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The mother of a slain Muslim American soldier whose family has become an unexpected flash point in the presidential election said her religion had nothing to do with her decision not to speak at the Democratic National Convention, as Donald Trump has suggested.
“My religion doesn't prohibit me to do whatever I want to do for the goodness of mankind, for the goodness of myself, my family,” Ghazala Khan said Monday on TODAY. “I'm very thankful that I have been born in this religion because it does not prohibit me from anything that I don’t want to do.”
At the convention, Ghazala stood by her husband Khizr's side as he delivered a moving speech about their war hero son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq.
During the speech last week, Khizr Khan blasted Trump's rhetoric on Muslims and immigrants and his lack of personal sacrifice, prompting the Republican presidential nominee to lash out at the couple.
In an interview with ABC News Sunday, Trump said he would have liked to hear Khan’s wife speak, and then added, “maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”
That led to a fiery exchange between the two sides over the weekend.
On TODAY, Khizr Khan said Trump’s reaction to his speech only proves a point he made during the convention — that the Republican nominee has never read the Constitution.
“This candidate amazes me. His ignorance. He can get up and malign the entire nation, the religions, the communities, the minorities, the judges," Khan said. "And yet, a private citizen in this political process, in his candidacy for stewardship of this country, I cannot say what I feel?
“That proves the point. He has not read the Constitution of this country. Had he read that, his behavior would be different," he said.
Khan also said he was grateful that both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised his son as a war hero and reiterated their opposition to Trump's call for a Muslim ban.
But he suggested Trump may have lost key Republican support because of his most recent comments.
"There has been outpouring of support and rebuke of Trump," he said. "I have email mailbox full of assurances that I am right, we are right, and he needs to mend his way to deserve their vote."