PEAK TRUMP. THE DONALD SMEARS THE GRIEVING PARENTS OF A DEAD MUSLIM U.S. SOLDIER
We've had racism. We've had anti-Muslim prejudice. Anti-Mexican and immigrant hysteria. We've had sexism. We've had claims that women have a problem with his misogyny because they are on their period.
With this latest scandal, Trump may well have finally sealed his fate as he pushes all of middle America and the global community into the Hillary column.
Captain Humayun Khan's parents are grieving. Khizr and Ghazala, took to the stage at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia to share their pain. And their message: Muslims serve their nation, they are not to be hated. Their family has paid the ultimate price - the loss of their beloved son, in military service and to save others, his fellow soldiers.
It's very easy to be disillusioned today, to be jaded and angry. There will be some angry at the fact Muslims are fighting for the West, ostensibly against other Muslim majority nations. There will be some that believe Muslims have no place in the West and are fifth columnists seeking to destabilise and topple Western democracies. Both are wrong. Setting aside all of those arguments and everything in between, grief is universal. The silent honour to a grieving mother, stood stoically in her hijab, is a thing we should respect. In front of the American people and an international viewership. He pain is palpable. As her husband challenges Trump over his record of anti-Muslim hate and prejudice, he waves his copy of the US Constitution. We share their pain. They are entitled to be heard. And listened to.
Only the most sickening of minds would take this opportunity to attack the parents. To malign them. To suggest their faith silences women. To belittle their suffering and sacrifice. The problem for the American public, and wider global political community, is that Trump is an utter sociopath. He is unable to feel kinship with these people. He cannot empathise. And so of course, he did just that: attacked the parents.
Because they are Muslim.
That’s all that matters. Muslims are a monolithic bloc and Trump can’t handle nuance beyond avoiding criminal prosecution for fraud and bankruptcy. Far right neo-Nazism and fascism is a river that truly runs strong in Trump’s family. So it’s no surprise. Not to the educated. Trump’s Islamophobia is now well recorded, but for many on the political right, Trump’s inability to flip the situation to soften his rhetoric, meet the family and come to a sensible resolution - this lack of political understanding, savvy and basic humanity - will be worrying. This isn’t Lynton Crosby’s dead cat strategy, it is true political naivety and as well educated as Trump reminds us he is (he has the best words), it is an ideology founded in genuine hate.
There’s an Urdu word known to Humayun Khan and his mum and dad. That word is "humdard". Often used to denote friendship and proximity, it can be roughly translated as "empathy". Donald Trump might want to consider its literal translation: "our pain". When human civilisations reach the point when leaders are unable or unwilling to share even basic human experiences, oppression ensues, societies suffer and the consequence? Always a bloody reckoning.
Enough blood has been shed. It's time to invest in the business of peace. We have to start by being a humdard.