WASHINGTON: United States President Joe Biden has announced plans to nominate Pakistan-born lawyer Khizr Khan to a post with the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Khizr Khan famously criticised former President Donald Trump for his disparaging remarks against Muslim-Americans during the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
The commission is mandated to review the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and to make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress.
Khan’s son, Humayun Khan, was a US Army Captain killed in 2004 while serving in Iraq. He is buried at Arlington cemetery, Virginia, alongside so many other American war heroes, and was posthumously awarded top military medals — Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Khizr Khan, 71, gave a passionate speech at the 2016 convention, along with his wife, Ghazala, in which he questioned whether Trump, then the Republican presidential nominee, had ever read the Constitution. He pulled his own copy out of his pocket for emphasis and said Trump had “sacrificed nothing and no one.”
After that, Trump frequently lashed out at the Khans, which they shrugged off as “proof of his ignorance and arrogance.” At one point Trump suggested that Ghazala Khan did not speak during the DNC because of her Muslim faith.
After his speech, Khizr Khan was featured in campaign ads for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, and his family’s story became a regular feature in her campaign speeches.
Khan, who was born in Gujranwala, works as a lawyer also founded the Constitution Literacy and National Unity Project. He immigrated to the United States in 1980.
Biden also announced plans to nominate Rashad Hussain, an Indian-Muslim, of the National Security Council to be ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.