In this file photo, Khizr Khan, father of deceased US soldier Humayun Khan, holds up a booklet of the US Constitution as he delivers remarks on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
PAKISTAN-born American lawyer and slain US Army captain’s father Khizr Khan has been appointed commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
The Joe Biden administration also nominated Indian-American diplomat Rashad Hussain as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.
In a statement, the White House said Khan is “an advocate for religious freedom as a core element of human dignity”.
“Khizr Khan is a Gold Star parent of US Army Captain Humayun Khan. Capt. Humayun Khan was a University of Virginia graduate who was killed while serving in Iraq as he stopped an attack on his camp and saved the lives of scores of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians,” the statement said on Friday (30).
Senior Khan had made headlines during the US presidential campaign in 2016 after he slammed Republic nominee and eventual winner Donald Trump for his remarks on Muslims and questioned his knowledge of the American constitution.
Flanked by his wife during his emotional speech at a Democratic National Convention, Khan had recalled his son’s martyrdom in 2004 and said Trump “sacrificed nothing and no one”.
He was prominently featured in the then-Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s publicity campaign.
Khan who was born in Gujranwala in Pakistan and migrated to the United States in 1980, graduated from Harvard Law School.
“In his law practice, he devotes a substantial amount of his time to providing legal services to veterans, men and women serving in uniform, and their families”, the White House statement said.
Khan, who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, has authored three books – ‘An American Family-A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice’, ‘Founding Documents of the United States of America’, and ‘This is Our Constitution.
His son was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor.
On the nomination of Hussain, the White House statement said the diplomat “spearheaded efforts on countering antisemitism and protecting religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries”.
Hussain is the director for partnerships and global engagement at the US National Security Council. He previously served as a senior counsel at the Department of Justice’s National Security Division. During the Obama administration, Rashad served as the US special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).