A Republican State Senator is under fire for accusing Muslim opponent of being a terror sympathizer

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The president’s overt racism and repulsive Islamophobia has clearly signaled the rest of the Republican Party that all bets are off when it comes to playing dirty in politics, and they’re making it clear they have no compunction about hurling themselves into the mud with him.

Republican State Sen. Richard Stuart of Virginia is facing a tough re-election battle against Muslim human rights lawyer Qasim Rashid, so of course, he’s trying to smear his opponent as a supporter of radicalism.

His latest attack ad on Facebook accuses Rashid of being sympathetic to terrorism and that “Qasim Rashid doesn’t believe Islamic terrorism exists.”

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This is a common line of Islamophobic rhetoric most recently deployed by the president himself in his attacks against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and in both cases, the accusation is absolutely ridiculous.

Qasim refused to dignify the accusation with a direct response, instead choosing to take the high road:

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“Jesus Christ taught to love thy neighbor. That’s our response. Virginia is the epicenter of religious freedom in America and we must protect this legacy. While I am used to receiving hatred and threats from extremists, racists, and terrorists, I am deeply disturbed to receive such hatred from a sitting Virginia State Senator. The truth is that these types of attacks are designed to distract Virginians from the real issues that have harmed Virginia’s working families in the 28th district.”

Stuart refused to provide any comment to HuffPost. It’s not too surprising to hear him take this vile approach, seeing as he’s previously praised Robert E. Lee on the Senate floor and tried to portray him as anti-slavery. 

Follow Qasim Rashid on Twitter and donate to his campaign here.

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Natalie Dickinson

Natalie is a staff writer for the Washington Press. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been freelance blogging and writing for progressive outlets ever since.

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