Khizr and Ghazala Khan speak with USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page at their home in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 8, 2016. The Khans discussed what they expected and what has happened since their address at the Democratic National Convention. Photo by Jarrad Henderson, courtesy of USA Today

Khans blame Donald Trump for growing intolerance toward Muslims

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Gold Star parents whose appearance at the Democratic National Convention created a firestorm for Donald Trump, say they felt compelled to speak out because the welcome they felt when they immigrated to the United States nearly four decades ago is eroding in the face of this year's presidential campaign.

Even the decision to wear a hijab, the traditional head scarf worn by some Muslim women including Ghazala Khan, has become the source of anxiety.

"You see people wearing scarves, people are pointing fingers at them and throwing them out of flights and calling them names when they pass by and all of that," Khizr Khan, 66, said on Capital Download. "Most Americans are against this kind of nonsense, but there is an element that has gotten voice, has been encouraged by this political rhetoric, and especially this election season has made it worse."

He says Trump's call to ban all Muslim immigrants — a position the Republican nominee has since modified — and his provocative statements against Mexicans and others bear some of the responsibility for a loss of civility and restraint. "The voices that wouldn't dare because they were afraid of the decent America to condemn them ... have gathered courage to show their ugliness," he told USA Today's weekly video newsmaker series.

Ghazala Khan speak with USA TODAY Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page at their home in Charlottesville, Va. on August 8, 2016. The Khan's discussed what they expected and what has happened since their address at the Democratic National Convention. Photo by Jarrad Henderson, courtesy of USA TODAY

Ghazala Khan speak with USA TODAY Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page at their home in Charlottesville, Va. on August 8, 2016. The Khan's discussed what they expected and what has happened since their address at the Democratic National Convention. Photo by Jarrad Henderson, courtesy of USA TODAY

Comments

  1. I don’t think we can blame Trump for the erosion of the sense of welcome to Muslims in the US over the last few decades. Surely it’s the continuous and countless acts of terrorism promulgating Islam and emphasized in the media taking care of that. Regardless of whether or not those acts are representative of Islam, it’s hard for most Americans to avoid tying them together. Fair or not, peaceful Muslims need to address that concern if they desire acceptance in the US; it’s not reasonable to assume that the religion that brought us 9/11 will be readily accepted in the place most strongly affected by it.

  2. I confess. I have only read the title, but perhaps they should educated themselves on ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Quaida, and the list goes on and on.

  3. “[Mr. Khan] says Trump’s call to ban all Muslim immigrants — a position the Republican nominee has since modified — and his provocative statements against Mexicans and others bear some of the responsibility for a loss of civility and restraint.”

    Yes indeed. Trump is cruel, small and petty. He has a great deal to apologize for, but being the shameless thing he is, I doubt that will ever happen. He hasn’t the decency to do that.

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