Captain Humayun S. M. Khan was a true American hero.
In June of 2004, Captain Khan was serving in Iraq with the 201st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division. He was at a designated military checkpoint when a vehicle with two men inside approached. Khan immediately yelled for his squad to “hit the dirt” when the driver didn’t stop as he had ordered. Khan continued to walk toward the vehicle as his fellow soldiers complied with his orders. The vehicle exploded and killed Captain Khan.
For his service to his country, Captain Khan was posthumously awarded both the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He was also laid to rest with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
Captain Khan was also a proud Muslim American.
And now his father, Khizir Khan, has something very important to say to the Islamophobic Donald Trump. It is a message all Americans need to hear.
Khizr Khan told Vocativ:
“Muslims are American, Muslims are citizens, Muslims participat[e] in the well-being of this country as American citizens. We are proud American citizens. It’s the values [of this country] that brought us here, not our religion. Trump’s position on these issues do not represent those values.”
Mr. Khan also noted that there was a reason his son joined the armed forces in the first place and made the sacrifice he did on that fateful day in 2004:
“We still wonder what made him take those 10 steps [towards the car]. Maybe that’s the point where all the values, all the service to country, all the things he learned in this country kicked in. It was those values that made him take those 10 steps. Those 10 steps told us we did not make [a] mistake in moving to this country. These were the values we wanted to adopt. Not religious values, human values.”
As Captain Khan’s obituary states so eloquently, so movingly:
“His colleagues and superiors remembered him for his courage, honesty, sense of humor and grace while in the field, even under pressure. Captain Khan’s colleagues eulogized his exemplary services and praised him for the leadership he provided to his troops.”
It should also be pointed out that Muslim Americans have served honorably in the U.S. military since the American revolution. They fought in the trenches of World War I. They stormed the beaches at Normandy in World War II, winning decisive victories over Germany and Japan. Many are also engaged in our current battle against extremists such as ISIS.
So if anyone is a threat to this country, it is not Muslim Americans. It is bigoted, narrow-minded merchants of hate and division such as Donald Trump.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.