Humayun Khan (soldier)

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Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan
Humayun Khan.jpg
Born(1976-09-09)September 9, 1976
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
DiedJune 8, 2004(2004-06-08) (aged 27)
Near Baqubah, Iraq
Buried
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service2000–2004
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg Captain
Unit1st Infantry Division
Battles/warsIraq War
AwardsA short, wide (at an almost 4:1 ratio) US military ribbon with seven palindromic vertical bands of color: white, scarlet, white, ultramarine blue, white, scarlet, and white. Bronze Star Medal
A short, wide (at an almost 4:1 ratio) US military ribbon with three palindromic vertical bands of color: white, purple, and white. Purple Heart

Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan (September 9, 1976 – June 8, 2004)[1] was a United States Army officer. Born in the United Arab Emirates to Pakistani parents, he moved to the U.S. with his family as a young boy. He attended the University of Virginia, where he was a member of the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Upon graduating in 2000, Khan was commissioned an officer in the United States Army and was deployed as a captain to Iraq during the Iraq War. In 2004 he was killed in a suicide attack near Baqubah, Iraq, and was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Khan's name came to national attention during the 2016 presidential campaign as an example of Muslim Americans serving in the military. At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, his father Khizr Khan, standing at the podium with his wife (and Humayun's mother) Ghazala, delivered a speech condemning U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's statements on Muslims.

Early life[edit]

The middle son, Khan was born in Dubai[2] in the United Arab Emirates,[3] to Khizr and Ghazala Khan, who originate from Punjab, Pakistan.[3][2] They moved to the United States in 1980 and Humayun grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland.[2] As a young child, Khan read extensively about Thomas Jefferson. In high school, he taught swimming to disabled children.[4] Khan graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1996, and the University of Virginia in 2000.[5] At the University of Virginia, Khan joined the university's Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps.[6]

Career[edit]

Khan joined the United States Army and had planned on becoming a military lawyer.[5] According to his father, one of his personal "heroes" was Arizona senator and former prisoner of war John McCain.[7] In the Army, Khan achieved the rank of captain.[5] In 2004, Khan was assigned to the Headquarters Company of the 201st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division in Vilseck, Germany.[3]

On June 8, 2004, 120 days[2] into his tour of duty in Iraq,[3] Khan was inspecting a guard post near Baqubah when a suspicious taxicab began approaching quickly. Ordering his subordinates away, Khan ran toward the vehicle and was killed when the bomb in it exploded.[3][5][4] The car detonated before it could reach the installation gates or the nearby mess hall where hundreds of soldiers were eating.[4] The blast also killed the two occupants of the vehicle and two Iraqi bystanders.[8]

Khan's grave at Arlington National Cemetery bears the star and crescent, one of the official United States Department of Veterans Affairs emblems for headstones and markers, representing Muslim servicemembers.

On June 15, Khan was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[8] His grave became a frequent destination for visitors to Arlington National Cemetery, who left flowers, American flags, and letters of support.[9]

Legacy[edit]

The first University of Virginia graduate to die in combat since the Vietnam War, Khan was honored by two university ceremonies.[6] Khan was also posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.[3] Khan was also honored by the Virginia General Assembly, which passed a resolution noting "with great sadness the loss of a courageous and patriotic American."[5] In December 2015, Hillary Clinton, a presidential candidate in the 2016 United States presidential election, spoke about Khan's service praising him as "the best of America".[10][11] In 2018, Representative Tom Garrett introduced a bill that would name a Charlottesville, Virginia post office after Khan. Both houses of the 115th United States Congress unanimously passed the bill, and President Trump signed it into law on 21 December 2018. A joint statement by the senators from Virginia Tim Kaine and Mark Warner said, "With the dedication of [the Captain Humayun Khan Post Office], we're showing the Khan family that we're forever grateful for his service and sacrifice for our country".[12]

2016 Democratic National Convention[edit]

Khizr Khan's remarks during the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Khan's parents appeared at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, where his father, Khizr Khan, spoke of his dead son and rebuked the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, for his statements about Muslims and his proposed policies concerning them.[13][14][15][16] Trump criticized the appearance of Khan's parents at the Democratic Convention, and suggested that Khan's mother may not have been allowed to speak. Trump's comments about Khan's mother, Ghazala, sparked widespread condemnation[17][18][19][20][21] and triggered her response as an op-ed in The Washington Post. On July 31, 2016, Ghazala Khan expressed her thoughts and said she had been too overcome by emotion at the convention to speak at the podium. She wrote, "Donald Trump said I had nothing to say. I do. My son Humayun Khan, an Army captain, died 12 years ago in Iraq. He loved America ..."[22]

Republican leaders Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have criticized Trump's comments. A strong rebuke came from US Senator John McCain from Arizona; the former presidential candidate said that Trump did not represent the ideals of the Republican Party and its leaders.[23] Veterans of Foreign Wars followed with a statement saying, "Election year or not, the VFW will not tolerate anyone berating a Gold Star family member for exercising his or her right of speech or expression."[24]

