Society

Khizr Khan Says Travel Privileges Are Being Reviewed

| by Robert Fowler

Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father of the late U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, has canceled a scheduled speaking event in Canada, saying he had been informed that his travel privileges are under review. A U.S. citizen, Khan has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump's rhetoric towards Muslims and his immigration policies.

On March 6, Khan canceled his trip to Toronto, where has was slated to hold a speaking event on March 7. He issued an apology for the abrupt cancelation, saying he had been informed that his ability to travel was being reviewed, The Week reports.

"This turn of events is not just of deep concern to me but to all my fellow Americans who cherish our freedom to travel abroad," Khan said in an official statement. "I have not been given any reason as to why."

Khan did not provide any direct evidence his travel privileges were being reviewed.

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Khan, who has been an American citizen for more than 30 years, debuted on the national stage during the Democratic National Convention in July 2016. Standing beside his wife, Ghazala Khan, he blasted Trump for what he had said about American Muslims and his proposed Muslim travel ban.

"Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims," Khan said, according to ABC News. "He disrespects other minorities ... He vows to build walls and ban us from this country."

Khan, whose 27-year-old son Humayun was killed in 2004 in the Iraq War, accused Trump of betraying U.S. service members.

"Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery?" Khan said. "Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America -- you will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have have sacrificed nothing and no one."

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On March 3, Khan criticized Trump's first executive order temporarily prohibiting the admittance of refugees into the U.S., with an indefinite hold on Syrian refugees, as well as a travel freeze on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

"As a patriotic American, I am all for the safety and security of our country," Khan told the Toronto Star. "But Trump is going about it the wrong way. He is putting the lives of men and women serving in Muslim countries at risk and alienating local Muslims and strengthening our enemies."

On March 6, Trump signed a new executive order that revised the original directive after it was met with a series of legal hurdles. The new executive action exempts visa holders and Iraqi citizens from the travel freeze and no longer indefinitely bans Syrian refugees, The New York Times reports.

In an interview on Feb. 15, Khan expressed how he appreciated the civil rights afforded in the U.S. after growing up under martial law in Pakistan.

"I have lived and I have experienced the lack of basic civil liberties, basic human dignities," Khan told the Harvard Political Review. "It has made me appreciative of what we have in this country; the rights, the dignities, the Constitution, the legal system."

Sources: ABC NewsHarvard Political ReviewToronto StarThe Week / Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television/Flickr

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