Khizr Khan Shills for Hillary

As Gold Star parents, Khizr Khan and his wife, Ghazala Khan, were deserving of every respect from Americans for the loss of their son, Captain Humayun Khan (US Army, 1st Infantry Division), killed while on a tour of duty in Iraq in June 2004. But the controversy they ignited by appearing on stage at the 2016 DNC in Philadelphia was entirely of their making. The result should be Americans learning more about Khizr Khan that otherwise would remain unexamined.

Humayun Khan was an American patriot who happened to be a Muslim by birth. There are, and have been, many Muslims who serve in the United States armed forces as proud and dedicated Americans. There has also been countless number of Muslims of various ethnicities at different times and circumstances who bore arms and sacrificed alongside Americans in wars waged for the defense of freedom and democracy. In World War II, for instance, there were over two million Indians and among them many were Muslims who voluntarily joined British India’s armed forces and fought against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in the North African, European and Asian theatres of that immense struggle against fascist totalitarianism. And during the Cold War decades a majority of Muslim countries were allies of the West against the Soviet Union and communism.

At a time in contemporary Muslim history when growing numbers of Muslims, especially those from the greater Middle East and North Africa, are waging an asymmetrical conflict ignited by Islamists (or radical extremist Muslims) against the West, Khizr Khan was presented with a rare opportunity as a Gold Star parent to speak about how gravely misguided, even perverted, are those among Muslims who have declared jihad (holy war) of Islam against the West. His son had made the highest sacrifice any individual can be called upon to make in defense of freedom and individual rights as an American soldier. The sacrifice of his son bestowed upon Khizr Khan the credibility to draw upon the best of both American culture and Muslim tradition in putting to rest the false notion that Islam as a religion calls upon Muslims to make war on the ideals that America represents; and to point out that while the conflict since 9/11 between a segment of the world’s Muslim population and the West is undeniable, yet this is an old conflict periodically renewed between freedom and totalitarianism in which present day Islamists are freedom’s most recent enemy.

But Khizr Khan also knew that the opportunity he was given to speak to a vast audience from the DNC stage came with a price tag. He had to know that Hillary’s campaign team was using him cynically to denounce Donald Trump as a bigot, and that he was chosen as a Gold Star parent to entrap the Republican nominee in a public furor that might further inflate Trump’s negative approval rating in the polls. Khizr Khan had a choice, however, to make between being a shill for the Democratic Party and remaining true to the memory of his soldier son, buried in the Arlington National Cemetery as an American patriot and not as a Democrat or a Republican. Khizr Khan chose to be a shill and in making that choice he should have known he was trading the public respect reserved for Gold Star parents to be above criticism for public scrutiny of his past and present.

Khizr Khan took to the DNC stage and launched his vitriol against Trump after introducing himself and his wife as parents of Capt. Humayun Khan whose portrait graced the screen behind the podium. He said, “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.” He then continued histrionically, “Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the US Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.”

With these words Khizr Khan waded into the turbulent waters of American politics in the midst of a presidential campaign impugning the character of the Republican nominee. A moment of honest reflection on his part might have cautioned him that his attack on Trump’s character would not bear comparison to that of Gold Star parents, such as Patricia Smith, questioning the character and judgment of Hillary for the deaths of the four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012.  Mrs. Smith, the mother of Sean Smith killed in Benghazi, has insisted that she was lied to by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the circumstances surrounding the death of her son and that she held the Secretary responsible for failing to order a timely rescue mission that might have saved the four Americans killed by Islamist terrorists.

Indeed, if Khizr Khan had been honest with himself he would know that Trump bore no responsibility for the death of his son. On the contrary, it was Hillary who voted in 2002 for the joint resolution authorizing the use of force against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq responsible for casualties in the war that followed and among whom was Humayun Khan in 2004. Trump instead, as an outsider in politics, had criticized that policy for which Americans since then have borne the costs for no good end.

But Khizr Khan on the DNC stage turned himself into a fully pledged Democratic Party operative working for Hillary’s campaign. In a post published on the CNN webpage after his stage performance in Philadelphia, Khan wrote, “Again and again, he [Trump] has said things that are counter to the America we experience every day. He talks about banning Muslims. His supporters talk about religious tests. But if freedom and liberty really mean something, then Trump’s fear-mongering has no place in it.” Khan’s animus towards Trump, as we might note, had nothing to do with whether or not the Republican nominee had been respectful of Gold Star parents; instead, as an American Muslim of Pakistani origin, Khan was out to demonize Trump as a bigot, peddling the Democratic Party’s talking points for his policy on immigration, illegal migrants, and the call to ban Muslims entering the United States until Americans understand well enough what drives so many of them toward such deep-seated hatred of the West to engage in terrorist violence.

It is an old adage that the sins of the father cannot be held against the son. In analyzing the “Khizr Khan episode” it may also be said that the father cannot use the sacrifice of the son as a shield for partisan political purposes. Trump pushed back and the predictable furor erupted just as Hillary’s campaign team had likely expected by putting Khizr Khan on stage. The mainstream media no longer pretending to be fair and objective in reporting on Trump portrayed him as defaming Gold Star parents. Some leading Republicans, including the Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator John McCain, joined the parade with the Democrats in condemning Trump for unacceptable remarks directed toward Khizr Khan and his wife.

In the furor what got overlooked, or was deliberately obscured by the media, was Khizr Khan was involved in a political stunt, and that Trump and his allies could not be rightfully denied their push back. Khan’s right to express his political views is protected speech, as is the right of others to respond. Apparently Khan wanted to have it both ways, to express his political views as an American citizen and, as a Gold Star parent, to be shielded from criticisms that might follow. The controversy surrounding Khan and Trump paradoxically illustrates the extent to which political correctness has become restrictive of public discourse in American society and punitive against those who breach its boundaries.

In the politically correct world of the Democratic Party there are protected groups based on identity politics and claims of victimhood – the ethnic minorities, the Black Lives Matter activists, the sex and gender based activists, the social justice warriors, the environmentalists, the third world anti-Semites of all sorts – and among whom increasingly is to be found those Muslims pushing the canard of Islamophobia to silence anyone from questioning the politics of Islamists and the use of Islam to legitimize their jihad. In calling for a ban on Muslims from entering the United States, Trump has become the personification of the “Great Satan” for most Muslims and, hence, their willingness to volunteer in the role of “useful idiots” for the Democratic Party and vilify him.

Under normal circumstances or, in other words, where political correctness is contemptuously dismissed as a tool for blackmail and ostracism, Khizr Khan’s role as a Democratic party operative and not as a Gold Star parent would have been open to media scrutiny. But the mainstream media for all purposes in this election year has become an anti-Trump media and, consequently, since Khizr Khan is a member of the Democratic Party’s various protected groups any one questioning his motive or background has to be prepared for branding as a bigot by the media. This is enough of a deterrent for most people, including ironically many Republicans, and it might be assumed that Khizr Khan knew in advance how well he would be protected following his brazen vilification of Trump from the podium of the biggest stage to which he was invited.

But who is Khizr Khan, apart from being a Pakistani-American and a Gold Star parent?

Khan has provided a clue himself in the essay on Islamic law, or Shariah, he published in 1983 in the Houston Journal of International Law. He wrote this essay, as indicated in footnotes, while residing in Saudi Arabia and before immigrating to the United States.  He introduced himself to his readers as a co-founder of the Journal of Contemporary Issues in Muslim Law, which presumably (I have not found it available on the internet) is dedicated to elaborating, defending, and promoting Shariah as his Houston Journal article, “Juristic Classification of Islamic Law,” illustrates. He also expressed in the footnotes, “The contribution to this article of S. Ramadan’s writings is gratefully acknowledged.”

We may ask why did Khizr Khan felt obliged to “gratefully” acknowledge the works of S. Ramadan. In academic writings an acknowledgement of someone as a recognized authority is the manner in which an author might authenticate his own work. Among Muslim writers, especially when the writings are related to Islam and its traditions, an acknowledgment to the works of notable authorities follows the tradition of citing the isnad (the chain or list of authorities) established as the formula in the classical period of Muslim history when reporting and classifying the traditions (“hadith”) of the Prophet as authentic.

Khizr Khan was dutifully following the isnad tradition in making his acknowledgement. This indicated to readers, especially Muslims since the subject of the essay dealt with the Shariah, his views on the subject were in accordance with those of S. Ramadan. But since Khizr Khan was residing in Saudi Arabia at the time he wrote the essay, the acknowledgement also indicated he was in some manner an associate of S. Ramadan, which then gave him and his writing additional importance that would come from an association with someone of high regard.

S. Ramadan was Said Ramadan, the son-in-law of the Egyptian Hasan al-Banna who founded the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). In the closed circle of the MB “aristocracy” Said Ramadan (1926-1995) was a prince and heir-apparent to the founder.