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's online magazine Dabiq published a picture of Humayun Khan's headstone with the caption "Beware of Dying as an apostate." and urged its followers to "[r]eject these calls to disunity and come together."[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tapper, Jake [@jaketapper] (July 28, 2016). "Army Captain Humayun Khan, 27, was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in June 2004. RIP" (Tweet). Archived from the original on July 30, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ a b c d Kleinfield, N. R.; Oppel Jr., Richard A.; Eddy, Melissa (August 5, 2016). "Moment in Convention Glare Shakes Up Khans' American Life". The New York Times. New York City: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Archived from the original on August 7, 2016. Retrieved August 8, 2016. How Khizr and Ghazala Khan, parents of a soldier killed in Iraq, came to challenge Donald J. Trump and reshape a presidential campaign.
  3. ^ a b c d e f McBride, Jessica (July 28, 2016). "Captain Humayun Khan: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Archived from the original on July 30, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016. Although he was born in The United Arab Emirates, Humayun Khan was of Pakistani heritage.
  4. ^ a b c McCrummen, Stephanie (March 22, 2005). "Looking for Logic Amid the Pain". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: Fred Ryan. ISSN 0190-8286. OCLC 2269358. Archived from the original on August 11, 2016. Retrieved April 7, 2017. Grieving Father Struggles to Understand
  5. ^ a b c d e "House Joint Resolution No. 780" (PDF). Virginia's Legislative Information System. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia General Assembly. January 27, 2005. Archived from the original on July 30, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Kelly, Matt (September 24, 2004). "U.Va.'s ROTC Divisions Pay Tribute to Fallen Comrade". UVAToday. Richmond, Virginia: University of Virginia. Archived from the original on September 17, 2006. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  7. ^ Moody, Chris (August 3, 2016). "Khizr Khan: John McCain was my son's 'hero'". CNN. Archived from the original on August 4, 2016. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Clock, Michele (June 16, 2004). "A 'Peacemaker' Is Laid to Rest". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: Fred Ryan. ISSN 0190-8286.
  9. ^ Fandos, Nicholas (September 12, 2016). "A New Gathering Spot at Arlington: Capt. Humayun Khan's Grave". The New York Times. Arlington, Virginia: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Archived from the original on September 12, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  10. ^ Timsit, Annabelle (July 29, 2016). "Seven Minutes That Shook the Convention:". Politico. Arlington County, Virginia. Archived from the original on July 30, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016. How the father of a slain Muslim U.S. soldier shamed Donald Trump, upstaged Hillary Clinton and gave the country a lesson in values.
  11. ^ "Hillary Clinton shuts down Trump with touching tribute to US Muslim war hero". The Express Tribune. Karachi, Pakistan: Lakson Group. December 21, 2015. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  12. ^ Watkins, Eli (December 24, 2018). "Trump signs bill naming post office for Capt. Humayun Khan". CNN. Archived from the original on December 25, 2018. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  13. ^ Qiu, Linda. "The backstory of the Muslim soldier's dad who said Trump 'sacrificed nothing'". PolitiFact.com. Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on July 29, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  14. ^ Swaine, Jon; Gambino, Lauren (August 1, 2016). "Donald Trump has 'black soul', says Khizr Khan, father of fallen Muslim US soldier". The Guardian. Kings Place: Guardian Media Group. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Archived from the original on August 1, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  15. ^ Bradner, Eric (July 31, 2016). "Khizr Khan: Trump has a 'black soul'". CNN Center: CNN. Archived from the original on July 31, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  16. ^ Abramson, Alana; Phelps, Jordyn (August 1, 2016). "John McCain Strongly Condemns Trump's Attacks on Khizr Khan, Joining Other Republicans". Times Square Studios: ABC News. Archived from the original on August 1, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  17. ^ DelReal, Jose A.; Gearan, Anne (July 30, 2016). "Trump stirs outrage after he lashes out at the Muslim parents of a dead U.S. soldier". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: Fred Ryan. ISSN 0190-8286.
  18. ^ "Fury as Trump mocks Muslim soldier's mother Ghazala Khan". Broadcasting House: BBC News. July 31, 2016. Archived from the original on July 31, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has attracted outrage by mocking a dead US Muslim soldier's mother.
  19. ^ "Trump criticized for comments on Muslim mother of fallen US soldier". 1211 Avenue of the Americas: Fox News Channel. July 30, 2016. Archived from the original on July 31, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  20. ^ Haberman, Maggie; Oppel Jr., Richard A. (July 30, 2016). "Donald Trump Criticizes Muslim Family of Slain U.S. Soldier, Drawing Ire". The New York Times. The New York Times Building: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Archived from the original on July 30, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  21. ^ Karabell, Zachary (August 1, 2016). "'Have You No Sense of Decency, Mr. Trump?'". Politico. Archived from the original on August 1, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2018. Why the GOP nominee’s criticism of a Gold Star family could be a McCarthy-like turning point.
  22. ^ Khan, Ghazala (July 31, 2016). "Ghazala Khan: Trump criticized my silence. He knows nothing about true sacrifice". The Washington Post. Charlottesville: Fred Ryan. ISSN 0190-8286. OCLC 2269358. Archived from the original on December 7, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018. Ghazala Khan’s son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq in 2004.
  23. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (August 1, 2016). "John McCain Denounces Donald Trump's Comments on Family of Muslim Soldier". The New York Times. Washington, D.C.: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ISSN 1553-8095. OCLC 1645522. Archived from the original on August 7, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  24. ^ Ornitz, Jill (August 1, 2016). "Veterans group chastises Trump for attacks on fallen soldier's parents". Los Angeles Times. Davan Maharaj. ISSN 2165-1736. OCLC 3638237. Archived from the original on August 2, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  25. ^ Browning, Noah (July 31, 2016). "Islamic State calls slain Muslim American soldier an 'apostate'". Dubai. Reuters. Archived from the original on July 31, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2018.

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