Ghazala Khan Knows What Sacrifice Means

by Alex Gladu

At last week's Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Democratic delegates, voters watching at home, and Donald Trump heard from Khizr Khan, the father of a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq 12 years ago. Khan was accompanied on stage by his wife, but she did not speak — until now. After being frustrated yet again by the Republican nominee for president, Ghazala Khan has responded to Trump by writing what she would probably struggle to say out loud.

Ghazala penned an opinion piece for Sunday's edition of The Washington Post, explaining why she chose not to speak at the DNC and what she thinks Trump should know about her experience. "Donald Trump said I had nothing to say," Ghazala wrote. "I do."

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.

She also talked about the sacrifice that her family — and, of course, her son — made for the country. "You can sacrifice yourself, but you cannot take it that your kids will do this," she wrote. "Donald Trump said he has made a lot of sacrifices. He doesn’t know what the word sacrifice means."


According to the op-ed, the Khans' son, Humayun, joined the Army after participating in the University of Virginia's ROTC program during college. He was killed in a car bomb just outside the gate of his base during a deployment to Iraq. The Khans are Muslim, and Ghazala wrote that Trump's understanding of their religion is mistaken.

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... When Donald Trump is talking about Islam, he is ignorant.
Joe Mahoney/Getty Images News/Getty Images

This all comes after Ghazala's husband criticized Trump on stage at the DNC on Thursday. Khizr introduced himself and his wife as "patriotic American Muslims — with undivided loyalty to our country." He then went on to ask Trump to re-read the Constitution when proposing a ban on Muslim immigration.

Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words "liberty" and "equal protection of law."

Ultimately, the Khans were just two of many military and veteran representatives to attend the DNC in support of Hillary Clinton. Trump certainly has military and veteran supporters of his own, but until he learns what the word "sacrifice" means, the Khans won't be among them. For her part, Ghazala has found the strength to respond to Trump in writing, despite feeling too emotional to speak on the big and bright DNC stage.