Qasim Rashid a Muslim Senate candidate in VA received death threats and his opponent is trying to tie him to terrorism.
Rashid, a human rights lawyer, emigrated from Pakistan in 1987 and was part of the group Muslims for Peace. He has run on raising education funding, gun safety, and women’s rights.
VA State Senator Richard Stuart ran ads on Facebook, using a familiar trope of terrorism to attack a Muslim opponent. Rashid responded to the anti-Muslim attacks in a Facebook video.
“I believe that these kinds of attacks are beneath the office of public service, the office of Virginia State Senate for sure, and we need to elevate out discourse to one based on civility and compassion,” he stated. “Yes, I’m a person of faith, and part of my faith tells me to follow the example of Jesus Christ—peace be upon him—who taught to love thy neighbor and to turn the other cheek.”
Stuart and Rashid met to debate in September, but Rashid says his opponent is now dodging any face-to-face events.
“I believe he’s doing this because he knows that if Virginians find out what he actually believes, they would never vote for him,” he said.