Trump slated over ‘in­sult’ to dead sol­dier’s par­ents

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

DON­ALD Trump has been hit with a bar­rage of crit­i­cism for “in­sult­ing” the par­ents of a Mus­lim Amer­i­can sol­dier killed while serv­ing with US forces in Iraq.

Trump on Sun­day de­fended his crit­i­cism of the be­reaved par­ents of US Army Cap­tain Hu­mayun Khan, who was killed in 2004, by com­plain­ing on Twit­ter that the fallen sol­dier’s father, Khizr Khan, had “vi­ciously at­tacked” him in a speech at the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion last week.

“Am I not al­lowed to re­spond?” Trump tweeted. “Hil­lary voted for the Iraq war, not me!”

At the Demo­cratic con­ven­tion, Khizr Khan told the story of his late son, Hu­mayun, who re­ceived a Bronze Star and a Pur­ple Heart, and took Trump to task for threat­en­ing to ban Mus­lims, such as his son, from en­ter­ing the US, ask­ing if the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date had ever read the US Con­sti­tu­tion.

Trump fo­cused his at­tack on Khan’s wife, Ghaz­ala, who stood qui­etly by her hus­band’s side at the con­ven­tion last week.

“If you look at his wife, she was stand­ing there. She had noth­ing to say. She prob­a­bly, maybe she wasn’t al­lowed to have any­thing to say. You tell me,” Trump said, in an in­ter­view with ABC’s This Week.

Ghaz­ala Khan re­sponded on Sun­day in an opin­ion piece pub­lished in the Wash­ing­ton Post, ex­plain­ing that even talk­ing about her son’s death 12 years ago was still hard for her.

“Don­ald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t wrote.

“When Don­ald Trump is talk­ing about Is­lam, he is ig­no­rant,” she added.

“If he stud­ied the real Is­lam and Qu­ran, all the ideas he gets from ter­ror­ists would change, be­cause ter­ror­ism is a dif­fer­ent re­li­gion.”

While Hil­lary Clin­ton, Trump’s ri­val for the pres­i­dency, de­fended the Khans on Sun­day, so did se­nior mem­bers of the Repub­li­can Party, in­clud­ing Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell, who called the late Cap­tain Khan “an Amer­i­can hero”.

McCon­nell said he agreed with the Khan fam­ily than ban­ning peo­ple from en­ter­ing the US based on their re­li­gion was con­trary to Amer­i­can val­ues. On Twit­ter, Repub­li­can strate­gist Ana Navarro called Trump’s com­ments about the Khans “gross” and la­belled him a “jerk”.

Clin­ton said Trump had re­paid a fam­ily that made the “ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice” with “noth­ing but in­sults” and “de­grad­ing com­ments about Mus­lims”.

“I do trem­ble be­fore those who would scape­goat other Amer­i­cans, who would in­sult peo­ple be­cause of their re­li­gion, their eth­nic­ity, their dis­abil­ity,” she told parish­ioners in a Cleve­land church on Sun­day morn­ing.

Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds, re­port­ing from Wash­ing­ton DC, said for any other pres­i­den­tial can­di­date such a con­tro­versy could be a cam­paign changer. But not in Trump’s case.

“Nor­mally, I would say that a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who at­tacks or dis­par­ages the par­ents of a heroic sol­dier who died in the line of duty would lose a lot of votes, and that may be the case here,” Reynolds said.

“But it’s cer­tainly not go­ing to drive Don­ald Trump to dis­card the nom­i­na­tion, he is the nom­i­nee. It may change some minds of peo­ple who may be lean­ing one way or the other … cer­tainly there is a core of sup­port for Don­ald Trump, which is not go­ing to be dis­suaded from vot­ing for him by this par­tic­u­lar in­ci­dent.”

Sen Harry Reid, the Demo­cratic mi­nor­ity leader, is­sued a blis­ter­ing state­ment of his own, say­ing any­thing short of re­vok­ing their en­dorse­ments of Trump was “cow­ardice” on the part of McCon­nell and Ryan.

“This shouldn’t be hard,” Reid said. “Don­ald Trump is a sex­ist and racist man who in­sults Gold Star par­ents, stokes fear of Mus­lims and sows ha­tred of Lati­nos. He should not be pres­i­dent and Repub­li­can lead­ers have a moral re­spon­si­bil­ity to say so?” — Al Jazeera

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