PHILADELPHIA – The father of a Muslim-American soldier who was killed in the Iraq War delivered a passionate appeal at the Democratic National Convention for voters to support Hillary Clinton, accusing Republican Donald Trump of sacrificing “nothing” and “smearing the character” of religious minorities like his family.
Khizr Khan, whose son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, died from a suicide bombing in Baghdad 12 years ago, said that if Trump is able to follow through on his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country, his late son never would have been able to come to serve the country in the military. The Khans, a Muslim family, immigrated to the United States from the United Arab Emirates.
“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,” he said. “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
He also said: “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.”
Speaking on the fourth and final night of the convention, Khan’s remarks moved to set the tone before Clinton was scheduled to accept the party nomination.
His speech also came just minutes after Trump defended his stance to use waterboarding on terror suspects if he became president.
“They ask me about it, I say, ‘no problem. No problem. You have to do it. Because they’re chopping off heads and we can’t waterboard?” Trump said during a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, describing his response to a question about waterboarding and ISIS during a debate.
Kahn’s focus on the contributions from immigrants — a direct rebuke to Trump’s proposals — spoke to the heart of who Clinton says she is, emphasizing a core message from the campaign that Trump’s plans to restrict immigration would end up hurting more than it helps.
In one particularly powerful moment of his speech, Khan pulled a pocket-sized Constitution from his suit jacket and held it in the air.
“Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution?” he said. “I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words, look for the words, liberty and equal protection (under) law.”