Muslims struggle to find suitable White House candidate

From today’s Roll Call:

The presidential candidates of both parties are competing for cash and votes on every front, with one possible exception.

Muslim Americans, particularly conservatives, say they feel slighted this election cycle. Rather than court Muslims, Republican candidates have been competing for the toughest stance on national security and openly discussing whether Muslims should be allowed to serve in their administrations.

“I’m very unhappy with the Republican Party. I’m hanging on with a string,” said Seeme Hasan, a Colorado-based Muslim whose family has donated more than $1 million to the Republican Party and its candidates.

Still, Hasan said she would not vote for President Barack Obama because he has repeatedly disappointed her. She cited two examples: His decision to keep open the prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and his recent approval of the defense authorization bill with controversial new detention policies.

“Obama may say, ‘I’m friendly with Muslims,’ but all his actions from day one have been very unfriendly to Muslims,” she said. Hasan is supporting former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Her husband, Malik, runs HealthTrio, an electronic medical records firm with business ties to the Georgia Republican.

Many Muslims may disagree with Hasan — 64 percent supported Obama in a recent Pew survey ­— but community leaders say they share her pessimism about the election. Muslim voters have historically voted as a bloc, but they are scattered among the candidates this time around and, in many cases, unimpressed with their choices.

Read on here.

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