At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Gold Star parents of a cadet who was killed in Iraq, challenged then-candidate Donald Trump about his rhetoric around immigration and Muslims. Now Khizr Khan has a book of his own, “An American Family.”
It was an afterthought; a 99-cent pocket Constitution that Khizr Khan bought in bulk, so he could give one to each of the Army ROTC cadets from the University of Virginia who came to his home to honor his son, a former cadet like them who was killed in Iraq in 2004.
“Each of you will be taking an oath soon to defend this Constitution,” Khan told the cadets. “Please read it as you prepare to defend it … regardless of the cost.”
That little book would become so much more for Khan after he pulled it from his jacket at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, held it up and addressed then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who had spoken out against immigrants and Muslims.
“Have you even read the United States Constitution?” Khan famously asked, as his wife, Ghazala, stood stoically beside him. “I will gladly lend you my copy.”
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That copy is now so iconic that “it has been retired,” Khan said, and donated — by request — to the Virginia Historical Society.
Now Khan is traveling the country with a book of his own, “An American Family,” which tells how his life led him from Pakistan to the stage of the DNC, to cities all over the country, where he speaks about immigration, being a Muslim American, a Gold Star father and a patriot.
Khan will speak and sign copies of his book on Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. at Seattle University’s Campion Ballroom. The event is free.
“The book is not our story; it’s the story of every immigrant,” Khan said the other day.
Khan first came into the public eye when he was interviewed by a reporter about then-candidate Trump’s suggestion that Muslims be banned from entering the United States. The story caught the attention of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which asked the Khans to speak at the convention as Muslim immigrants and Gold Star parents. Their middle son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed by a suicide bomber while stationed in Iraq in 2004.
At first, Khan and his wife didn’t want to enter the political fray. But then Khan attended a birthday party with his grandchildren and heard from parents whose…