— -- Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona has come to the defense of a Democrat who is hoping to unseat him.
Deedra Abboud, a Phoenix-based lawyer and Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate who is Muslim, started to receive disturbing messages online Tuesday after posting this message 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."
"Nice try but your first love is Satan (AKA Allah) and your second love is to a litter box your 'people' come from," one person wrote. "You are as American as Chinese checkers."
"BAN ISLAM IN THE USA…WE HATE YOUR FILTHY DEATH CULT," another said.
"I bet you'll be a BLAST with constituents," one user posted.
Flake, 54, came to her defense on Twitter.
Abboud, a 45-year-old community activist, has been subjected to hateful rhetoric and backlash since she launched her campaign in the spring, her spokeswoman Jaclyn Freedman told The Arizona Republic. "We make sure to have police escorts at our events because, yes, we have received a lot of hate," she said.
Abboud thanked Flake for his leadership.
Abboud's and Flake's campaigns have not responded to ABC News' requests for comment.