The Muslim father of an American soldier killed in Iraq who was a featured speaker at last summer’s Democratic convention won’t be keeping an engagement in Toronto on Tuesday. Khizr Khan, a U.S. citizen originally from Pakistan, is said to be having his “travel privileges” reviewed by some undisclosed department.
Khan was apparently slated to speak at a luncheon in Toronto about “what we can do about the appalling turn of events in Washington,” according to the organizer of the lecture series Ramsay Talks.
“Mr. Khan will not be traveling to Toronto on March 7th to speak about tolerance, understanding, unity and the rule of law,” said Talks, who also promised an $89 (Canadian) refunds for tickets purchased.
Khan has not directly commented to the media about his alleged travel problems and Talks has issued what he says is a statements from Khan: “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 is quoted as saying. “I am grateful for your support and look forward to visiting Toronto in the near future.”
According to Talks, “Late Sunday evening Khizr Khan, an American citizen for over 30 years, was notified that his travel privileges are being reviewed,” he related on his Facebook page. There is no indication who is reviewing these “privileges” or why.
Contacted by Reuters, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) contradicted the narrative.
According to an official there, it is not standard procedure to contact travelers before they leave the United States and possession of a U.S. passport entitles one to travel out of the country. The CBP declined to specifically comment on the allegations raised by the Khan case.
Khan would not comment further when asked to elaborate by the international news service.
Khan and his wife Ghazala were featured at the Democratic convention as opponents of then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Khan waved a pocket U.S. Constitution at the camera and suggested Trump could borrow his copy. He suggested Trump had “sacrificed nothing.” Trump, as well as many critics of the staged event, wondered why Khan was the only member of the duo apparently allowed to talk.
The Khan’s son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, died in Iraq in 2004 from the actions of a suicide bomber.