The One Quote From Ghazala Khan's Op-Ed Proves The Gold Star Mother Said It Best Without Saying A Thing
The mother of a fallen Muslim American war hero who appeared alongside her husband during his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last week is pushing back against Republican nominee Donald Trump's claim she "had nothing to say." In a moving op-ed published Sunday by the Washinton Post, Ghazala Khan explained to Trump she'd said a lot without actually having to say a thing.
In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Saturday, Trump not only claimed Khan "had nothing to say" but also implied was likely forbidden from speaking up at the Democratic National Convention because of her religion. "If you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say," Trump told Stephanopoulos. "She probably — maybe — wasn't allowed to have anything to say." It was an accusation to which Khan, and many other people, rightfully took offense.
But Khan had plenty to say to America, she just didn't need words to get her message across. "Without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain," Khan wrote Sunday in an op-ed for the Washington Post. "I am a Gold Star mother. Whoever saw me felt me in their heart."
In her own words — just as Trump had requested — Khan goes on to describe how the loss of her son continues to affect her some 12 years later. "Every day I feel the pain of his loss. It has been 12 years, but you know hearts of pain can never heal as long as we live." She recounts how difficult it is for her to look at photos of her late son and asks how Trump, as a father, remains unable to understand the grief of losing a child. "Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself," she wrote. "What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?"
Khan also rebuked Trump's implication that her Islamic faith kept her from speaking up. "My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not," she wrote. "My religion teaches me that all human beings are equal in God's eyes. Husband and wife are part of each other." Khan went on to condemn Trump's continued attempts to link terrorism and Islam. "When Donald Trump is talking about Islam, he is ignorant. If he studied the real Islam and Koran, all the ideas he gets from terrorists would change, because terrorism is a different religion."
Clearly, the Democratic National Convention got to Trump. The notoriously thin-skinned real estate mogul's immediate response to the event included a declaration of wanting "to hit a couple of those speakers so hard." However, it was the way in which he lashed out at the Khan family that sparked the most outrage on both sides of the aisle.
In a powerful criticism of Trump's continued anti-Muslim rhetoric, Khizr Khan had questioned Trump's familiarity with the U.S. Constitution and accused the Republican nominee of not knowing what true sacrifice is. It was a criticism Khan repeated in the closing lines of her op-ed: "Donald Trump said he has made a lot of sacrifices. He doesn’t know what the word sacrifice means."