I think it’s safe to say that of the speeches at the Democratic National Convention (DNC), Khizr Khan’s speech was definitely one of the most resonant and emotional. Accompanied by his wife, Ghazala, Khan spoke about his son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan.
On June 8, 2004, Humayun Khan, 27 at the time, was killed in Iraq. He was overseeing routine vehicle inspections, when a suspicious taxi passed through. Instructing others to take cover, Humayun Khan approached the taxi and the 200 pounds of explosives within it. Subsequently the car exploded, killing Humayun and injuring at least ten others. His heroic actions caused him to be posthumously awarded Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart, two of the military’s highest honors.
Of Pakistani origin, the Khans emigrated from the United Arab Emirates to the U.S., where they became citizens.
Khizr Khan reminded the DNC about his son, referencing Trumps notorious Muslim ban and general xenophobia:
Continuing to challenge Trump, Khizr asked, “Have you even read the United States constitution?” Then in an iconic moment, Khan, a highly trained lawyer, pulled a pocket Constitution from his coat, offering to lend it to Trump. This gesture was met with overwhelming cheers from the audience. Before closing his speech with a plug for Hillary Clinton, Khizr dealt one final blow to Trump:
Humayun sacrificed his dream of becoming an army lawyer; he sacrificed his future for America, as did many others, not so its values could be tarnished.
Regardless of your opinions on the Iraq War, the U.S. military, or Clinton, herself, Khizr Khan’s speech is important (though unsurprisingly it was not shown on Fox News). His family’s story is proof that Muslims are not just some group of outsiders, as Trump and others would like people to believe. Instead, Khizr shows that Muslims are a part of every facet of American society, who care for the future of our country as much as anyone else.
Contributed by Zarina Iman