Man charged for threatening VA state senate candidate Qasim Rashid on Twitter

Qasim Rashid
Qasim Rashid; Photo credit: Rashidforva.com

Qasim Rashid, the Democratic nominee for Virginia’s 28th Senate district, was threatened to be lynched by a man on Twitter last year. A warrant has now been issued against the North Carolina man. 

Qasim Rashid, a Muslim American lawyer and now a Virginia state senate hopeful, received an unwelcoming threat on Twitter last year. In March 2018, a stranger tweeted to Rashid a cryptic message that read: “View your destiny.”

Included alongside the message was a picture of a man who had been lynched and was seen hanging by a rope. It also had derogatory words about Rashid’s faith, such as “Muslim scum.”

Realizing that he has been a target of hate tweet for because of his faith and immigrant status, Rashid was quick to report the matter to Twitter authorities. In a tweet, in which he posted a screenshot of the threat, he tagged Twitter and asked: “Hey @twitter this white supremacist @DaDUTCHMAN5 is threatening me with lynching b/c I am a Muslim. Please tell me this violates your terms & conditions? #WhereWasHeRadicalized?”

Rashid also reported the matter to federal authorities.

Back then, Rashid had no way of knowing the man’s identity. However, it has now been revealed, as the federal authorities charged Joseph Cecil Vandevere, a 52-year-old man from North Carolina for the crime. According to the New York Times, the account from which the threat tweet was posted now stands suspended.

Following the warrant against the man, Rashid tweeted: “If extremists think threatening to kill me will slow me down—they’re both violent & ignorant. My faith teaches me to respond to injustice w/justice. We will march forward in service to all humanity.”

Rashid’s brave stand to bring the guilty to book was also appreciated by civil rights organizations. The Truman Project, a nationwide frontline civilians and policy workers, tweeted to Rashid: “Threatening violence against political candidates is always unacceptable. We stand with @QasimRashid and so many others who put themselves forward for public office–regardless of the risks they face because of who they are–to fight for a more just and inclusive society.”

Rashid, who is also an author and activist, is the Democratic party nominee for Virginia Senate District 28. In the June 13 primary, he received more than 59 percent of the votes to clinch the nomination.

In the November elections, he takes on the Republican incumbent Richard Henry Stuart, Sr., who has been representing the northeastern Virginia district since 2007.

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