When I took to the stage to speak at the Democratic National Convention last week, I did so to honor my son, Humayun, who was killed 12 years ago while serving in the U.S. military in Iraq. But I also spoke to remind the American people that American Muslims are an integral thread of the American tapestry.
And that’s why I am also writing this now.
My wife and I have received an overwhelming level of support and kindness from all corners of American life since we appeared on the stage in Philadelphia. This is the America that Humayun, and others like him, fought and died for. This is why we came to this country, and this is why there is no other like it in the history of humanity — a country that can set aside differences and celebrate the common human experience freely.
We also appreciate the statements about our son from Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Mitch McConnell, and Donald Trump.
“Many Muslim-Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice. Capt. Khan was one such brave example,” Ryan said.
“Capt. Khan was an American hero, and like all Americans I’m grateful for the sacrifices that selfless young men like Capt. Khan and their families have made in the war on terror,” McConnell said.
We thank them for these warm words.
Donald Trump, for his part, described Humayun as “a hero to our country,” adding that “we should honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe.”
The trouble is that Mr. Trump’s remarks seem somewhat disingenuous in light of his stated policies toward, and his words about, Muslims. Again and again, he 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.
I have implored Trump to study the Constitution, I have implored the Republican leadership to rebuke Trump’s rhetoric and policies. But too often they have stayed quiet.
America is already great — our experience speaks to that. And the truth is, no single man can lay claim to the idea of making it great. That is why I implore Americans considering voting for a man who claims that only he can make the country great to think again. I ask them to show their better selves come November — to reject fear, reject hatred, reject division.
America, embrace your neighbor, embrace liberty, justice and freedom for all. Choose a uniter. Choose a healer. Choose the most qualified candidate — Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump.