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Biden nominates Pakistani American to religious freedom post

31 Jul, 2021
Khizr Khan and his wife Ghazala were invited by the Hillary Clinton campaign to speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention
Khizr Khan and his wife Ghazala were invited by the Hillary Clinton campaign to speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

US President Joe Biden said on Friday that he was appointing Khizr Khan, the father of a Gold star soldier, to United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The Gujranwala born Khizr Khan moved to the US from the UAE in 1980. His son Humayun, then a captain in the US army, was killed in 2004 while on duty in Iraq. He received a Purple Heart posthumously, an award recognizing a soldier's bravery.

In 2016, Khizr Khan and his wife Ghazala were invited by the Hillary Clinton campaign to speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Ghazala later said she did not speak because she didn't think she would be able to maintain her composure. Her husband, however, gave an impassioned speech about Humayun but he criticized then Republican candidate Donald Trump on his policies especially a ban on Muslims to the US.

An avid advocate of US constitutional rights, he founded the Constitution Literacy and National Unity Project.

Biden's administration recognized Khan as "an advocate for religious freedom as a core element of human dignity."

They said the announcement "underscores the President's commitment to build an Administration that looks like America and reflects people of all faiths."

Another announcement was made about the appointment of Rashad Hussain as the first Muslim Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, according to CNN.