Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) sent well wishes to a potential political challenger on Tuesday in response to a barrage of abuse she faced for her faith.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) July 19, 2017
Flake linked to a column in azcentral.com detailing a stream of anti-Muslim abuse that followed a Facebook post from Deedra Abboud, an attorney competing in Arizona’s Democratic primary to challenge Flake for his seat in 2018.
Abboud had posted a dedication to the Constitution, noting, “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.”
In the comments below, Facebook users wrote things like “Fuck you Muslim bitch,” and “BAN ISLAM IN THE USA…WE HATE YOUR FILTHY DEATH CULT.”
Since then, the tenor seems to have balanced out somewhat, with many commenters wishing Abboud well and criticizing Islamophobia.
Flake has chaffed at some of President Donald Trump’s more flagrantly nativist actions. He was part of a small group of senators to speak out against the President’s first attempt to ban travel from several Muslim-majority countries, which was quickly tied up in a legal battle in the first weeks of his presidency.