Khizr Khan, Gold Star Recipient, To Speak At This Year's Miami Book Fair International

Nov 13, 2017

Monday on Sundial: Khizr Khan, the father of slain United States Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who challenged then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Khan made national news last year when he lashed out atTrump during his speech at the DNC. While waving a paper copy of the Constitution, Khan asked: “Donald Trump, you're asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy”.

Khan has a new book out called “An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice.”

Khan is scheduled to at the Chapman Conference Center at the Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus.

Khan told Sundial host Luis Hernandez that his DNC message generated a lot of mail. Some of it came in the form of hate mail and threats, but much was also in the form of compassionate and inspiring letters. Khan says he tries to focus on the positive responses he receives from the people he meets, which include many active-duty members of the Armed Services.

“I’ll be sitting in the airplane during a flight and someone would place a napkin with a simple line, ‘I am active-duty Mr. Khan, Thank You,’” said Khan. “Such moments are amazingly powerful.”

Khan was concerned when his son, Humayun Khan, joined the Armed Forces. He suggested that his son wait until after he finished law school to join. But, “[Humayun Khan] was so committed, and he said that whenever he was in company of the cadets, their discipline, their honor, their dignity, their care towards one another and towards others that are around them is so impressive,” said Khan. “These are the values for which he joined and we finally gave him our blessing."

Humayun Khan was killed at the hands of suicide bombers in Iraq in 2004. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

Family members, friends and colleagues tried to persuade Khan to decline the invitation to speak at the DNC, fearing for his safety and wellbeing.

“Please do not go, this is not your cup of tea,” he said the people he consulted told him. While he and his wife were trying to decide, they received a letter. The unmarked letter was dropped at Khan’s mailbox by students from a school he was familiar with. The letter read: “Mr. Khan, would you please make sure that Maria is not thrown out of this country. We love her, she is our friend.” Khan describes this incident as his confirmation to speak at the DNC.

Khan details his family stories, including his naturalization process, trips to the Jefferson Memorial and the aftermath of his speech at the DNC, in his new book.

You can hear the entire conversation on Monday’s episode of Sundial.