Once MB was declared illegal by the military regime in Egypt led by Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser following an assassination attempt on him by MB hirelings in 1954, Said Ramadan and other MB functionaries took refuge in Saudi Arabia. Ramadan later moved to West Germany and eventually settled in Switzerland. Among his circle of friends and followers Ramadan came to be known as the MB’s “foreign minister.” He received funds from Saudi Arabia as he worked to establish an MB presence in Europe, and his activities eventually brought him into contact with the CIA. Ramadan was also one of the original members of the first council of executives of the World Muslim League established and funded by the Saudi kingdom to spread Wahhabism, an extreme fundamentalist theology of Islam that is the official doctrine of Saudi Arabia.

In 1953 Ramadan was part of a Muslim delegation invited to visit the United States, and an arrangement was made for President Eisenhower to meet with the delegates in the White House. It was the era of the Cold War and as it escalated intelligence officials in Washington saw potential in the MB as an anti-communist front organization. Ramadan benefitted from the circumstances of the era, and with assistance from the CIA took control of a mosque in Munich that became one of the main centers of MB activities in Europe. Ian Johnson in A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West (2010) tells the story of Said Ramadan in great detail; and Paul Berman in The Flight of the Intellectuals (2010) discusses at length the ideology, or theology, of the MB and its intellectual heavyweights, Said Ramadan and his son, Tariq Ramadan, and among others Sayyid Qutb revered by the Islamist terrorists.

Khizr Khan’s acknowledgement of Said Ramadan in his article on the Shariah was not accidental. It was deliberate and it provided a clue to his ideological leanings. As someone from Punjab, Pakistan’s heartland, he came of age at a time when the politics of his native country was greatly influenced by the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and torn apart by military dictatorship, war, genocide, and the “Islamization of Pakistan” initiated by the military dictator General Zia ul Haq.

Said Ramadan visited Pakistan and he had a following among Pakistanis. The Pakistani counterpart to the MB is the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and Punjab is its citadel. It would be most unlikely that Khizr Khan was not exposed to the ideology of the JI that has been imbibed by the Pakistani ruling class, and is preached in mosques and taught in religious schools across the country. There is no indication that at any time he disavowed this ideology.

There is also no public record of Khizr Khan denouncing Islamists of any stripe in the United States, or elsewhere. This silence on the part of Khizr Khan stands out given the sacrifice of his son as an American patriot and when one of the most horrific terrorist incidents after 9/11 was committed by Major Nidal Hasan, an American Muslim, killing 13 and wounding 32 in a shooting spree in Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009.

Khizr Khan’s silence raises a whole lot of questions. As contemporaries, my experience of Pakistan is as vivid as would likely be his. The defining event in our lifetime was the break up of Pakistan in 1971. I lived through the horrors of that year in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan), survived the genocide and war unleashed by the military dictator General Yahya Khan, and was fortunate to immigrate to Canada. I understand well the Pakistani culture from the inside. It is a culture of denial in which the elite cultivates the art of hypocrisy, and bigotry against religious and ethnic minorities is widespread.

Pakistan is the country that provided safe haven to Osama bin Laden, and has used, misused, and abused its relationship with the United States that Carlotta Gall chronicled in The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014 (2014). The bulk of the Pakistani army is recruited from Punjab from where Khizr Khan originates. This was the army that engaged in the massacre of Bengali Muslims and Hindus, the citizenry of its own country, in 1971. Pakistanis have yet to make an official apology for one of the worst crimes against humanity in Bangladesh, former East Pakistan, in the last century.

Khizr Khan’s silence in publicly disavowing the jihadist ideology of MB and JI, or in denouncing those who have carried out several Islamist terrorist attacks inside the United States, is deserving of scrutiny since he chose to go public in smearing Donald Trump as a bigot, while deriding Trump’s policies as a Republican nominee.

Since Khizr Khan voluntarily stepped forward into the public arena as a Democratic Party operative, it has been a dereliction of duty on the part of the media not to probe into his political leanings, his likely associations with Islamist organizations, his connection with Said Ramadan and Saudi funded institutes to propagate Wahhabi jihadist ideology, and the work he does as a lawyer for clients in Pakistan and the Middle East. His status as a Gold Star parent does not exempt him from giving answers to questions that are relevant for the national security interests of the United States.

Salim Mansur teaches at Western University and is author of award winning book, Delectable Lie: a liberal repudiation of multiculturalism.

