Who Is Celebrated 'Patriot' Khizr Khan?
The bizarre and subversive world of pro-Sharia American loyalism.
The condition of American border detention centers “reminds us of the concentration camps of the Second World War,” stated Khizr Khan this past July 4 at Thomas Jefferson’s historic Monticello estate near Charlottesville, Virginia. This Holocaust-trivializing hyperbole was among the controversial statements at Monticello’s annual new citizen oath ceremony that indicate the disturbing questions surrounding this Gold Star father and contemporary political sensation.
The Charlottesville resident Khan has had numerous high profile speaking engagements on television, at the Oxford Union, and elsewhere since he burst onto the national scene at the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC). There he undertook a searing attack against then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in an address that profiled Khan’s son, Humayun, who valiantly fell in combat as an American army officer during the Iraq war. At Monticello, Thomas Jefferson Foundation President Leslie Greene Bowman introduced Khan as an “advocate for constitutional rights, religious liberty, civic engagement, and, importantly, national unity.”
Khan effused patriotic praise for cherished American institutions such as the Bill of Rights, a “sacred document.” As on past occasions, he stated that his study of the Constitution came to the conclusion that “there is none like our Rule of Law, our Separation of Power, our Checks and Balances,” although he only passed the New York State bar in 2010. He enthused that Charlottesville is the “blessed city of Thomas Jefferson, and home of Mr. Jefferson’s University,” the University of Virginia. (The local city council, which recently abolished the birthday of the slaveholder Jefferson as a city holiday, made no comment.)
Nonetheless, Khan worried about America, whose elections face “cyber and social media interference by our adversaries.” He noted a 2016 letter he had received from a retired military nurse with 20 years of service including World War II in Europe. The letter warned that America’s modern conditions “are so similar to the time of pre-second world war in Europe.”
Khan’s mixed Monticello remarks reflect the past practice of a man who, as at the DNC, always presents himself as among “patriotic Muslims with undivided loyalty to this country” amidst present societal threats. Even as Trump “consistently smears the character of Muslims,” Khan has proclaimed his opposition to “un-Americanness” and lauded America as the “most generous country in the world.” He has emphasized his belief in human equality, something he attributes to the influence of his grandfather, who was an admirer of the 13th-century Islamic Sufi mystic Rumi.
Khan has especially noted how his son, who came to the United States at age three, reflected the immigrant family’s embrace of American ideals. Humayun’s sacrificial life was a “testament” to America and “speaks to the goodness of this country,” Khan has said. “Caring for others, sacrifice, standing up for those who needed his support…all that was made here,” particularly during Humayun’s University of Virginia college years.
However, various details of Khan’s life offer a more troubling, less pro-American portrait. He has disturbingly written that for Muslims the Quran “is the absolute authority from which springs the very conception of legality and every legal obligation.” He has praised a pro-sharia, pro-jihad Pakistani minister of law and religious affairs who did much to Islamicize Khan’s ancestral homeland where an anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracy theorist currently head’s Khan’s law school alma mater.
Khan’s legal work has involved a major Washington, DC, law firm that has a longstanding retainer from the Saudi Arabian government and is registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. He has also specialized as a lawyer in a visa program riddled with corruption that helps predominantly Middle Eastern foreigners effectively buy their way into America. The law firm and Saudi Arabia had numerous, deep ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Khan’s partisan Democratic loyalties will not please all Americans. In 2016 he had “proven to be an effective surrogate for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, especially when it comes to mobilizing American Muslims,” the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) noted. He made a Clinton campaign advertisement, a step that began his role as a prominent spokesman for America’s political left.
As the Washington Times has observed, Khan
has been invited to speak to the likes of the Human Rights Campaign, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Anti-Defamation League, has been invited to join the board of directors at People for the American Way, and has weighed in on congressional and governor’s races spanning the country.
Unlike most Americans and with little evidence, Khan at Monticello and elsewhere has continuously claimed that Russian election interference won Trump the election, even though no evidence links Trump with Russian collusion. “We have fallen victim to the propaganda of Soviets and of Russia,” Khan has said, and “nobody denies that Russia has influenced our election” in 2016. Now the “beneficiary of that attack is sitting in the White House” as “Putin’s puppet,” a “Russian-tainted president” whose investments have “Russian laundered money.”
