Khizr Khan, father of Captain Humayun S. M. Khan of the 201st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division who lost his life while trying to protect others in his unit, blasted Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump over the frontrunner’s ‘ban Muslims’ proposal.
Khan, one of 14 American Muslims who died serving the United States in the ten years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, died during an attack by suicide bombers in 2004 while in Iraq.
Khan screamed to his unit to “hit the dirt” as he walked toward a vehicle to inspect it while demanding the driver stop.
Inside the car were two suicide bombers and a large amount of explosives, Voctiv reports. The suicide bomber detonated their explosives.
Trump, as President, would have banned Khan’s family from entering the United States. The family arrived in this country from the United Arab Emirates, where Khan was born.
“Muslims are American, Muslims are citizens, Muslims participat[e] in the well-being of this country as American citizens,” Khan’s father said. “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 added.
“We still wonder what made him take those 10 steps [towards the car],” Khan’s father said of his son’s actions in 2004. “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. These were the values we wanted to adopt. Not religious values, human values,” he said.
When asked about the recent bloodshed in San Bernardino and other attacks, like the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, where Nidal Hasan, a veteran, killed 13 people in the name of radical Islam, Khan remembers a conversation with his other son. Shaharyar Khan, the brother of the late Humayun, told his father that Muslim communities share in the responsibility for rooting out extremism.
“This is the time for us American Muslims to rat out any traitor who walks amongst us. This is high time for Muslims to stand firm [against terrorists],” Khan recalled. “Among us hides the enemies of the value system of this country. And we need to defend it. And if it means ratting out the traitors who hide behind an American passport, that’s what we need to do.”
Khan went on to say that Donald Trump’s rhetoric against Muslims does not represent the values of the United States. “I remember when my family arrived here and the first place we went was the Jefferson Memorial,” he said. “[Jefferson’s ideals] are the values that we have cherished as a family and as Americans.”
Again, Trump would have disallowed Khan’s family from entering the United States. 10 soldiers were wounded on that day in 2004. One died trying to save others and his name was Captain Humayun S. M. Khan.
Kahn was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart posthumously, two of the military’s highest honors.
Photo courtesy of Khizr M. Khan.