Khizr Khan is being painted as an Islamist with potential ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of his headline-grabbing DNC speech and subsequent feud with Donald Trump.
Speaking on the final night of last week’s Democratic National Convention, Khan’s rousing seven-minute speech managed to steal the spotlight even from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whose much-longer address capped off the night.
Khan spoke about his son, a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq in 2004, and noted that the family would have never been allowed into the United States under Trump’s proposed policy barring Muslims from entering the country. Khan took his criticism a step further, holding up a copy of the U.S. Constitution and asking if Trump had ever read it.
He went on to claim that Trump knows nothing of the sacrifice that the Muslim immigrant family has made for their country.
“Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America,” Khan said. “You will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
The speech kicked off a back-and-forth feud with Donald Trump, who said that Khan had no right to insinuate that he hasn’t read the Constitution. The two had exchanged barbs throughout the weekend, leading a number of high-profile Republicans and even some veterans groups to denounce Trump’s actions.
But others are backing up Donald Trump as well, including some who are accusing that Khizr Khan is actually an agent for the Muslim Brotherhood, a religious and political movement that aims to make Islam and the Quran the centerpiece of society.
The report came from a site called Shoebat, which cited papers written by Khan about the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in the 1980s as alleged proof of the connection. But as Snopes noted, the report added the word “Sharia” to the title of the paper and took a citation to “Muslim Brotherhood icon” S. Ramadan out of context to make it seem as if Khan was showing appreciation rather than citing Ramadan’s work.
2. Now we have people w/official positions in Trump campaign suggesting a fallen war hero was actually a terrorist https://t.co/Gw35ghbJm7— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) August 1, 2016
There were others pushing the idea that Khizr Khan has a connection to the Muslim Brotherhood. Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Donald Trump who worked on his campaign earlier this election season, accused Khan of being a “Muslim Brotherhood agent” trying to help Hillary Clinton.
Sandy Rios, the director of government affairs at the American Family Association, also claimed that it was up to Khizr Khan to prove that he didn’t have a connection to Islamic terrorists.
“From my perspective, it is the responsibility of Mr. Khan to distinguish himself from Islamists, from the Muslim Brotherhood, whose treatise is to destroy us from within,” Rios said (via the Huffington Post). “If he is a patriotic, loyal, American Muslim, then we want to hear that, that’s great, and we grieve with them over the death of their son. But do not disparage Americans or Donald Trump for having concerns about Muslims in our midst.”
Trump's adviser Roger Stone calls Khizr Khan a "Muslim Brotherhood agent." https://t.co/BjDkZUOteg— Gregg Carlstrom (@glcarlstrom) August 1, 2016
But Khizr Khan has actually long been a critic of Muslim extremists, and in an interview with Vocativ, he said it is the duty of all moderate Muslims to call out those who use the religion to perpetuate violence.
“This is the time for us American Muslims to rat out any traitor who walks amongst us. This is high time for Muslims to stand firm [against terrorists],” he said. “Among us hides the enemies of the value system of this country. And we need to defend it. And if it means ratting out the traitors who hide behind an American passport, that’s what we need to do.”
But the story that Khizr Khan could be part of the Muslim Brotherhood — no matter how debunked it appears to be — still seems to have legs online. A number of news sites have repeated the story, with some using it to defend Donald Trump.
[Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]