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The Father of a Muslim American War Hero Threw Down a Challenge to Trump

[DIGEST: Slate, Gawker]

Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim American Army captain slain in Iraq in 2004, delivered perhaps the most damning indictment of Donald Trump’s immigration proposals at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last night. “Our son Humayun had dreams … 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,” Khan said. “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.”


The crowd began to cheer the moment Khan pulled out a pocket-sized copy of the American Constitution. “Donald Trump, you are 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,” he said. “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’ll see, all faiths, genders, and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.” Khan received a standing ovation.

Erick Erickson, a former editor of Red State and a vocal critic of Donald Trump and his campaign, was one of a number of prominent conservatives who praised Khan’s address. In a tweet, Erickson said that Republicans should “be ashamed” of making Trump their presidential nominee.

Commentator Meghan McCain, the daughter of Republican Sen. John McCain, called Khan’s speech “the most powerful” moment of the evening.

Captain Humayun Khan was born in the United Arab Emirates, grew up in suburban Maryland, and attended the University of Virginia. While inspecting the gates of his camp in Baquba, Iraq, he noticed a speeding vehicle approaching. He signaled for the vehicle to stop, ordering his men

to hit the ground. He took approximately 10 steps toward the vehicle. The vehicle, which carried two suicide bombers, then exploded, killing Captain Khan and injuring 10 of his fellow soldiers. Captain Khan was posthumously awarded  the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for his bravery.

Captain Humayun Khan. (Credit: Source.)

In an interview last December, Khizr Khan said he believes his son’s actions saved lives. “We still wonder what made him take those 10 steps,” Khan’s father said. “Maybe that’s the point where all the values, all the service to country, all the things he learned in this country kicked in. It was those values that made him take those 10 steps. Those 10 steps told us we did not make [a] mistake in moving to this country.”

Fox News declined to air Khan’s speech last night. Khan’s address to the convention came the same evening Trump attended a rally defending waterboarding as an interrogation technique against terrorists.