Muslim American Veterans Blast Trump's Comments About Khizr And Ghazala Khan

"This is a new low, even for him,” said Robert Salaam, a Muslim American who served in the United States Marine Corps for six years.

United States military veterans who are Muslim have blasted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's comments criticizing the family of a Muslim Army captain who died in a suicide bomb attack in Iraq.

Mohammad Shaker, an Army veteran and former combat medic with the 82nd Airborne, said Trump’s comments were “very disrespectful” to a Gold Star family — a term used for immediate family members of military personnel killed in combat.

Robert Salaam, who served in the Marines for six years, said he expected Trump would say something negative after the Khizr Khan's speech, since he “always does,” but he did not expect Trump to question Mrs. Khan.

Tayyib Rashid, who served as a Marine for five years, called Mr. Khan’s speech a “proud and watershed moment” for himself and Muslim Americans and said he was deeply “offended” by Trump’s comments.

Hey @realDonaldTrump, I'm an American Muslim and I already carry a special ID badge. Where's yours? #SemperFi #USMC

Everybody has the right to have freedom of religion and speech, and so does Trump, said Rashid, who said he would “defend his right to speak his mind” if he had to.

“But when you’re running for president and the most respected office," Rashid said, "words of prejudice and words that are insulting are beneath what a president should be saying or promoting."

Rashid said he could relate to Mr. Khan’s speech, not only as a Muslim American veteran and as an immigrant, but especially because he was around the age of Humayun Khan, whose parents were around the same age as his parents.

“I’m just a couple months younger" than Humayun, Rashid said. "Coming from Pakistan as an immigrant, Mr. Khan’s words resonated with me especially. This was an important moment."

He added, “American Muslims have sacrificed just as much as those who served before us."

Though Trump’s comments offended him on a personal level, Rashid said he was “first and foremost” offended as an American.

“What he’s doing is dividing the country even more, and he provides ammunition to extremist elements who wish to do us harm," Rashid said. "It only serves as a recruitment mechanism for them. When he offends me as an American, and he puts people at risk, and divides our country, that’s when I have the biggest problem."

Ajmal Achekzai, who came to the US as refugee from Afghanistan and later served as a Marine for four years, said Mr. Khan was right: Trump does not “understand the constitution.”

Mansoor Shams, a Marine Corps veteran, said he was “literally in shock” when he heard Trump comparing “his sacrifice of building infrastructure and hiring people to someone who died for this country.”

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