In Ohio, Gold Star father Khizr Khan urges people to vote


PERRYSBURG, Ohio (AP) — While stressing the importance of voting during an appearance in northwest Ohio, Gold Star father Khizr Khan said citizens have a responsibility to take part in the political process.

Khan spoke Sunday to an overflow crowd at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Perrysburg, where he encouraged people to vote this fall.

“The students of history will tell you in the history of mankind there has not been an experience like the United States,” Khan said. “We are so blessed to be in this country; we are so blessed to be equal citizens … and with that honor comes with it, the responsibility to take part in the political process.”

Khan, a naturalized citizen originally from Pakistan, gave an impassioned speech at the Democratic convention in July. His son was a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq in 2004.

In his July speech, Khan denounced Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s plan to temporarily ban Muslim immigrants from entering the United States and produced his pocket copy of the Constitution, while suggesting Trump had never read it.

Trump attacked the lawyer and his wife, drawing harsh criticism from veterans.

“It is said that parents teach their children, but in this case it’s the other way around — our son teaching us how to be caring and respectful,” Khan said. “People come up to us, hug us, support us, encourage us, for what we have said has reminded them of the goodness of America.”

Khan believes the freedoms and rights outlined by the Constitution are what make the United States special. He said it’s everyone’s duty to get out and vote in order to protect those ideals — especially immigrants who have just become citizens.

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