The parents of a soldier who died while on active service with the US Army in Iraq have accused Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of ignorance for his criticism of them after their appearance at the Democratic National Convention.
Ghazala Khan, the mother of slain US Army Captain Humayun Khan, wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post that explained why she stood without speaking on the Democratic Party convention stage last week as her husband castigated Trump for his comments about Muslims.
“Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t allowed to say anything. That is not true,” Mrs Khan wrote, adding that she did not speak because of her pain over the 2004 death of her son.
“When Donald Trump is talking about Islam, he is ignorant,”she wrote.
Trump stirred bipartisan outrage for his back and forth with the Khans. The Republican nominee lashed out at Khizr Khan, a US citizen of Pakistani origin and a Muslim, when Khan told of his war hero son at the Democrats’ convention and took issue with Trump’s call for a ban on the entry of Muslims into the United States.
Khizr Khan invited the Republican nominee to read the US Constitution and visit the graves of American soldiers.
In an interview on ABC’s This Week, Trump cast doubt on why Khan’s wife did not speak: “She was standing there, she had nothing to say, she probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say, you tell me,” Trump said.
Yesterday, he tweeted: “Captain Khan, killed 12 years ago, was a hero, but this is about RADICAL ISLAMIC TERROR and the weakness of our “leaders” to eradicate it!”
A little over half an hour later, Trump tweeted again, saying he had been “viciously attacked” by Khan at the convention. “Am I not allowed to respond?” he asked. The candidate also tried to change the subject to the war itself: “Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!”
On CNN yesterday, Khizr Khan said the couple had received a large outpouring of support after their appearance at the convention. He said people had seen the “blackness” of Trump’s character, adding that Trump’s family needed to “teach him some empathy”.
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said Trump displayed a “total misunderstanding” of US values in his criticism of the couple.
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