When Khizr Khan took the stage last week at the Democratic National Convention, proudly standing before a portrait of his Muslim American son, who died while fighting in Iraq for the U.S., he removed a pocket Constitution from his jacket, thrust it toward the camera, and demanded to know if Donald Trump, a proponent of laws that violate the document, had ever bothered to read its articles.
The crowd in Philadelphia erupted. So did folks on Twitter and Facebook. The mainstream media fawned too. This all but guaranteed that Trump, who has spent his whole life working to garner more media attention than others, would respond.
But few expected that his initial comments would be an attack on Khizr Khan’s wife, who stood beside her husband for emotional support but did not herself deliver a speech. "If you look at his wife,” Trump said on ABC, as if it had anything to do with the matter at hand, “she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably—maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me."
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The wife, Ghazala Khan, in fact has much to say. “Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t allowed to say anything,” she wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “That is not true. My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not.” Why? She explained that even though 12 years have passed she still feels the loss of her son; that she cries every day when she prays for him; that she cannot bring herself to clean his old closet or to see his photograph without breaking down. “Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could?” she demanded. “Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?”