The Gold Star father of Capt. Humayun Khan, who blasted President-elect Donald J. Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, told Breitbart News that he has “no animosity” towards Trump, though he still opposes Trump’s policies.
“I really have no animosity towards him, but towards his policies? Yes,” said Khizr Khan, a attorney and supporter of Hillary R. Clinton in the last presidential election.
“If he says: ‘We must reconcile. We will treat all citizens equally in all of this and there is no discrimination based on religion or race and all that’ I will support him,” Khan said.
“My country, my nation is divided, needs reconciliation, and nobody is taking that step,” he said.
“I am just amazed that after winning the election, I was hoping that Donald Trump or his surrogates would take pro-active steps to hearten people, to remove the divide, to take certain pro-active steps–public steps, statements, actions that would hearten the entire country and remove the divide,” he said.
Throughout the campaign, amid news stories of Islamic terror attacks overseas and at home, Trump took a skeptical line towards Islam, noting how often the ideology has been tied to murderous attacks. In December in 2015, following the mass murder of 14 Americans by two Muslims in San Bernardino, California, Trump cited data showing “great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population,” and called for a temporary halt to the awarding of Green Cards to Muslims living in Islamic countries “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Islamic advocacy groups sharply oppose limits on the migration of Muslims into the United States. Those groups include the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which Khan aided recently by hosting a Dec. 17 fundraiser.
CAIR has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding operation. U.S. court documents and news reports show that at least five of CAIR’s associates — either board members, employees or former employees — have been jailed or repatriated for various financial and terror-related offenses.
Khan was in the audience for Wednesday’s confirmation hearing for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R.-Ala.), Trump’s nominee for attorney general — a nomination that Khan opposes.
The attorney did not call attention to himself as he passed the harried reporters just outside the Kennedy Caucus Room. On his brown trench coat he wore a small pin with the “Big Red One” shoulder patch of the Ist Infantry Division, the division his son was serving with when he was killed in Baqubah, Iraq, in 2004.
Although, he did not testify, Khan released an open letter Monday critical of Sessions and what Khan said was his lack of support for voting rights.
“There is no constitutional principle or American value that is strengthened by making it harder for some Americans, especially those who are already disadvantaged, to exercise their right to vote,” he wrote. “People around the world look to our Constitution with envy, they are inspired by its promise of equal protection of the law to everyone–not just people from powerful families, or a favored ethnic group or religious community.”
In the letter Khan wrote that three decades ago, senators were correct when they voted down President Ronald W. Reagan’s attempt to put Sessions on the federal bench. “His record since then does not give us any reason to believe that those senators were in error.”
Khan told Breitbart News he does not know Sessions personally, so he does not want to weigh in on his character.
“All I know is his voting record as a senator and then the statements he made yesterday,” he said.
Sessions came before the Senate Judiciary Committee for two days of hearings, Monday and Tuesday, and Khan said he took note that Sessions testified that as attorney general he would not support a ban on all Muslims entering the country, surveillance of mosques, or a registry for individuals identifying as Muslim.
“I am a patriotic American Muslim, so yesterday it was heartening to hear him say this,” Khan said.
The question for Khan is whether Sessions and Trump now agree, he said.
Khan said he knows that Sessions has the votes to be confirmed by the Senate, but the hearings were an opportunity for people to air their concerns.