Muslim city council candidate feels targeted online

A woman running for city council in Pearland believes she's being targeted online because she's a Muslim.

PEARLAND, Texas -- A woman running for city council in Pearland believes she is being targeted online because she's a Muslim.

That woman is Dalia Kasseb, who went block by block Tuesday afternoon to try and pick up last minute supporters.

"We're a very diverse community, and that diversity needs to show up in our community," Kasseb said.

For example, an article from The Atlantic titled "How American Muslims Are Trying to Take Back Their Government" was shared on Facebook by Pealand ISD trustee Rusty Deborde days ago.

Deborde also posted the comment, "Please spread the word. This is happening this election cycle right here in Pearland."

Deborde declined KHOU 11's repeated requests for comment.

Ex-city councilman Kevin Cole shared the same article, echoing similar thoughts to Deborde. Cole tells KHOU 11 News it's not an issue of "religion, race or gender with anyone that decides to run for political office in Pearland or anywhere else."

He says his concern is with the Islamic Society of North America, who he believes is targeting this and other political races around Texas.

Kasseb in the meantime is pushing forward.

"Muslims are a huge part of the community," she said. "We are your doctors, we are your healthcare professionals, we are the engineers and the business owners and we are here because we love America and we love our community.

Kasseb decided to run a few months back for the position. She says it's being created because of the expansion of the west side of town.

The election is Saturday.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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