Father of Muslim-American Soldier Killed in Iraq Claims He Can't Leave U.S. Due to His Travel Privileges Being 'Reviewed'
Gold Star father Khizr Khan, an American citizen who sparred with Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election, says he had to cancel a Tuesday speech in Canada after being informed that his “travel privileges are being reviewed,” according to a statement posted on the event’s organizer’s Facebook page.
“Mr. Khan offered his sincere apologies to all those who made plans to attend on March 7th,” the statement from Ramsay Talks said. “He said: ‘This turn of events is not just of deep concern to me but to all my fellow Americans who cherish our freedom to travel abroad.’ ”
Khan reportedly added, ” ‘I have not been given any reason as to why. I am grateful for your support and look forward to visiting Toronto in the near future.’ ” PEOPLE has been unable to verify his claim.
Ramsay Talks noted that Khan – a Pakistan native – has been an American citizen for over 30 years, and said that all tickets for the canceled luncheon – which was to be held at The Carlu in Toronto – would be fully refunded.
The cancellation was first reported by CTV News. Khan told the outlet in a statement that he has “no comments at this time.”
Khan’s son Capt. Humayun Khan was killed by a car bomb in Iraq in 2004 and posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his heroism.
He came to national prominence last year after delivering an emotional speech against then-candidate President Trump at the Democratic National Convention.
“If it was up to Donald Trump, [Capt. Khan] never would have been in America … We were blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams,” Khan said, slamming Trump’s stance on immigration.
He continued, “Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country … We can’t solve our problems by building walls and sowing division.”
Trump subsequently responded by taking a jab at Khan’s wife, Ghazala, who stood silently next to her husband at the DNC, saying, “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.”
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The war of words continued throughout the news cycle over the next few days, with multiple Republicans publicly distancing themselves with Trump, including Sen. John McCain.
It is unclear why Khan’s “travel privileges” are being reviewed. On Monday, the president signed a new executive order temporarily halting entry to the United States from six Muslim-majority countries. The revised ban doesn’t apply to those with valid visas, and includes the following countries: Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.