Salute to Khan family’s, son’s patriotism
Khizr and Ghazala Khan met while on the faculty of Punjab University, when Pakistan was under the thumb of a military dictator. The Khans emigrated, first to Dubai, where son Humayun was born, then onto the suburbs of Washington, D.C. They loved visiting the Jefferson Memorial, where the third president’s words about swearing hostility against tyrannies over the minds of men hit home.
In high school, Humayun read books about his childhood hero, Thomas Jefferson. Applying to the University of Virginia, he wrote his admission essay on Jefferson’s warning that freedom requires vigilance. There he enrolled in ROTC, preparing for service in the United States Army.
Captain Humayun Khan died in Iraq defending his men from an approaching car bomber. The loss broke his parents’ hearts, but left them filled with pride over their son’s valor and service to others. Once Donald Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” the Khans felt they had to push back on their late son’s behalf.
True to form, Donald Trump responded with personal vitriol. Pro-Trump bloggers claimed that Khizr had published papers on Sharia Law, which wasn’t true. Then the crowd at a Carson Nugget campaign event broke into choruses of boos at the mention of the Khans’ name. To his credit, Trump’s running mate interjected, “That’s what freedom looks like, and that’s what freedom sounds like.”
He could have added, “That’s also what the freedom Captain Khan gave his life to defend looks like.”