Khizr Khan — the father of a fallen U.S. Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan who died saving the lives of his fellow soldiers — appeared on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on Friday. With his wife at his side, the father of the dead soldier called upon the Republican Party to denounce the poisonous anti-Muslim rhetoric of its presidential nominee, reality TV star and real estate tycoon Donald Trump…. “We are private, ordinary American citizens,” said Mr. Khan, who delivered one of the 2016 Democratic National Convention’s most electrifying speeches when he told the world about his son’s sacrifice on Thursday night. “This political drama has heated up a little too much for us.”…. This was the family’s first-ever political convention, he explained, which they attended in order to “be part of the tribute to our son.”
No one who hasn’t walked in Khizr Khan’s shoes could claim to understand the depth of his pain and loss. He and his wife lost their son, his death denying them the joys they might reasonably have looked forward to as they watched him proceed through life.
Cpt. Khan threw himself on a suicide bomber’s explosive-filled vest in 2014. His selflessness cost him his life while saving more than 20 of his colleagues. It was an act of heroism performed by an American patriot…who also happened to be a Muslim. While Americans should be focused on his selflessness and heroism- and most are- there are those on the Far Right who view Khizr Khan’s speech as mere partisan politics…and thus deserving of a partisan response.
That Khan’s speech was intended as a tribute to his son was clearly missed (or willfully ignored) by those who view politics as a blood sport and believe sentiment and respect to the province of losers and Liberals.
Conservative radio host Sandy Rios questioned the loyalty of the Muslim father of an Army captain who lost his life fighting for the United States military in Iraq….
[I]f you are so concerned, Mr. Khan, if you’re an American first, then distinguish yourself and condemn Islamists, condemn the Muslim Brotherhood, then we will listen to you, and stop waving the Constitution,” she said. “As far as I can tell, Islam, truly, supporters of Islam and the Quran, cannot embrace the Constitution. Now, if you have a different view, then explain that to us and then maybe we can be persuaded, but don’t shame America for having genuine and rightful concerns about Muslims in our midst when we have no idea who they are or what they really believe, and we’re not even sure about you, sir, because we know about taqiyya, which is the practice of lying to the infidel in order to advance the Muslim cause.”
Rios then questioned Khan’s son, even though the 27-year-old made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
“So I’m sorry, we’ll not be shamed. I’m sorry for the loss of their son and I hope he is a loyal American,” she said. “But I think a loyal American Muslim would be more like Zuhdi Jasser, who is very clear about where he stands, who was very patriotic and loyal and totally distances himself from Islamism, so if that’s the case for this gentleman, then he should’ve said that on the platform rather than shaming us for having concerns about Muslim immigration.”
I find it interesting that Ms. Rios thinks it appropriate to demand that Khan condemn radical Islamic terrorism…while hypocritically ignoring the far more prevalent and immediate threat posed by radical Right-wing Christian terrorists. If Ms. Rios is an American first, she should distinguish herself and condemn radical Christians. She should condemn the sovereign citizen movement and other White Christian terrorist groups (she could start with the Bundy Brigade), and then perhaps we’ll listen to her…if she’ll stop waving the Bible around.
No one gets to assume themselves to be- whether via religious faith, ethnicity, or skin color- to be superior moral beings and that all others must prove their loyalty. Conservative White Christians aren’t “better” Americans than the Khans and their son. Rios has no right to demand that Mr. Khan prove anything to anyone. He says he’s an American first…and that should be good enough. Being non-White and non-Christian doesn’t place a greater burden upon him to prove his “American-ness.”
You know what this convention really needed? An angry Muslim with a thick accent like Fareed Zacaria.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) July 29, 2016
You know what this tweet really needed? Spellcheck. https://t.co/afQRxFISj7— Liz Mair (@LizMair) July 29, 2016
What a terrible thing to say about a man whose son died for this country. https://t.co/h9Zp4x3j6v— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) July 29, 2016
I'm ashamed ever to have known you. https://t.co/AkddX4uNa0— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) July 29, 2016
.@AnnCoulter May you find peace for your rotten, evil heart one day, Ann.— Tweets by Collin™ (@TweetsByCollin) July 29, 2016
Then there was Ann Coulter’s contemptible tweet, which was quickly and roundly condemned even by Conservatives. It confirmed what many had long suspected, that Coulter is devoid of anything even faintly redolent of human decency and kindness. Since I long ago resolved not to dignify Fraulein Gasraum by devoting brain cells and/or column inches to her ugliness, I’ll speak of her only in the sense that she gave voice to what too many Republicans think.
This is today’s GOP, the party which turned its soul over to Donald Trump and is now seeing its ugliness and soulless self-superiority laid bare for the world to see. That Republicans- and especially their Presidential nominee- could disrespect the father of a fallen American hero because they’re not White and Christian is beneath contempt.
These are the people who believe themselves to be the rightful heirs to political power in America. Evidently, that birthright requires a distressing degree of mean-spirited soullessness and hatred. That they’d see nothing amiss with disrespecting a fallen American soldier and his father speaks to how morally vacant the American Taliban truly is.