsehood…” (Surah 19:12-, 29-, 88)


    “Fight for the cause of God with the devotion due to Him…He has given you the name of Muslims…” (Surah 22:78-)


    “Blessed are the believers…who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them)…These are the heirs of Paradise…” (Surah 23:1-5-)


    “Muhammad is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.” (Surah 48:29)


    “Shall the reward of goodness be anything but good?…Dark-eyed virgins sheltered in their tents…They shall recline on green cushions and fine carpets…Blessed be the name of your Lord…” (Surah 55:52-66-)


    Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

    Quran (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”

  23. RC,
    First, I know that you are selectively focusing on the passages from the Koran that support your prejudices. That is your choice. That you refuse to talk to Muslims today to see why they interpret the Koran differently than you expect shows where your heart is. And until you are willing to talk to a variety of Muslims, I could care less about carrying on any conversation with you.

    From my work experience, I’ve had Muslim friends. And the friends are good people who see no contradiction between the Koran and being friends with me. Why? Obviously because they have a better knowledge of the Koran than you do. But you will never realize that because you don’t care to listen to them. You only care to read the views of those who support prejudice.

    You take care.

  24. And finally:

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers, Flight 93 and the Pentagon?

    And what drives today’s 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

    The koran, Mohammed’s book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

    Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

    Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein.

    Until then, no Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere…………………………….

  25. RC,
    Your questions are ridiculous. Tell me, what in the Bible to the US to put sanctions on Iraq that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children? What in the Bible tells us to support the state of Israel regardless of how it treats the Palestinians? BTW, the reason for those two questions is because those are two of the 3 cited reasons for the attacks on 9/11.

    But you might want to go back to the early 50s to see how the US and the UK replaced a democratically elected leader with a murderous tyrant. Or you might want to ask why America supported Saddamn Hussein with his atrocities until he invade Kuwait. If you want, I can suggest more questions.

    As for your last statement: it is nothing more than the worse kind of bigotry. And our conversation is over.

  26. Why no one should ever vote for a Muslim:

    As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

    The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

    ■”The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. ”

    and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

    and more recently

    1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

    1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

    2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

    3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action,  and 928 in non combat roles. Iraqi civilians killed as of 05/10/2013/, 113,249-123,978 mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

    4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

    5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

    6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

    7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

    8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

    9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

    10) – Afghanistan: US troops  killed in action,  killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

    11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

    12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

    13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

    14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane’s wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

    15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

    16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

    17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

    18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

    19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country’s controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

    20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

    21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

    22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) — Hena Akhter’s last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh’s Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

    23) “October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. ”

    o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi’ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq’s al Qaeda affiliate.
    The bombing on a Shi’ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country’s fractious Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions.”

    25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

    (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

    26 ) September 12, 2012
    Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

    27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life.

    28) San Bernardino massacre, December 2015, 14 dead, 22 seriously hurt,

    29) Orlando Massacre- June 2016, 49 killed, hundreds injured by radical, koranic Muslim.

    And yes, Judaism and Christianity have a history of horror also.

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