Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Ali Hasan's mom, Seeme Hasan, tells Talking Points Memo she may leave Republican Party

While Ali Hasan -- wearing a bolo tie as well as "Muhammed" in front of his name -- proudly proclaimed himself a Republican as he pushed for the controversial Muslim community center/mosque project near Ground Zero on Fox News last week, his mother was telling Talking Points Memo that the controversy may push her out of the Republican Party.

"I don't know if I'll be a Republican a year from now," Seeme Hasan told TPM. "Every time a Muslim person becomes famous, they are viciously attacked... The past few years in the Republican Party has been constant humiliation for Muslims."

Here in Colorado, of course, Hasan, a longtime Republican Party supporter, suffered the humiliation of learning that the Hasan Family Foundation, which had contracted with Scott McInnis to create his "Musings on Water," paid $300,000 for plagiarized work.(McInnis has since repaid the foundation an undisclosed amount.)

Like her son, Seeme Hasan supports the mosque project -- but she said she also understands why candidates like Ken Buck, whom she supports, are opposed to it. "I would tell him to go ahead and be against it," she told TPM. "Newt and Sarah Palin and all the others made it so the rest of the Republicans have no choice."

But Seeme and her husband do have a choice: to get out of the party -- and they might, given the current hysteria over Muslims and the mosque. During the past decade, Hasan told TPM, she and her husband have given over a million dollars to the Republican party: "All Republicans in Washington know us. They could have called to say, 'Hey we are going to come out against this mosque, what do you think?' It's sad."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun