Khizr Khan, father of United States Army Captain Humayun Khanv who was killed in 2004 during the Iraq War, gained notoriety denouncing Donald Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
The Gold Star father is a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Pakistan and an outspoken critic of the president’s travel ban.
“RamsayTalks,” a talk show in Toronto, recently invited Khan to speak about “tolerance, understanding, unity and the rule of law” at a luncheon which took place on Mar. 7.
The day before the event, it was announced that Khan would not be able to attend because his travel privileges were “being reviewed.”
According to The Washington Post, Bob Ramsay said he wasn’t clear on the details of Khan’s travel restrictions, but that “in speaking with Mr. Khan, it was certainly U.S. authorities” who initiated the restriction.
In a Facebook post, “RamsayTalks” quoted Khan as saying, “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. 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.”
The Canadian Foreign ministry stated that it was not reviewing Khan’s travel privileges. Since Khan has not been charged with a crime, traveling outside the U.S. would not have been a legal barrier to Khan, who wouldn’t even need a travel visa to enter Canada.
The story didn’t make sense to the average American, and even journalists were skeptical.
On Mar. 17, Hawes Spencer of WCVE radio in Richmond, Virginia, finally received some clarification. Khan told him, “I did not want to go through the hassle of uncertain rules and capricious implementation.”
Khan indicated he was unwilling to risk “Muslim profiling” during his trip.
“Seeing things like Muhammed Ali Jr. being detained … Muslim, but American citizens being detained at the border.”
Seemingly, Khan’s inability to attend the event was a personal choice, not a restriction placed on him by the U.S. government or any other outside entity, as he had earlier indicated.
Guests of the Mar. 7 event have been offered full refunds.
To see more stories like this, sign up below for Dennis Michael Lynch’s email newsletter.
Sign up to get breaking news alerts from Dennis Michael Lynch.