Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father-turned-Democrat operative, has challenged Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to take the naturalization test that all legal immigrants must take to become U.S. citizens.
“I challenge Trump to take the naturalization test with me any day. His is demagoguery and pandering for vote. A divider like Trump can never be the steward of this country,” Khan told the Huffington Post on Monday.
Khan was reacting to Trump’s speech earlier in the day in Youngstown, Ohio, where he addressed the topics of foreign policy, immigration, and radical Islam. Trump insisted that new immigrants would have to assimilate to American culture, rather than the other way around. “Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country,” Trump declared. “Only those who we expect to flourish in our country – and to embrace a tolerant American society – should be issued immigration visas.
Trump also proposed a new screening test for new immigrants:
In the Cold War, we had an ideological screening test. The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today.
In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law.
The context of Trump’s remarks was the recent radical Islamic terror attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos noted that with his new proposed test, which would be designed to screen out Muslims who did not abandon extreme anti-gay views, Trump had overtaken Democrats on gay rights.
But Trump’s proposal infuriated Khan, who stated recently that terror had “nothing to do with Islam.” He told the Huffington Post: “We reject all violence. We support better immigration policies. We stand as a testament to assimilation and being part of patriotic America as anyone else.”
Curiously, Khan was not the only one to challenge Trump to take the naturalization test, the Huffington Post notes: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid did so as well.
The naturalization test requires basic English proficiency, and includes basic questions about U.S. history, government and symbols. Most of the answers would be known by Americans with a grade-school-level civic education.
In that sense, his challenge to Trump is not just a challenge to his patriotism, but also to his intelligence.
Khan incorrectly stated at the Democratic National Convention that the U.S. Constitution bars the government from excluding immigrants — that is, non-residents and non-citizens — on the basis of religion.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.