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
Died June 8, 2004(2004-06-08) (aged 27)
Near Baqubah, Iraq
Buried Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 2000–2004
Rank US-O3 insignia.svg Captain
Unit 1st Infantry Division
Battles/wars Iraq War
Awards A 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]

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, 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]

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.[12][13][14][15] 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[16][17][18][19][20] 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 ..."[21]

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.[22] 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."[23]

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."[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tapper, Jake [@jaketapper] (2016-07-28). "Army Captain Humayun Khan, 27, was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in June 2004. RIP" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 2016-07-30. Retrieved 2016-07-30 – via Twitter. 
  2. ^ a b c d Kleinfield, N. R.; Oppel Jr., Richard A.; Eddy, Melissa (2016-08-05). "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 2016-08-07. Retrieved 2016-08-08. 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 (28 July 2016). "Captain Humayun Khan: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Archived from the original on 2016-07-30. Retrieved 2016-07-30. Although he was born in The United Arab Emirates, Humayun Khan was of Pakistani heritage. 
  4. ^ a b c McCrummen, Stephanie (2005-03-22). "Looking for Logic Amid the Pain". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: Fred Ryan. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 2016-08-11. Retrieved 2017-04-07. 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. 2005-01-27. Archived from the original on 2016-07-30. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  6. ^ a b Kelly, Matt (2004-09-24). "U.Va.'s ROTC Divisions Pay Tribute to Fallen Comrade". UVAToday. Richmond, Virginia: University of Virginia. Archived from the original on 2006-09-17. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  7. ^ Moody, Chris (2016-08-03). "Khizr Khan: John McCain was my son's 'hero'". CNN Center: CNN. Archived from the original on 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2016-08-08. 
  8. ^ a b Clock, Michele (2004-06-16). "A 'Peacemaker' Is Laid to Rest". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: Fred Ryan. ISSN 0190-8286. 
  9. ^ Fandos, Nicholas (2016-09-12). "A New Gathering Spot at Arlington: Capt. Humayun Khan's Grave". The New York Times. New York City: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Archived from the original on 2016-09-12. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  10. ^ Timsit, Annabelle (2016-07-29). "Seven Minutes That Shook the Convention:". Politico. Arlington County, Virginia. Archived from the original on 2016-07-30. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 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 (in English). Karachi, Pakistan: Lakson Group. 2015-12-21. Archived from the original on 2016-08-21. Retrieved 2016-08-23. 
  12. ^ 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 2016-07-29. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  13. ^ Swaine, Jon; Gambino, Lauren (2016-08-01). "Donald Trump has 'black soul', says Khizr Khan, father of fallen Muslim US soldier". The Guardian (in British English). Kings Place: Guardian Media Group. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Archived from the original on 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  14. ^ Bradner, Eric (2016-07-31). "Khizr Khan: Trump has a 'black soul'". CNN Center: CNN. Archived from the original on 2016-07-31. Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  15. ^ Abramson, Alana; Phelps, Jordyn (2016-08-01). "John McCain Strongly Condemns Trump's Attacks on Khizr Khan, Joining Other Republicans". Times Square Studios: ABC News. Archived from the original on 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  16. ^ DelReal, Jose A.; Gearan, Anne (2016-07-30). "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. 
  17. ^ "Fury as Trump mocks Muslim soldier's mother Ghazala Khan" (in British English). Broadcasting House: BBC News. 2016-07-31. Archived from the original on 2016-07-31. Retrieved 2016-08-01. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has attracted outrage by mocking a dead US Muslim soldier's mother. 
  18. ^ "Trump criticized for comments on Muslim mother of fallen US soldier". 1211 Avenue of the Americas: Fox News Channel. 2016-07-30. Archived from the original on 2016-07-31. Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  19. ^ Haberman, Maggie; Oppel Jr., Richard A. (2016-07-30). "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 2016-07-30. Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  20. ^ Karabell, Zachary (2016-08-01). "'Have You No Sense of Decency, Mr. Trump?'". Politico. Arlington County, Virginia. Archived from the original on 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  21. ^ Khan, Ghazala (2016-07-31). "Ghazala Khan: Trump criticized my silence. He knows nothing about true sacrifice". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: Fred Ryan. ISSN 0190-8286. 
  22. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (2016-08-02). "John McCain Denounces Donald Trump's Comments on Family of Muslim Soldier". The New York Times. New York City: Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Archived from the original on 2016-08-07. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  23. ^ Ornitz, Jill (2016-08-01). "Veterans group chastises Trump for attacks on fallen soldier's parents". Los Angeles Times. tronc. ISSN 0458-3035. OCLC 3638237. Archived from the original on 2016-08-02. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  24. ^ "Islamic State calls slain Muslim American soldier an 'apostate'". Canary Wharf: Reuters. 2016-07-31. Archived from the original on 2016-07-31. Retrieved 2016-08-01. 

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