During the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, the parents of a fallen Muslim-American soldier addressed the audience in a moving speech.
Khizr and Ghazala Kahn, the Muslim parents of Humayun Kahn, spoke about how their son decided to enlist in the U.S. Army instead of going to law school as he had originally planned. Humayun earned a commission and became a captain. When his unit came under attack from a suicide bomber in 2004, Capt. Kahn told his unit to back up, and he stepped forward toward the explosive-filled car. According to NBC News, Capt. Khan and his infantry unit were on guard at their base when a questionable vehicle pulled up to the gate. Capt. Khan took 10 steps forward toward the car, then it exploded.
Through this selfless act, Capt. Kahn saved the lives of his fellow soldiers, but lost his own at only 27-years-old. Khan received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart posthumously, both of which were on display Thursday evening at the convention.
Kahn’s father 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.’
‘We still wonder what made him take those 10 steps [towards the car]. 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 mistake in moving to this country.’
Mr. Khan took to the stage and took his own steps forward to school Donald Trump on what it really means to be an American. Khan addressed Trump directly:
‘Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. 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 the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.’
‘We can’t solve our problems by building walls and sowing division. We are stronger together. And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our next president.’
The Khans’ appearance onstage resonated with many of the Muslim and Asian delegates on the floor. Ravinder Lakhian, a Clinton delegate from California and a Sikh, said the Khans’ speech showed that “American Muslims are also part of the sacrifice.”
One Clinton delegate from Texas, Ermad Salem, said he was glad the Khans were invited to speak because it showed that the Democrat party recognized the importance of the Muslim community in America. Salem also said that he wanted to send a message to the Republican Party:
‘We also want the other side to know that Muslims are part of the fabric of America and that they are dying for the safety and security of Americans. They are committed Americans.’