There’s a growing memorial of flowers and American flags surrounding the grave of fallen U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, as the slain Iraq war soldier’s parents continue to be embroiled in a war of words with presidential candidate Donald Trump.
But as Trump and his campaign tweet their rebuttals, Muslim women are taking part in a social media campaign targeting yet another one of the Republican nominee’s controversial remarks.
They feel Trump’s comments on Ghazala Khan, Humayun’s mother, as she stood in silence on stage next to her husband Khizr Khan at the Democratic National Convention last week in Philadelphia, were disrespectful, and they want Trump to hear them loud and clear.
At the DNC, Khizr Khan spoke of his son, who won a posthumous Purple Heart and Bronze Star for bravery, and questioned Trump’s own sacrifice for his country. Trump called Khizr Khan’s critical speech a “vicious attack”, suggested Hillary Clinton’s campaign wrote the father’s passionate convention speech and finally said Ghazala Khan “wasn’t allowed” to speak about her son on stage because her Muslim faith.
Ghazala Khan said it’s difficult to have her son’s death become a political talking point, but that’s not stopping her and her husband from hitting back at the billionaire.
Speaking to Global News Monday, Ghazala said a man who is nominated to be the president of the United States really ought to know more about other people’s religion.
She penned an op-ed in the Washington Post Sunday, explaining why she stood silent as her husband spoke so passionately against Trump at the DNC.
“Donald Trump has asked why I did not speak at the Democratic convention. He said he would like to hear from me. Here is my answer to Donald Trump: Because without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain. I am a Gold Star mother. Whoever saw me felt me in their heart.”
The Khans immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan in 1978, two years after their late son was born. At the age of 27, the Humayun Khan was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004, but in trying to stop the attempted attack he potentially saved the lives his fellow soldiers inside a U.S. military compound.
Ghazala Khan said she’s proud of the her son’s service and the family has been touched by the outpouring of support for her family.
That support includes a social media campaign led by Monday, urging Muslim women to speak out against Trump’s remarks about Ghazala Khan using the hashtag #CanYouHearUsNow.
“As the leader of America’s largest Muslim civil rights organization, I urge Donald Trump to apologize for his shameful remarks disparaging a Muslim Gold Star family and for his repeated use and promotion of anti-Muslim stereotypes,” CAIR board chair Roula Allouch said in a statement.
In his speech at the DNC, Khizr Khan said Trump “consistently smears” Muslims and other minority groups.
In a now famous moment during that speech, Khizr Khan held up a pocket version of the U.S. constitution and asked Trump if he had ever read it. He had his copy of the constitution with him when he spoke with Global News.