In a recent segment on CNN, Muslim American journalist and lawyer Wajahat Ali debated with Muslims for Trump founder Sajid Tarar over the GOP presidential candidate’s contradictory visions of American patriotism. On the table for discussion were Trump’s recent Islamophobic comments following a powerful speech delivered by Humayun’s father, Khizr Khan, at the Democratic National Convention.
Humayun was 27 years old when he was killed by a vehicle packed with explosives that drove into his compound in Iraq. Rather than praising the Khan family for their sacrifice, Trump used the opportunity to question why Khan’s wife, Ghazala, remained silent.
“If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say,” Trump said in an interview with ABC. “She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”
Tarar tried to justify Trump’s comments, saying that in “most” Islamic countries women aren’t allowed to speak ― a statement that host Poppy Harlow noted is unequivocally false.
Unlike Tarar, several top Republican leaders were quick to distance themselves from Trump’s comments, reminding others that they believe service to one’s country is an act of patriotism that shouldn’t be sullied by efforts to incite anti-Islamic sentiment.
“This is going to a place where we’ve never gone before, to push back against the families of the fallen,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told The New York Times.
Graham suggested that the Republican nominee’s comments attack the very patriotism that has thus far carried his campaign. “There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary,” he said.
Ali noted the irony of the media storm: the fact that a Muslim American couple is now at the center of a national discussion on patriotism and American values. Prompted by Harlow to offer his reaction to Trump’s comments, Ali said:
I love the fact, Poppy, let me say this, that there’s a supreme brown karmic justice: that a Muslim Pakistani immigrant American couple with funny accents and multi-syllable names, with mocha caramel skin right now are body slamming Donald J. Trump left and right, and they are the couple reminding all Americans ― Republicans and Democrats ― about our Constitution, about our freedoms, about our values, about our core values that are under threat if a demagogue like Donald J. Trump is elected. I love it.
Watch the full clip above.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist