The father of a Muslim American soldier who was killed in Iraq struck a chord on the final day of the Democratic National Convention, as he challenged Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to read the constitution.
Addressing thousands of delegates in Philadelphia on Thursday evening, Khizr Khan, flanked by his wife Ghazala, remembered his son Humayun Khan, who died in 2004 at the age of 28.
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“If it was up to Donald Trump, he [Humayun] never would have been in America,” Khan said.
KHIZR KHAN SPEECH IN FULL:
Tonight, we are honoured to stand here as the parents of Captain Humayun Khan, and as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.
Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed. We believed in American democracy – that with hard work and the goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.
We were blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams.
Our son, Humayun, had dreams of being a military lawyer. But he put those dreams aside the day he sacrificed his life to save his fellow soldiers.
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. Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims.
He [Trump] disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.
Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the US 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.
“Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.”
Humayun was killed by a suicide bomber as he approached a car packed with explosives.
Before enlisting in the army, he had planned to study law at university.
“Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the US Constitution?” said Khan.
He then reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a copy of the document.
“I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words liberty and equal protection of law.”
The audience whistled and cheered as he waved his copy in front of them.
Later in the evening, Hillary Clinton became the first woman in American history to accept the nomination to run for presidency.
Throughout the convention, there were speeches from members of minority groups as the Democratic Party aimed to present itself as supporting equal rights and rejecting racism.
On Tuesday, the mothers of African Americans killed by police or who died in custody took to the stage to support Clinton’s bid to become the next US president.
“I’m here with Hillary Clinton because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children’s names,” said Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old woman who died in jail after being arrested over a traffic violation.
“Hillary knows that when a young black life is cut short, it’s not just a personal loss. It is a national loss. It is a loss that diminishes all of us.”
The US election will take place on November 8 and will pit Clinton against Trump.
For her part, as she accepted the nomination from the Democratic Party, Clinton said the nation was at a “moment of reckoning”.
As the convention came to a close, Trump said on Twitter: “No one has worse judgement than Hillary Clinton – corruption and devastation wherever she goes”.
He also said: “Hillary’s wars in the Middle East have unleashed destruction, terrorism, and ISIS across the world”, in reference to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).
Trump has repeatedly called for a ban on Muslims entering the US, as he conflates “terrorism” with Islam.
Here are some tweets commenting on Khan’s speech:
Wow. Khizr Khan's speech might be the most important speech of this whole convention. #DNCinPHL
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) July 29, 2016
As soon as Khizr Khan finished his speech, "register to vote" spiked as a Google search. pic.twitter.com/0HZbBuCWwR
— Nate Goldman (@NateGoldman) July 29, 2016
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) July 29, 2016
So proud to be an American Muslim 🇺🇸 very proud to see Khizr Khan&Kareem Abduljabar speaking at the #DNc. We've come along way, America!
— Jomana Qaddour (@jomanaqaddour) July 29, 2016
Now Islamphobic Trumpians, I dare you to throw shade on Khizr Khan! #DemsInPhilly
— Matti Colley #FBPE #GTTO #Resist #Rejoin 🇪🇺 3.5% (@matti_colley) July 29, 2016
I have total faith that #KhizrKhan has read and understands the Constitution of the United States, and zero faith that Donald has and does.
— Adam Jacobi (@Adam_J_Tweets) July 29, 2016
#KhizrKhan's daughter in law told me he's kept that worn out copy of the Constitution in his coat pockets for as long as she's known him.
— Wajahat "Wears a Mask Because of a Pandemic" Ali (@WajahatAli) July 29, 2016
People ask me, as a retired vet, why I don't support Trump. #KhizrKhan just explained it better than I ever could. Thank you, sir.
— Amy Cook (@ajcook77) July 29, 2016
— Ali Noorani (@anoorani) July 29, 2016