Khizr Khan hits back at Donald Trump

We speak to the father of a US soldier killed in Iraq, and debate accusations the Indian government censors its critics

In this week’s UpFront, we speak to Khizr Khan, Donald Trump critic and father of a US soldier killed in Iraq.

In the Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan highlights how neither India nor Pakistan have the Kashmiris’ best interests in mind. And in the Arena, we debate whether Narendra Modi’s government is censoring dissent with the author of a controversial new book that implicates the prime minister in the Gujarat massacres of 2002.


Khizr Khan’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last week has since dominated the US presidential election.

The father of Humayun Khan, a US soldier killed in Iraq, has been praised by many for his heartfelt and pointed words denouncing Donald Trump.

In this week’s Headliner, Mehdi Hasan sits down with Khan to discuss the Republican nominee, the Iraq war, Islamophobia and his son.

Khan says he is confident that “Americans are not going to buy the snake oil [Trump] is selling.”

In the wide-ranging interview, Khan reveals he was opposed to the 2003 Iraq invasion – his son was killed in action the following year.

“That was a mistake that has not served American interest well,” he tells Mehdi Hasan.

Khan also believes his son is supporting him in “every which way”.

Reality Check

Protests and tensions are high in Indian-administered Kashmir following the recent crackdown on demonstrators by Indian security forces.

Governments on both sides of the line have expressed interest in finding a solution to the dispute, saying they have Kashmiris’ best interests in mind, but some argue that their actions prove otherwise.

In this week’s Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan looks at the actions of both India and Pakistan in Kashmir.


In 2002, the Indian Western state of Gujarat witnessed some of the most violent religious riots in the country’s recent history. The number of those killed is disputed, but more than a thousand people, mostly Muslims, died.

Some human rights groups have pointed the finger at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was Gujarat’s chief minister at the time, for what they say was turning a blind eye to the violence.

While an Indian court cleared Modi of allegations that he intentionally failed to stop the riots, a controversial new book, Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover-Up, makes stinging accusations and offers what it calls proof that links Modi and his allies to the violence.

The author of the book, Rana Ayyub, said she had to self-publish the investigation because mainstream media would not touch it. Critics, however, argue that there are serious flaws in Ayyub’s investigations.

So is dissent being stifled in Modi’s India? In this week’s Arena, Ayyub debates with Sadanand Dhume, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, about whether the government is censoring dissent.

Editor’s note: The Arena was recorded prior to the recent spate of violence in Kashmir.

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