Muhammad Ali Hasan has worn many hats. The son of wealthy and well-known Republican activists Malik and Seeme Hasan, he ran for House District 56 in 2008 and for state treasurer this year (he didn't make the ballot, losing at the GOP assembly to J.J. Ament). Co-founder of Muslims for Bush, he's an award-winning filmmaker, a former Westword cover boy, an engaging speaker — and a sometime newspaper columnist who penned an op-ed for the June 29 Colorado Statesman blasting U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton for a video she posted on her website, a video he sees as an insult to Muslim-Americans.
"Nothing has hurt the GOP more than Republican candidates who appear senseless or racist — Jane Norton, candidate for the U.S. Senate, has managed to appear as both," he wrote. "In a redesign of her campaign theme, Norton's Web site now carries a video that starts with the bold quote, 'OBAMA DOCTRINE TO MAKE CLEAR NO WAR ON ISLAM – REUTERS, 5.26.10.' The quote plays over a chorus of dark sounds, communicating that Norton disagrees with Obama — she doesn't want to go to war against 'radical Islam' or 'fundamentalist Muslims' — no, Norton wants to go after Islam.
"As the video plays, one waits for explanation of why all Muslims should be slaughtered, but Norton offers nothing. Is her desire to kill all Muslims based on the fact that many Muslims have brown skin? Or that some speak with accents? Or that some wear turbans? The fact that the quote was displayed without direct explanation leaves the door open to assume that Norton is a racist."
Ouch. But then, Hasan has never shied away from controversy.
A few days later, the ever-glib Hasan posted the following on his Facebook page: "Huffington Post today, very kindly referred to me as 'the most prominent Muslim in Colorado politics' (thank you HuffPo)... recently, Westword referred to me as the 'rising, GOP bad boy'... lastly, ColoradoPols has often referred to me as 'the Vail Playboy'... thus — what is Ali Hasan? The most prominent Muslim in Colorado politics? A GOP bad boy? Or (my mother's favorite) a Vail Playboy?"
The answer is none of the above, since Hasan — who celebrated his thirtieth birthday on July 4 and politely declined to speak with Westword, since his parents are still smarting over their holiday card being posted on our blog last December — is no longer running for office, and has even left Colorado. He's returned to Los Angeles, where he went to college, and is back in the film business.
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So for now, let's just leave it at "bad boy."
Full of brass: During her 26 years with the Denver Police Department — the last seven as commander of District 6 — Deborah Dilley has seen a lot of action, from the annual Columbus Day protests to the Democratic National Convention, from drunken cruiser rides to pot rallies in Civic Center Park. But as fireworks erupted downtown this past weekend, it wasn't Dilley's job to put out the fires: The affable commander retired from the DPD on July 3.
In recognizing her years of service, Denver City Council recently proclaimed that although Dilley was "known for speaking her mind, she is also a good listener." Councilmembers also mentioned her "taste for wonderfully designed Western apparel, including a walk-in closet filled with an array of colorful cowboy boots" and "her ornery smile, calm demeanor and profound insight in difficult situations."
According to DPD spokesman Sonny Jackson, Dilley will be replaced by Tony Lopez, another longtime commander.