Black Church News in Virginia

Khizr Khan Includes Park Place Mosque Visit During Campaign Stop In Norfolk

By Leonard E. Colvin
Chief Reporter
New Journal and Guide

Khizr Khan, the Muslim father of the U.S. Army Captain who died fighting in Iraq and who criticized Republican candidate Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention, was in Norfolk last week campaigning  for Hillary Clinton. He appeared at the  Masjid William Salaam in the Park Place section, which is headed by Imam Vernon Fareed. Khan also made stops at Croakers Spots restaurant iand at the Clinton main headquarters.

Khan’s son, Army Captain Humayun Khan, died in action 14 years ago. Trump has built his campaign around restricting Muslim immigration to the U.S. “His voice is a significant one in light of the fact his son gave his life for this country,” said Imam Fareed. “Being a Muslim who gave his life for his country, proves and speaks well for his dedication to America. To have Trump come behind that and condemn the man and his family  because they are Muslim is outrageous.

“I told him that his travels about the country speaking out on that issue is encouraging voters and others to vote and revealing the importance of this election. He has done a lot to clean up the negative image of Muslims in this nation, fostered by the comments of Trump and others who support him.” Fareed said the Clinton campaign reached out to him to organize last week’s event.   He said he organized the meeting at the Mosque, the prayer session and the restaurant’s “meet and greet” within a week.

The largest mosque in Norfolk is located on the campus of ODU.  But Fareed said his mosque was chosen because of its visibility and connection to the community and recommendations  from leaders in the community. Clinton supporters such as Army veteran and Democratic Party activist Ellis James of Norfolk were impressed with the humble demeanor of Mr. Khan.
Khan has spoken around the nation for Clinton and has even appeared in a campaign advertisement. During the Democratic National Convention, Khan called out Trump and asked if he had ever read the Constitution and understood the legacy  of the nation’s embrace of immigrants from other lands during periods of war and peace.

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