Muhammad Ali Hasan, a member of the wealthy and influential Colorado Republican Hasan family and a past state House and treasurer candidate, said he is switching parties.
Speaking at the University of Colorado-Boulder on his experience growing up Muslim in the American West and later in conversation with the Colorado Independent, Hasan said he is ending his affiliation with the party for the bigotry he believes has shaped Republican politics over the last year. The FOX News regular and founder of Muslims for Bush said he met recently with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the controversial Democratic leader won him over.
Hasan said he felt alienated between national Republican leaders on one side railing against the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” and gays and illegal immigrants and, on the other, state Republican delegates convinced that as a candidate for treasurer he was angling to install sharia finance laws. He said the GOP convention in May was a low point. “You experience bigotry sometimes but I often just think it’s probably my personality that the person doesn’t like. At the convention, though, that was the first time I felt the real thing. It was the worst experience of my life.”
Hasan suspects a whisper campaign swept the convention, sounding a warning against placing a Muslim in charge of investing the state’s revenues. “Some goons were telling people that there’s a passage in the Koran that encourages Muslims to lie, that lying is considered a good thing in the service of advancing a Muslim or sharia agenda. I don’t know who was behind the rumor, but I’ve read the Koran, and I don’t know what they were talking about.”
He said the weekend of the convention he watched hundreds of supporters fall away. Delegate after delegate approached him and mentioned the Koran and said in so many words that they weren’t sure they could trust him. “It hurt. People who had said they were voting for me were now coming up to me and saying ‘You know, I hear you could be lying to us.’ I was shocked. I got the courage to approach some of them, people I had talked to and who said they were voting for me. Here they were wearing J.J. Ament stickers. I was like, you know, wow, and they said ‘But how do I know you’re not going to assert some form of sharia law against Colorado?'”
Hasan said he was deflated after talking to one woman at length. “I told her I started Muslims for Bush. I’m proud of that. I told her I have been a vocal fiscal conservative for years. I said I’ve given to Republican candidates on the federal and state level. I helped get Republican candidates elected to House seats in 2008 when Democrats were winning everything… Finally I asked her ‘There’s nothing I can say to win your vote because my name is Muhammad, am I right?’ and she said ‘Yeah, that’s probably right.'”