In a Washington Post opinion piece, Ghazala Khan -- the Gold Star mother of an Iraq War-veteran, and wife of Khizr Khan -- responded to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s attacks on her following her husband’s speech at the Democratic National Convention. Khan debunked Trump’s suggestion that she wasn’t allowed to speak because she is Muslim, saying Trump is “ignorant” about Islam, and explaining it was too difficult for her to speak at the convention about the loss of her son.
While being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, Trump, the Republican nominee, “belittled” Ghazala Khan for appearing silent while her husband Khzir Khan delivered a speech at the Democratic National Convention, suggestingshe wasn’t “allowed” to speak because she’s Muslim. Media figures have condemned Trump’s criticisms of the Khan family. Khzir Kahn told CNN’s Jim Acosta that Trump’s response was the “height of ignorance.”
On July 31, Ghazala Khan responded to Trump’s attacks in a Wash. Post opinion article, explaining that Donald Trump’s suggestion that she was not allowed to speak “is not true.” She explained that “just talking” about her son “is hard” so she chose to remain silent at the convention because she “could hardly control” herself, even when her husband asked her if she wanted to speak. Khan asserted that “When Donald Trump is talking about Islam, he is ignorant.” From the Wash. Post’s July 31 op-ed:
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.
Donald Trump said I had nothing to say. I do. My son Humayun Khan, an Army captain, died 12 years ago in Iraq. He loved America, where we moved when he was 2 years old. He had volunteered to help his country, signing up for the ROTC at the University of Virginia. This was before the attack of Sept. 11, 2001. He didn’t have to do this, but he wanted to.
Humayun is my middle son, and the others are doing so well, but every day I feel the pain of his loss. It has been 12 years, but you know hearts of pain can never heal as long as we live. Just talking about it is hard for me all the time. Every day, whenever I pray, I have to pray for him, and I cry. The place that emptied will always be empty.
I cannot walk into a room with pictures of Humayun. For all these years, I haven’t been able to clean the closet where his things are — I had to ask my daughter-in-law to do it. Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?
Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t allowed to say anything. That is not true. My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not. My religion teaches me that all human beings are equal in God’s eyes. Husband and wife are part of each other; you should love and respect each other so you can take care of the family.
When Donald Trump is talking about Islam, he is ignorant. If he studied the real Islam and Koran, all the ideas he gets from terrorists would change, because terrorism is a different religion.
Donald Trump said he has made a lot of sacrifices. He doesn’t know what the word sacrifice means.