As Gold Star parents, Khizr Khan and his wife, Ghazala Khan, were deserving of every respect from Americans for the loss of their son, Captain Humayun Khan (US Army, 1st Infantry Division), killed while on a tour of duty in Iraq in June 2004. But the controversy they ignited by appearing on stage at the 2016 DNC in Philadelphia was entirely of their making. The result should be Americans learning more about Khizr Khan that otherwise would remain unexamined.

Humayun Khan was an American patriot who happened to be a Muslim by birth. There are, and have been, many Muslims who serve in the United States armed forces as proud and dedicated Americans. There has also been countless number of Muslims of various ethnicities at different times and circumstances who bore arms and sacrificed alongside Americans in wars waged for the defense of freedom and democracy. In World War II, for instance, there were over two million Indians and among them many were Muslims who voluntarily joined British India’s armed forces and fought against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in the North African, European and Asian theatres of that immense struggle against fascist totalitarianism. And during the Cold War decades a majority of Muslim countries were allies of the West against the Soviet Union and communism.

At a time in contemporary Muslim history when growing numbers of Muslims, especially those from the greater Middle East and North Africa, are waging an asymmetrical conflict ignited by Islamists (or radical extremist Muslims) against the West, Khizr Khan was presented with a rare opportunity as a Gold Star parent to speak about how gravely misguided, even perverted, are those among Muslims who have declared jihad (holy war) of Islam against the West. His son had made the highest sacrifice any individual can be called upon to make in defense of freedom and individual rights as an American soldier. The sacrifice of his son bestowed upon Khizr Khan the credibility to draw upon the best of both American culture and Muslim tradition in putting to rest the false notion that Islam as a religion calls upon Muslims to make war on the ideals that America represents; and to point out that while the conflict since 9/11 between a segment of the world’s Muslim population and the West is undeniable, yet this is an old conflict periodically renewed between freedom and totalitarianism in which present day Islamists are freedom’s most recent enemy.

But Khizr Khan also knew that the opportunity he was given to speak to a vast audience from the DNC stage came with a price tag. He had to know that Hillary’s campaign team was using him cynically to denounce Donald Trump as a bigot, and that he was chosen as a Gold Star parent to entrap the Republican nominee in a public furor that might further inflate Trump’s negative approval rating in the polls. Khizr Khan had a choice, however, to make between being a shill for the Democratic Party and remaining true to the memory of his soldier son, buried in the Arlington National Cemetery as an American patriot and not as a Democrat or a Republican. Khizr Khan chose to be a shill and in making that choice he should have known he was trading the public respect reserved for Gold Star parents to be above criticism for public scrutiny of his past and present.

Khizr Khan took to the DNC stage and launched his vitriol against Trump after introducing himself and his wife as parents of Capt. Humayun Khan whose portrait graced the screen behind the podium. He said, “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.” He then continued histrionically, “Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the US Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.”

With these words Khizr Khan waded into the turbulent waters of American politics in the midst of a presidential campaign impugning the character of the Republican nominee. A moment of honest reflection on his part might have cautioned him that his attack on Trump’s character would not bear comparison to that of Gold Star parents, such as Patricia Smith, questioning the character and judgment of Hillary for the deaths of the four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012.  Mrs. Smith, the mother of Sean Smith killed in Benghazi, has insisted that she was lied to by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the circumstances surrounding the death of her son and that she held the Secretary responsible for failing to order a timely rescue mission that might have saved the four Americans killed by Islamist terrorists.

Indeed, if Khizr Khan had been honest with himself he would know that Trump bore no responsibility for the death of his son. On the contrary, it was Hillary who voted in 2002 for the joint resolution authorizing the use of force against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq responsible for casualties in the war that followed and among whom was Humayun Khan in 2004. Trump instead, as an outsider in politics, had criticized that policy for which Americans since then have borne the costs for no good end.

But Khizr Khan on the DNC stage turned himself into a fully pledged Democratic Party operative working for Hillary’s campaign. In a post published on the CNN webpage after his stage performance in Philadelphia, Khan wrote, “Again and again, he [Trump] has said things that are counter to the America we experience every day. He talks about banning Muslims. His supporters talk about religious tests. But if freedom and liberty really mean something, then Trump’s fear-mongering has no place in it.” Khan’s animus towards Trump, as we might note, had nothing to do with whether or not the Republican nominee had been respectful of Gold Star parents; instead, as an American Muslim of Pakistani origin, Khan was out to demonize Trump as a bigot, peddling the Democratic Party’s talking points for his policy on immigration, illegal migrants, and the call to ban Muslims entering the United States until Americans understand well enough what drives so many of them toward such deep-seated hatred of the West to engage in terrorist violence.

It is an old adage that the sins of the father cannot be held against the son. In analyzing the “Khizr Khan episode” it may also be said that the father cannot use the sacrifice of the son as a shield for partisan political purposes. Trump pushed back and the predictable furor erupted just as Hillary’s campaign team had likely expected by putting Khizr Khan on stage. The mainstream media no longer pretending to be fair and objective in reporting on Trump portrayed him as defaming Gold Star parents. Some leading Republicans, including the Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator John McCain, joined the parade with the Democrats in condemning Trump for unacceptable remarks directed toward Khizr Khan and his wife.

In the furor what got overlooked, or was deliberately obscured by the media, was Khizr Khan was involved in a political stunt, and that Trump and his allies could not be rightfully denied their push back. Khan’s right to express his political views is protected speech, as is the right of others to respond. Apparently Khan wanted to have it both ways, to express his political views as an American citizen and, as a Gold Star parent, to be shielded from criticisms that might follow. The controversy surrounding Khan and Trump paradoxically illustrates the extent to which political correctness has become restrictive of public discourse in American society and punitive against those who breach its boundaries.

In the politically correct world of the Democratic Party there are protected groups based on identity politics and claims of victimhood – the ethnic minorities, the Black Lives Matter activists, the sex and gender based activists, the social justice warriors, the environmentalists, the third world anti-Semites of all sorts – and among whom increasingly is to be found those Muslims pushing the canard of Islamophobia to silence anyone from questioning the politics of Islamists and the use of Islam to legitimize their jihad. In calling for a ban on Muslims from entering the United States, Trump has become the personification of the “Great Satan” for most Muslims and, hence, their willingness to volunteer in the role of “useful idiots” for the Democratic Party and vilify him.

Under normal circumstances or, in other words, where political correctness is contemptuously dismissed as a tool for blackmail and ostracism, Khizr Khan’s role as a Democratic party operative and not as a Gold Star parent would have been open to media scrutiny. But the mainstream media for all purposes in this election year has become an anti-Trump media and, consequently, since Khizr Khan is a member of the Democratic Party’s various protected groups any one questioning his motive or background has to be prepared for branding as a bigot by the media. This is enough of a deterrent for most people, including ironically many Republicans, and it might be assumed that Khizr Khan knew in advance how well he would be protected following his brazen vilification of Trump from the podium of the biggest stage to which he was invited.

But who is Khizr Khan, apart from being a Pakistani-American and a Gold Star parent?

Khan has provided a clue himself in the essay on Islamic law, or Shariah, he published in 1983 in the Houston Journal of International Law. He wrote this essay, as indicated in footnotes, while residing in Saudi Arabia and before immigrating to the United States.  He introduced himself to his readers as a co-founder of the Journal of Contemporary Issues in Muslim Law, which presumably (I have not found it available on the internet) is dedicated to elaborating, defending, and promoting Shariah as his Houston Journal article, “Juristic Classification of Islamic Law,” illustrates. He also expressed in the footnotes, “The contribution to this article of S. Ramadan’s writings is gratefully acknowledged.”

We may ask why did Khizr Khan felt obliged to “gratefully” acknowledge the works of S. Ramadan. In academic writings an acknowledgement of someone as a recognized authority is the manner in which an author might authenticate his own work. Among Muslim writers, especially when the writings are related to Islam and its traditions, an acknowledgment to the works of notable authorities follows the tradition of citing the isnad (the chain or list of authorities) established as the formula in the classical period of Muslim history when reporting and classifying the traditions (“hadith”) of the Prophet as authentic.

Khizr Khan was dutifully following the isnad tradition in making his acknowledgement. This indicated to readers, especially Muslims since the subject of the essay dealt with the Shariah, his views on the subject were in accordance with those of S. Ramadan. But since Khizr Khan was residing in Saudi Arabia at the time he wrote the essay, the acknowledgement also indicated he was in some manner an associate of S. Ramadan, which then gave him and his writing additional importance that would come from an association with someone of high regard.

S. Ramadan was Said Ramadan, the son-in-law of the Egyptian Hasan al-Banna who founded the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). In the closed circle of the MB “aristocracy” Said Ramadan (1926-1995) was a prince and heir-apparent to the founder.

