Man threatened to lynch Muslim candidate, authorities say

A North Carolina man posted an anonymous Twitter threat to lynch a Muslim American running for the Virginia state Senate, according to court documents.

Joseph C. Vandevere, 52, allegedly wrote a tweet directed at Qasim Rashid, a Democratic  candidate, that had a picture of a man who had been lynched, along with a caption calling Rashid a “pedophile prophet” and “scum.”

“LETS MEET SO YOU CAN RUN THAT COWARD MOUTH TO MY FACE.. PLEASE … VIEW YOUR DESTINY,” the caption read, according to authorities.

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An indictment filed in a U.S. District Court in North Carolina says Vandevere has been charged with issuing a threat via interstate commerce — a felony that comes with a potential five-year prison sentence.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest, and he was not in police custody as of Monday afternoon, court documents show.

The Twitter account that posted the threat has since been suspended, The New York Times reports.

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

Rashid and his family moved to the U.S. from Pakistan in 1987, the Times reports. He won the Democratic primary for Virginia’s District 28 seat last month and is challenging GOP state Sen. Richard Stuart.