Yes, I know, another blog post about Trump, but this one kind of feels personal…
In the most patriotic nation on earth, the United States of America, the highest honour the government or any American can bestow has always gone to the fallen soldier, the hero who died on the battle field, the brave patriot who made the ultimate sacrifice by fighting for his loved ones, for his entire nation, for all that America stands for. So great is this sacrifice considered that the fallen soldier is often immortalised in many a song and movie.
The second highest honour has traditionally gone to the family of the fallen, honoured because of their sacrifice and their grief. In recent times such families have been honoured by groups like Gold Star Families for Peace, an organization founded in January 2005 by individuals who have lost family members in the Iraq War, and are thus entitled to display a Gold Star on their lapels.
Because of this the number one unwritten rule of American politics has always been to never go after the families of the fallen, to always be respectful for those grieving over their ultimate sacrifice. This is a rule that is so unwritten because it is considered to be so patriotically obvious. No astute politician, especially one running for the presidency, would dare break this rule. Donald Trump, however, is neither astute nor politically minded. Which is why he recently decided to openly criticise the Gold Star family of Captain Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan.
Captain Khan was killed on active duty in Iraq in June 2004. Some 12 years later his father, Khizr Khan, delivered a 6 minute blistering speech at the recent Democratic National Convention that is considered by many to be the emotional highlight of not just the DNC, but also of the Republican National Convention.
Khan Senior delivered his remarks as he was joined by his wife Ghazala Khan on the fourth day of the DNC at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, on Thursday 28th July, 2016. It would be unfair to pick out highlights from the speech as the whole of it is well worth a listen. Wajahat Ali, a journalist who is featured in a video below, recently Tweeted: “I’ve seen #KhizrKhan’s speech a few times now. It takes a Desi Muslim uncle to remind America of its core values & freedoms. Amazing.”
The fallout from the speech has been far, wide, vitriolic, and in many cases bizarre. It has created huge unintentional political waves, catching the Republicans and Trump in particular on the back foot. Many people have made many comments on the speech, for and against, and both Khan parents have now done several high profile interviews since, mostly in response to what Trump and his supporters have been saying about them.
The scariest thing about all of this, for me, is the fact that Trump has now shown precisely how little he genuinely cares about Muslims. Trump quite calmly shattered the unwritten rule of always honouring Gold Star families. With an unnerving sense of composure he has questioned the silence of a grieving Muslim mother by suggesting that maybe she wasn’t allowed to say anything due to religious reasons. However, in her silence she was more presidential than Trump has ever been, and in her silence she had more dignity than all of the ignorant words of Trump combined.
He has also questioned the political motives of a grieving Muslim father, with Trump and some of his supporters suggesting that Khan Senior is somehow working for the Democrats, or that he may even be some sort of an ISIS sympathiser.
I know many Republicans are confused. After all, Khan Senior is a Muslim man whose Muslim son was killed by Muslims in a Muslim country in a war supported by Hillary Clinton. And, for the life of them, Republicans cannot understand why everybody seems to be verbally attacking Donald Trump. Go figure.
If Trump is not able to show a modicum of respect to Muslims such as these, the most honoured in America, then how on earth will he treat Muslims who are taxi drivers, or Muslims who are asylum seekers who cannot speak English? What hope is there, if any, for Muslims in America and around the globe under a President Trump?
It is also a sad indictment of Muslims globally when an idiot such as Trump can say the things he says about us, and propose the anti-Muslim policies he clearly wishes to implement once in power. There are over 1.5 billion of us and only 1 of him, yet who is doing the pushing and who is getting pushed?
Anyways, that’s enough philosophising from me. Below are many cartoons and YouTube clips from various comedians and commentators on the biggest political battle of Trump’s career so far, a battle that is far from over, the battle of Trump versus Khan. Enjoy!
The original speech at the DNC by Khizr Khan…
Tonight we are honoured to stand here as 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 goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.
We are 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 too, of being a military lawyer, but he put those dreams aside the day he sacrificed his life to save the lives of 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 disrespects other minorities; women; judges; even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls, and ban us from this country. Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future.
Let me ask you: have you even read the United States constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. [He pulls out his 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 brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.
We cannot solve our problems by building walls, sowing division. We are stronger together. And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our President.
In conclusion, I ask every patriot American, all Muslim immigrants, and all immigrants to not take this election lightly. This is a historic election, and I request to honour the sacrifice of my son – and on election day, take the time to get out and vote. And vote for the healer. vote for the strongest, most qualified candidate, Hillary Clinton, not the divider. God bless you, thank you.
Cartoonists react to the whole fiasco…
Some comments from other commentators…
Comments from the likes of Mark Fiore, Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Wajahat Ali, and Aziz Ansari…
That is an American founding document being inspirationally used as a middle finger. I did not know that was technically possible. – John Oliver
I love the fact…that there’s a supreme brown karmic justice: that a Muslim Pakistani immigrant American couple with funny accents and multi-syllable names, with mocha caramel skin right now are body slamming Donald J Trump left and right, and they are the couple reminding all Americans, Republicans and Democrats, about our Constitution, about our freedoms, about our values, about our core values that are under threat if a demagogue like Donald J Trump is elected. I love it. – Wajahat Ali