As a Vietnam veteran, I honor Captain Khan’s valiant service. I too was a Captain serving in a foreign war. My brother spent two tours in Vietnam. My wife’s 19-year-old brother died in Tet 1968. I guess we were a Gold Star family too.
I am not in favor of the family or the opposing political candidates using his death as a political platform. This is a dark use of an honorable man’s tragedy. Using a Gold Star as a shield for partisan purposes is sad, and verges on disgrace.
I have visited the resting place of my fallen comrades in Arlington Cemetery, I have read and touched the names of people from my life engraved on the vast, black, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall; I have read and support the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights; I support the First Amendment which defends free speech, even when used for such ignoble purposes.
Both Krizr and Ghazala Khan were born and brought up in Pakistan, he received his bachelor of law degree from Punjab University Law College in Lahore, Pakistan in 1974. Ghazala taught Persian at a Pakistani college.
Soon after getting his law degree, they moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates; their two elder sons, Shaharyar and Humayun, were born there.
There is an unexplained gap in Mr. Khan’s work history; there was no indication on his law firm website of what Mr. Khan did, or where he worked the six years from 1974 to 1980. Then the family moved to Boston, straight into Harvard Law School.
In 1982, Mr. Khan received his masters of law degree from Harvard. The family then moved to Maryland; it is not clear where he worked the sixteen years from 1982 to 1998.
1998 to 2007, Krizr managed the Litigation Technology Services group at the international law firm of Hogan & Hartson, Washington, DC, including European and Asian offices.
From 2007 to 2010 he was Director of Law Technology & Electronic Discovery at a major global law firm based in New York.
(Note: This history seems to conflict with the statement from his speech, “Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed.” Q: Why would he put that glib cliche in his speech, when it seems so unlikely to be true?)
The oldest son, Shaharyar, was a top student at the University of Virginia, where he got his PhD in Neuroscience. He co-founded a biotechnology company, Gencia Corporation, in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he serves as Chief Science Officer. His youngest brother, Omer, currently works at Gencia as a research specialist. Mr. Khan now works as a legal consultant in Charlottesville, Va.
The second son, Humayun Khan, took ROTC while attending the University of Virginia, and received his commission in the US Army upon graduation in 2000. In 2004, Humayun died from a suicide car bomb explosion at the gates to the base in Baqubah, Iraq.
Q: Who killed him?
A: His enemies; our enemies; the enemies we do not want here in the US.
- 3.3 million Muslim immigrants equal .9% of the US population. (365 million)
- About 6,000 Muslims have served in our military since 9/11, (.27% of the 2.2 million US Military)
- A total of 14 Muslim US soldiers have been killed in Iraq, (.31% of the 4,424 total deaths)
With this background, here is Mr. Krizr Khan’s DNC speech:
“Tonight we are honoured to stand here as parents of Captain Humayun Khan and as patriotic American Muslims – with undivided loyalty to our country.
Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed. We believed in American democracy; that with hard work and goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.
We are blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams.
Our son, Humayun, had dreams too, 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. 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. 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. Donald Trump, you’re 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 pulls it out] 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 will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.
We cannot solve our problems by building walls, sowing division. We are stronger together. And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our President.
In conclusion, I ask every patriot American, all Muslim immigrants, and all immigrants to not take this election lightly.
This is a historic election, and I request to honour the sacrifice of my son – and on election day, take the time to get out and vote.
And vote for the healer. vote for the strongest, most qualified candidate, Hillary Clinton, not the divider. God bless you, thank you.”
Statistics certainly do not diminish or relieve the terrible pain of losing a son, or a brother, or any loved one. Clearly, Humayun was a hero. But he was a rare example of Muslim participation in our military
The DNC was brilliant in choosing one of the 14 Muslim Gold Star families to represent loyal, patriotic Muslims. Unfortunately, the presentation implies a larger number of such families, and a larger Muslim participation in our nation’s defense.
It is clear, though, that Mr. Khan, and Mr. Trump have never met; both are assailing each other from the parapets of fixed partisan positions, based in rhetoric and hearsay.
It is sad that a Gold Star is being abused for political leverage.