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 the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart, two of the military’s highest honors.
Originally Pakistani, the Khans emigrated from the United Arab Emirates to the U.S., where they became citizens when Humayun was 2 years old.
His son’s empathy and need for human connection began early. In high school, Humayun taught swimming lessons for disabled children. Furthering this desire to give back, he enrolled in the University of Virginia — from which he graduated with a degree in Psychology in 2000.
Humayun Khan was also a part of the university’s ROTC program. He quoted Thomas Jefferson in his admissions essay about “freedom requiring vigilance,” Khizr Khan told the Washington Post.
“If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America,” Khizr Khan reminded the audience at the DNC, referencing Trumps notorious Muslim ban and general xenophobia.
Before closing his speech with a plug for Hillary Clinton, he dealt one final blow. “You have sacrificed nothing and no one,” he told Trump. Humayun Khan 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 Khan 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.
This is the full transcript of the speech:
Tonight we are honored to stand here as parents of Capt. Humayun Khan and as patriotic American Muslims — with undivided loyalty to our country.
Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed. We believed in American democracy; that with hard work and goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.
We are blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams.
Our son, Humayun, had dreams too, of being a military lawyer, but he put those dreams aside the day he sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son ‘the best of America.’
If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America. Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges; even his own party leadership.
He vows to build walls, and ban us from this country. Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future.
Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’
Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America.
You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.
We cannot solve our problems by building walls, sowing division. We are stronger together. And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our President.
In conclusion, I ask every patriot American, all Muslim immigrants, and all immigrants to not take this election lightly.
This is a historic election, and I request to honor the sacrifice of my son — and on election day, take the time to get out and vote.
And vote for the healer. Vote for the strongest, most qualified candidate, Hillary Clinton, not the divider. God bless you, thank you.
Written by Zarina Iman.
This post is the recap and continuation of a previous article published on July 31, 2016.