Trump is also asked if he's sacrificed for his country, and answers he has by creating jobs.
Three magical words will not eliminate the threat of terrorism around the world.
Simply saying “Radical Islamic Terrorism” won’t make things any different than what they are today. Rather, that term emboldens the enemy, giving them more ammunition in their recruiting efforts, when they can demonstrate that Americans are at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam, of course, but the way some people describe it you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Donald Trump, for example, prefers to consider Muslims as terrorists first, and relents only when proven otherwise on a case-by-case basis.
This is evident in his plans to implement a policy that would restrict immigration to the United States from countries that have had terrorists in their borders. It is also evident in the way he talks about Muslims.
But the vast majority of people in the U.S. who practice Islam are peaceful people. In fact, right wing ideologues pose a bigger threat to peace in American than do Muslims.
In a speech given at the Democratic National Convention last week, Khizr Khan, an immigrant from the United Arab Emirates, spoke poignantly about what being American is truly about.
“Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed,” Khan explained. “We believed in American democracy; that with hard work and goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.”
Khan understands what being an American is all about — and what sacrifice truly means. His son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, gave his life 12 years ago while serving in Iraq, saving the lives of ten of his fellow soldiers in doing so.
Khizr Khan does not want his son’s legacy to be forgotten. And he knows it would be under a Trump presidency. “If it was up to Donald Trump, [Humayun] never would have been in America,” Khan explained in his speech, referring to Trump’s proposal to ban immigration from Muslim countries.
He laid into Trump for not understanding what sacrifice to one’s country means:
“Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America,” Khan said, addressing Trump. “You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
Trump’s response to Khan was his typical banter. When asked if he had made any sacrifices to our nation, Trump explained he’s made a lot of them — financially, that is.
“Who wrote that? Did Hillary’s script writers write it?” Trump said in response to questioning from ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard, created thousands of thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs…”
“Those are sacrifices?” Stephanopoulos interjects.
“Oh sure, I think they’re sacrifices,” Trump answered.
Trump also explained that he was confused over why Khizr Khan’s wife, Ghazala Khan, didn’t speak during the DNC, explaining that “she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me”
Ghazala Khan responded to those allegations in an op-ed for the Washington Post, stating that her grief over losing a child prevented her from speaking.
“I cannot walk into a room with pictures of Humayun,” she wrote. “Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself.”
“What mother could?” she asks. “Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?”
She goes on to chastise the Republican Party’s presidential nominee on his characterizations of her relationship with her husband. “Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t allowed to say anything. That is not true. My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not.”
Donald Trump doesn’t understand how truly special our nation is. We live in a nation where we are not meant to pre-judge people on the basis of their identities. We are a people of many faiths, many beliefs, and it’s an inspiring thing to see all of them live together peacefully. It hasn’t always been a perfect experiment, but that it continues to improve upon itself is something to be proud of.
Does Trump want to disrupt that ideal, to derail the great American experiment? It appears that he does. I am hopeful that he fails.