Khizr Khan and his wife, Ghazala Khan, are Gold Star parents whose son died in a car bombing attack while he was serving the United States of America in 2004.
As Khizr Khan addressed the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, he criticized Donald Trump’s remarks about banning Muslim immigrants, saying that if Trump had been the president before his son’s death, his son, a Muslim U.S. Army Captain, would not have been able to proudly serve his country and save the troops under his watch.
U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan was killed after he took steps toward a suspicious vehicle and told his soldiers he was supervising to stay back, according to Heavy. The suspicious vehicle blew up, and Humayun Khan became a war hero.
While Trump acknowledged that Khan is a war hero, he questioned why the fallen soldier’s mother did not speak while she stood on stage next to her husband, Khizr Khan, at the Democratic National Convention.
Instead of Khizr Khan and Ghazala Khan focusing on the amazing speech Khizr delivered last Thursday, they had to rush to defend their marriage, Ghazala’s continuing grief, and their continued loyalty to the United States.
Ghazala explained that it pains her to even look at a photo of her deceased son, let alone to talk about him in front of a crowd of people. The pain she feels over the loss of her son is very real, and she tried to reason with Donald Trump by evoking his feelings as a parent.
“Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?” Mrs. Khan wrote in an op-ed piece for the Washington Post.
Chairman Paul Manafort discussed Donald Trump’s feelings about the Khans in an interview, saying, “Mr. Trump, of course, feels sorry for what the Kahn family has gone through, just, frankly, as he felt sorry for the victims that spoke before the Republican Convention who lost loved ones from illegal immigrant criminals coming in and being able to travel the country freely.”
Trying to tie the Khans with an image of violent illegal immigrants is a deliberate act. Meshing the two will cause more fear in Republicans who look to Trump for the harsh talk that they hope will protect the nation from danger (but it won’t).
The Khan family and the illegal immigration issue couldn’t be any more separate. The Khans are legal immigrants — Khizr Khan is a Harvard-trained lawyer who lives in Charlottesville, who immigrated with his family from the United Arab Emirates. The family is of Pakistani descent.
The Khan family lost a person who taught children with disabilities to swim. He was a counselor to soldiers and who wanted to work as an advocate for veterans after he left Iraq. They lost a son who was remembered well by his colleagues. “His colleagues and superiors remembered him for his courage, honesty, sense of humor and grace while in the field, even under pressure. Captain Khan’s colleagues eulogized his exemplary services and praised him for the leadership he provided to his troops.”
The Khan family lost a son who always reassured his mother that he would be safe.
How can Republicans continue to support Donald Trump as he keeps dividing nation by nation, group by group, religion by religion, family by family? When is it time to admit that the man does not have the temperament fit to be the president of one of the most diverse nations on earth?
Is sticking behind the Republican party name really worth more than anything else, even if the man who is the face of the party will question the values of a Gold Star family and try to use them to add more fear to push an agenda? It’s time to put country before party commandments. It’s time to stand up against bigotry and blatant narcissism which, in time, will destroy our country.
[Photo by AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite]