This post first appeared in the Opinion section of The Santa Clarita Gazette, by Andrea Slominski on 8/04/2016
It is possible that the words of a Harvard-educated Muslim immigrant from Pakistan, and his wife, may just save us from ourselves. How fitting, that by sharing their love of America, their reverence for the Constitution, and the insurmountable loss of their son to suicide bombers, that Khizr and Ghazala Khan remind us of the principles that structure our republic, and that have held it together for our brief 240-year history. We are stronger together. Together, Americans have achieved the improbable.
Khizr and Ghazala Khan’s son, Captain Humayun S. M. Khan, was killed by two suicide bombers at a checkpoint north of Baghdad on June 8, 2004. In fact, suspicious of the approaching vehicle, Captain Khan ordered his men to “hit the dirt” and stay back, while he took another 10 steps forward, stopping the car. The two suicide bombers inside detonated their vests, killing Kahn and wounding 10 other U.S. soldiers. That is the definition of a hero. He put the lives of others before his own. He protected his men.
In an interview with “Vocative,” an online news source, Khizir Khan said, “Muslims are American, Muslims are citizens, Muslims participate in the well-being of this country as American citizens. . . . We are proud American citizens. It’s the values (of this country) that brought us here, not our religion. Trump’s position on these issues do not represent those values,” he said.
How ironic and beautiful that a Muslim American Citizen, an immigrant, whose story IS the American Dream, should school Donald Trump on what it means to be an American, what is means to defend the Constitution, and the equal rights it offers all citizens.
Khan continued, speaking of his son, “Values that he learned throughout his life came together and made him a brave American soldier. This country is not strong because of its economic power or military power. This country is strong because of its values, and during this political season, we all need to keep that in mind.”
Yes, we do need to keep that in mind. We also need to remember Mr. Khan’s remarks at the Democratic convention.
“If it was up to Donald Trump, (my son) never would have been in America,” Khizr Khan said. “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. . . . Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America – you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one. We can’t solve our problems by building walls and sowing division. We are stronger together.”
Boom. Mic Drop.