Influential Donor May Bolt From GOP Over Anti-Muslim Hysteria

August 19, 2010 7:24 a.m.

An influential Muslim GOP donor is at the end of her tether, and tells TPM she may eventually have to leave the Republican party over its opposition to the Cordoba House project and other anti-Muslim positions.

“I don’t know if I’ll be a Republican a year from now,” says Seeme Hasan, who chairs the Hasan Family Foundation in Colorado, and has close ties to the Republican party leadership. Hasan’s frustration with the GOP was evident, and not just over their public opposition to the construction of a Muslim cultural center in lower Manhattan. “Every time a Muslim person becomes famous, they are viciously attacked,” Hasan said.“The past few years in the Republican party has been constant humiliation for Muslims,” Hasan told TPM in an interview yesterday evening.

Hasan continues to support the Republican party, including the GOP’s Senate nominee from Colorado, Ken Buck, who also opposes the Cordoba project.

Interestingly, though, Hasan says at this point, Republican politicians have little choice but to join the GOP in opposing Cordoba House, and she understands that.

“I would tell him to go ahead and be against it. I did not support it when the top people started this. I did not support that,” Hasan said. “Newt and Sarah Palin and all the others made it so the rest of the Republicans have no choice.”

Over the past decade, Hasan said, she and her husband have given over a million dollars to the Republican party, and it was evident in conversation with her that she’s on a first name basis with party party leaders. “All Republicans in Washington know us,” Hasan said. “They could have called to say, ‘Hey we are going to come out against this mosque, what do you think?’ It’s sad.”

Though she called into question whether or not she’ll remain in the Republican party, Hasan said that in any case it will be difficult, if not impossible, for her to be as supportive of the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2012 as she was of George W. Bush in 2000. She says she has only one reason to suspect she’ll put a great deal of effort into defeating Barack Obama: His policies are perhaps more anti-Muslim, Hasan says, as Bush’s were. “It’s like my son says, he’s been more hawkish than Dick Cheney.”

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