WASHINGTON (WMAL) – A Muslim Democrat running to represent Virginia’s 28th Senate District is speaking out against Facebook ads paid for by his Republican opponent that he believes attempt to tie him to terrorism.
“My Republican opponent is launching anti-Muslim, Islamophobic attacks against me questioning my loyalty to the United States and questioning my ties with terrorism, I mean just the most ridiculous, meritless claims that are imaginable,” Qasim Rashid said in a video posted on Facebook.
Rashid posted a screenshot on Twitter of one of the ads paid for by incumbent Richard Stuart’s re-election campaign. It shows a picture of Rashid with a caption “QASIM RASHID DOESN’T BELIEVE ISLAMIC TERRORISM EXISTS.”
“These ads are based on actual tweets from Rashid and other public statements. We stand by all of our ads and will continue running them,” Stuart’s campaign manager Cooper Mohr wrote in a statement.
He cited a 2018 Tweet which read, “No such thing as Islamic terrorism. Terrorism has no religion.”
Mohr went on to say none of the ads mention Rashid’s religion, and Stuart’s record shows he supports religious liberty.
Rashid said Stuart is fear-mongering about his faith in hopes voters ignore fundamental problems including what he believes is low teacher pay in Virginia and a lack of worker’s rights.
“Mr. Rashid is crying foul to deflect attention from his radical positions,” Mohr wrote.
Rashid said he will not respond to the ads with counter-attacks but will instead focus on the issues.
Copyright 2019 by WMAL.com. All Rights Reserved. PHOTO: AP