Once MB was declared illegal by the military regime in Egypt led by Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser following an assassination attempt on him by MB hirelings in 1954, Said Ramadan and other MB functionaries took refuge in Saudi Arabia. Ramadan later moved to West Germany and eventually settled in Switzerland. Among his circle of friends and followers Ramadan came to be known as the MB’s “foreign minister.” He received funds from Saudi Arabia as he worked to establish an MB presence in Europe, and his activities eventually brought him into contact with the CIA. Ramadan was also one of the original members of the first council of executives of the World Muslim League established and funded by the Saudi kingdom to spread Wahhabism, an extreme fundamentalist theology of Islam that is the official doctrine of Saudi Arabia.

In 1953 Ramadan was part of a Muslim delegation invited to visit the United States, and an arrangement was made for President Eisenhower to meet with the delegates in the White House. It was the era of the Cold War and as it escalated intelligence officials in Washington saw potential in the MB as an anti-communist front organization. Ramadan benefitted from the circumstances of the era, and with assistance from the CIA took control of a mosque in Munich that became one of the main centers of MB activities in Europe. Ian Johnson in A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West (2010) tells the story of Said Ramadan in great detail; and Paul Berman in The Flight of the Intellectuals (2010) discusses at length the ideology, or theology, of the MB and its intellectual heavyweights, Said Ramadan and his son, Tariq Ramadan, and among others Sayyid Qutb revered by the Islamist terrorists.

Khizr Khan’s acknowledgement of Said Ramadan in his article on the Shariah was not accidental. It was deliberate and it provided a clue to his ideological leanings. As someone from Punjab, Pakistan’s heartland, he came of age at a time when the politics of his native country was greatly influenced by the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and torn apart by military dictatorship, war, genocide, and the “Islamization of Pakistan” initiated by the military dictator General Zia ul Haq.

Said Ramadan visited Pakistan and he had a following among Pakistanis. The Pakistani counterpart to the MB is the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), and Punjab is its citadel. It would be most unlikely that Khizr Khan was not exposed to the ideology of the JI that has been imbibed by the Pakistani ruling class, and is preached in mosques and taught in religious schools across the country. There is no indication that at any time he disavowed this ideology.

There is also no public record of Khizr Khan denouncing Islamists of any stripe in the United States, or elsewhere. This silence on the part of Khizr Khan stands out given the sacrifice of his son as an American patriot and when one of the most horrific terrorist incidents after 9/11 was committed by Major Nidal Hasan, an American Muslim, killing 13 and wounding 32 in a shooting spree in Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009.

Khizr Khan’s silence raises a whole lot of questions. As contemporaries, my experience of Pakistan is as vivid as would likely be his. The defining event in our lifetime was the break up of Pakistan in 1971. I lived through the horrors of that year in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan), survived the genocide and war unleashed by the military dictator General Yahya Khan, and was fortunate to immigrate to Canada. I understand well the Pakistani culture from the inside. It is a culture of denial in which the elite cultivates the art of hypocrisy, and bigotry against religious and ethnic minorities is widespread.

Pakistan is the country that provided safe haven to Osama bin Laden, and has used, misused, and abused its relationship with the United States that Carlotta Gall chronicled in The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014 (2014). The bulk of the Pakistani army is recruited from Punjab from where Khizr Khan originates. This was the army that engaged in the massacre of Bengali Muslims and Hindus, the citizenry of its own country, in 1971. Pakistanis have yet to make an official apology for one of the worst crimes against humanity in Bangladesh, former East Pakistan, in the last century.

Khizr Khan’s silence in publicly disavowing the jihadist ideology of MB and JI, or in denouncing those who have carried out several Islamist terrorist attacks inside the United States, is deserving of scrutiny since he chose to go public in smearing Donald Trump as a bigot, while deriding Trump’s policies as a Republican nominee.

Since Khizr Khan voluntarily stepped forward into the public arena as a Democratic Party operative, it has been a dereliction of duty on the part of the media not to probe into his political leanings, his likely associations with Islamist organizations, his connection with Said Ramadan and Saudi funded institutes to propagate Wahhabi jihadist ideology, and the work he does as a lawyer for clients in Pakistan and the Middle East. His status as a Gold Star parent does not exempt him from giving answers to questions that are relevant for the national security interests of the United States.

Salim Mansur teaches at Western University and is author of award winning book, Delectable Lie: a liberal repudiation of multiculturalism.