Just as Trump has tweeted, Khan has “viciously attacked” Trump in numerous tirades, like Khan’s admonition against the dangerous “authoritarian mentality that is in the White House.” At an ISNA 2016 convention press conference he sounded anti-Trump tropes like “civility in American political discourse, it is so much needed.” Rather than criticize leftist media bias against Trump and others, he declared that the “media is the fourth pillar of democracy” and “has to have some credibility, some respect.”
As Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer has noted, Khan has also engaged in “flagrantly deceptive” whitewashes of sharia Islamic law. “There is no such thing in any country that is sharia,” he has said. Muslim-majority countries merely have a “hodge-podge” of European colonial and local legal codes. By contrast, the “United States has the Islamic law, which is equal protection of law” while references to sharia are simply a bigoted anti-Muslim “dog-whistle.”
Correspondingly, Khan always denies any connection between jihadist atrocities and the “universal message of Islam, which is peace.” He has dismissed jihadists in the Islamic State and other groups as “terrorists. These are criminals. These folks have nothing to do with Islam” and have a “hijacked concept” and “perverted version of Islam.” He has decried global sharia persecution of Christians as “un-Islamic acts” and called upon the 2016 ISNA convention to “clean that smear of violence from the name of Islam.”
Khan’s wife Ghazala has similarly proclaimed that “Islam is a so peaceful religion and I am really proud of my religion.” She has dubiously described the relationship between Muslim husbands and wives as egalitarian. “Islam teaches us to be equal but we have different responsibility.”
Belying this benign rhetoric, as a “suit-wearing jihadi” Khan has repeatedly shilled for the Hamas-derived, pro-sharia Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), including making a 2016 election Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) call. He addressed CAIR’s 2016 national gala dinner in Arlington, Virginia, alongside anti-Semitic extremists like Linda Sarsour. The following year he undertook a national speaking tour addressing CAIR chapters in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, Iowa, Dallas, Kansas, Seattle, and St. Louis.
Khan in 2017 called for supporting CAIR on behalf of its Los Angeles chapter. He stated that “CAIR will continue to fight for our rights, defend the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, and confront the maliciousness of Islamophobia” against “Trump and his circle of dangerous advisors.” He also made a CAIR 2017 Memorial Day video in which he called upon Americans to commit “to unity, liberty, justice, and, finally, to an end to all wars,” a statement that could imply rejection of future American military engagements.
Khan likewise addressed the 2016 convention of CAIR’s fellow Muslim Brotherhood-derived extremists in the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). With hugs, Sarsour warmly introduced him and his wife Ghazala as “uncle” and “auntie” while he responded in kind by saying that Sarsour “is so inspiring.” “God bless you, God keep you strong, and continue to speak,” he said to her and declared to the gala dinner audience that “I see my mentors, my leaders, sitting everywhere.” “Takbir—Allahu Akbar” chants resounded during a ceremony where he received ISNA’s “Outstanding Ambassadors of Islam” award.
Khan’s radical company is at odds with his calls for Muslims domestically in Western societies to assimilate and confront jihadist ideologies while immigrant vetting should keep out dangerous individuals. “Muslims bear the main burden of eradicating this menace from the United States,” and “there should be the strictest standards to scrutinize” entry into the United States. “All patriots are for very strong immigration policy,” the “processing of these folks that come into this country…needs to be enhanced and needs to be made even stronger.”
Yet Khan has lambasted Trump’s temporary travel restrictions on mostly Muslim-majority countries as “internationally illegal” and “unconstitutional.” Khan has called for the United Kingdom to ban Trump from a state visit in retaliation for this policy that “is only to appease his small number of racist base” and “Islamophobes.” He has falsely predicted that the Supreme Court’s “Muslim ban decision” supporting Trump will become as infamous as the Dred Scott case upholding slavery and the court’s World War II affirmation of Japanese-American internment.
Khan in general has expressed liberal immigration views, like his statement to the 2016 DNC that “we cannot solve our problems by building walls” and his belief that “mankind is becoming one community.” “Our forefathers wanted more immigrants because they knew immigrants bring prosperity, hard work,” he has said while citing the Declaration of Independence. One grievance here against King George III is that he “has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners.”
Khan’s compelling personal narrative cannot gloss over his suspect views and associations. After rising to prominence on the basis of his son’s tragic sacrifice, the elder Khan, perhaps because of naiveté and wishful thinking concerning his faith, has actually abetted ideological fellow travelers of his son’s killers. Precisely Humayun’s last full measure of devotion sets a contrary example of vigilance for Americans to follow.