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SUNDAY REVELATIONS: Khizr Khan responds to Trump

Khizr Khan was checking into a D.C. hotel, preparing for television appearances Sunday morning and still trying to come to grips with the sudden spotlight.

Humayun Khan

Humayun Khan was an American Army soldier who died a hero in Afghanistan. His farther, Khizir gave an epochal speech at the DNC, calling out Republicans for their support of the bigot Trump.  Khizir Khan is an migrant from Pakistan and a Harvard-trained lawyer living  in Charlottesville, Va.

“I was in line, and a group of people gathered behind me and one of them said, ‘Sir, can we shake your hand?’”

Humayun Khan father, Khizr Khan, spoke at the Democratic National Convention and offered a strong rebuke of Donald Trump, saying, “Have you even read the United States Constitution?”

Speaking of the reactions he has gotten from other Americans, Mr Khan said   “Running for president is not an entitlement to disrespect Gold Star families and [a] Gold Star mother not realizing her pain. Shame on him! Shame on his family! He is not worthy of our comments. He has no decency. He is void of decency, he has a dark heart. … “How dare he say something of that profound nature? Not profound in their eyes, but profound in how many people have responded,.”

Ghazala Khan

Ghazala Khan Chalottesville                 Donald Trump has asked why I did not speak at the Democratic convention. He said he would like to hear from me. Here is my answer to Donald Trump: Because without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain. I am a Gold Star mother. Whoever saw me felt me in their heart. Donald Trump said I had nothing to say. I do. My son Humayun Khan, an Army captain, died 12 years ago in Iraq. He loved America, where we moved when he was 2 years old. He had volunteered to help his country, signing up for the ROTC at the University of Virginia. This was before the attack of Sept. 11, 2001. He didn’t have to do this, but he wanted to. When Humayun was sent to Iraq, my husband and I worried about his safety. I had already been through one war, in Pakistan in 1965, when I was just a high school student. So I was very scared. You can sacrifice yourself, but you cannot take it that your kids will do this. ‘You have sacrificed nothing’: Father of killed Muslim soldier to Trump Play Video7:07 Humayun Khan was an American Muslim Army soldier who died serving the U.S. after 9/11. His father, Khizr Khan, spoke at the Democratic National Convention and offered a strong rebuke of Donald Trump, saying, “Have you even read the United States Constitution?” (Video: Victoria Walker/The Washington Post;Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post) We asked if there was some way he could not go, because he had already done his service. He said it was his duty. I cannot forget when he was going to the plane, and he looked back at me. He was happy, and giving me strength: “Don’t worry, Mom. Everything will be all right.” The last time I spoke to my son was on Mother’s Day 2004. We had asked him to call us collect whenever he could. I begged him to be safe. I asked him to stay back, and not to go running around trying to become a hero, because I knew he would do something like that. He said, “Mom, these are my soldiers, these are my people. I have to take care of them.” He was killed by a car bomber outside the gates of his base. He died trying to save his soldiers and innocent civilians. That is my son. Humayun was always dependable. If I was vacuuming the house and he was home, he would take the vacuum from my hand and clean the house. He volunteered to teach disabled children in the hospital how to swim. He said, “I love when they have a little bit of progress and their faces, they light up. At least they are that much happy.” He wanted to be a lawyer, like his father, to help people. Opinions newsletter Thought-provoking opinions and commentary, in your inbox daily. Sign up Humayun is my middle son, and the others are doing so well, but every day I feel the pain of his loss. It has been 12 years, but you know hearts of pain can never heal as long as we live. Just talking about it is hard for me all the time. Every day, whenever I pray, I have to pray for him, and I cry. The place that emptied will always be empty. I cannot walk into a room with pictures of Humayun. For all these years, I haven’t been able to clean the closet where his things are — I had to ask my daughter-in-law to do it. 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? Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t allowed to say anything. That is not true. My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not. My religion teaches me that all human beings are equal in God’s eyes. Husband and wife are part of each other; you should love and respect each other so you can take care of the family. When Donald Trump is talking about Islam, he is ignorant. If he studied the real Islam and Koran, all the ideas he gets from terrorists would change, because terrorism is a different religion. Donald Trump said he has made a lot of sacrifices. He doesn’t know what the word sacrifice means.

Trump responded to Khan’s speech, telling the New York Times that he questioned whether Khan’s wife, who stood silently by his side as he spoke, was “allowed” to speak.

Later, finally, Trump posted condolences to the Khans  but never apologized and insisted that the real issue was Islamic terrorists.

Mr. Khan responded that Khan said his wife didn’t speak because she breaks down when she sees her son’s photograph — a huge one of which was projected onto a screen behind the stage at the convention.

Khan sdescribed his wife’s profound pain, ” Emotionally and physically — she just couldn’t even stand there, and when we left, as soon as we got off camera, she just broke down. And the people inside, the staff, were holding her, consoling her. She was just totally emotionally spent. Only those parents that have lost their son or daughter could imagine the pain that such a memory causes. Especially when a tribute is being paid. I was holding myself together, because one of us had to be strong. Normally, she is the stronger one. But in the matter of Humayun, she just breaks down any time anyone mentions it.”

Khan said he asked his wife whether she wanted to address the convention.

“I asked her, ‘Do you want to say something? Thank you? We are glad?’” Khan said. “She said, ‘You know what will happen. I will sob.’ Would any mother be able to utter a word under those circumstances?”

Khan went on ” …  Patriotic, decent Americans are falling for (trump). Republicans are falling for that. And I can only appeal to them. Reconsider. Repudiate. It’s a moral obligation. A person void of empathy for the people he wishes to lead cannot be trusted with that leadership. To vote is a trust. And it cannot be placed in wrong hands.”

“This is my country too,” Mr. Khan said, adding that Trump “lacks understanding,” that most Muslims are victims of terrorism, not perpetrators — and they condemn it. “He lacks awareness of these issues. He doesn’t realize there are patriotic Muslim Americans in this country willing to lay their lives for this country. We are a testament to that.”

Khan also said that he is appealing to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), to repudiate  Trump’s divisive rhetoric.

 

 


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