Islam is (Also) a Religion of Peace

Foreign Policy, 2016

4 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2016 Last revised: 30 Aug 2016

Zachary D. Kaufman

Stanford Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: August 4, 2016

Abstract

Since July 28, 2016, when they first appeared on stage at the Democratic National Convention, Captain Humayun Khan’s parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, have tried to explain for the American public their son’s service and sacrifice to his country. On June 8, 2004, the 27-year-old Captain Khan died in the line of duty in Iraq when he ordered his subordinates to stand back while he inspected a suspicious vehicle that then exploded, taking his life as he sheltered his compatriots. It was an act of heroism for which the Army posthumously awarded him a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Captain Khan’s parents have attributed their son’s sacrifice to his sense of duty, patriotism, and love of the United States — an explanation that has doubled as an eloquent riposte to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s repeated insults about the loyalty and trustworthiness of Muslim Americans.

But there’s another possible motivation for their son’s heroism that bears examination — not least because it serves as the most direct possible rebuttal to Trump. The selfless service of Captain Khan, who was reportedly a devout Muslim, may also have been directly inspired by his faith. There’s good reason to believe that Islam was an essential, rather than incidental, aspect of his heroism.

Keywords: Islam, Muslims, Islamophobia, Judaism, Jews, Christianity, Christian, Quran, Koran, Donald Trump, Holocaust, Rwanda, Rwandan Genocide, Humayun Khan, Albert Einstein, Hero, Heroism, Rescue, Rescuer, Terrorism, Terrorist, September 11

Suggested Citation

Kaufman, Zachary D., Islam is (Also) a Religion of Peace (August 4, 2016). Foreign Policy, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2818787

Zachary D. Kaufman (Contact Author)

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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