Who is Ghazala Khan, Khizr Khan's Wife? Her Muslim American Son Died Fighting For This Country
One of the most important messages at the Democratic National Convention was saved for the end of it. On Thursday evening, the parents of Humayun Khan, a fallen Muslim American soldier, stepped onto the stage to speak about their son's sacrifice to the nation and how Donald Trump's xenophobic attitude towards Muslims undermines it. Though she was silent during her husband's speech, Ghazala Khan, Khizr Khan's wife, evoked a humble sorrow that was felt by the nation. Khizr put his arm around her as he began his address. She may not have spoken, but she stood on that stage with purpose and should be recognized for it.
Earlier in the year, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton recognized Ghazala and Khizr's son in a Minneapolis address on national security. Snippets from that address were shown in a video preceding Khizr's speech about his son on Thursday. In it, Clinton praised Humayun, calling him "the best of America." His sacrifices, she suggested, should encourage Americans to stand together, not be divided.
If you want to see the best of America, you need look no further than Army Captain Humayun Khan ... It's time to stand up and say we are Americans. We will not turn on each other or turn on our principles.
Humayun died on June 8, 2004 at just 27 years old. Encouraging his unit to stay back, he took 10 steps forward, approaching a suspicious vehicle that had a suicide bomber in it. By taking those 10 steps, he saved the men and women in his unit. Proceeding forward was a decision — a decision Ghazala always feared would have to be made. In 2004, just a week after learning of her son's death, the mother, who was then 52 years old, spoke with The Washington Post. During her interview, she admitted that she had spent a lot of time worrying about him when he was away.
Whenever I talked to him, I started to cry. He always said to me, "Don't worry. I'm safe."
And her heartbreak was clear on Thursday evening as she displayed a silent strength. During her recount of Humayun's story, Clinton quoted Khizr's explanation of he and his wife's reaction to their son's death. According to her, he and Ghazala knew they had made the right decision by moving to the United States.
All those things he learned in this country kicked in. It was those values that made him take those 10 steps.
It's not hard to tell that both Ghazala and Khizr are incredibly proud of their patriotic son. And as the parents of a war hero, they both deserve immense credit as well. What amazing Americans.