Sunday, January 29, 2017

Khizr Khan, Gold Star Father, on Refugee Ban
By Robin Wright 
Since his six-minute speech at last summer’s Democratic Convention, Khizr Khan has become a kind of celebrity, an honorable everyman who stood up for America’s Muslim community. The story he told of his son Humayun, a captain in the U.S. Army who gave his life to stop a suicide bomber approaching his troops in Iraq, in 2004, was emotional, and it made for gripping television. The Washington Post called the image of Khan waving his pocket-size Constitution in the air—and asking if Donald Trump had ever read it—one of the most memorable of the campaign. “I will lend you my copy,” Khan said, addressing Trump. “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.” His speech made the Constitution a best-seller on Amazon. Google searches on it soared tenfold.

Khan, a Harvard-educated lawyer, was born in Pakistan; his son Humuyun was born in the United Arab Emirates. Both became U.S. citizens in 1986. On Sunday, Khan stopped by my house in Washington, and, over honey-lavender tea, discussed President Trump’s new executive order banning the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely and all refugees for four months. The executive order suspends the entry of all citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen—for ninety days. The order also calls for a general review of U.S. vetting procedures. The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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