Khizr Khan, whose son Humayun served in the US Army and was killed in 2004, said the president’s order to ban people from entering the US from seven Muslim countries was done “only to appease (the) small number (from his) racist base that has voted for him” and would alienate American Muslims.
Khan spoke out on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Monday as a petition to cancel Trump’s mooted state visit approached a million signatures. By early afternoon it had more than 1.2 million signatures.
Downing Street has since said Theresa May was “very happy” to invite Trump on the Queen’s behalf.
“Let people protest. Let British people decide whether or not [he should visit]. I agree with you that this dialogue should continue but let the people decide,” he said.
Khan and his wife Ghazala appeared at the Democratic National Convention in July last year to condemn Trump’s proposed ban of Muslims entering the US.
They were born in Pakistan and came to the US. Their son was killed by a roadside bomb and buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
At the convention, Khan held up a copy of the US constitution and asked Trump whether he had ever read it.
On typical form, Trump picked a fight with the couple, suggesting Ghazala Khan did not speak at the convention because she was not “allowed” to.
Ghazala Khan, who helped her husband write his convention speech, said her grief over her son’s death meant she had been struggling not to cry at the sight of his picture being displayed.
“I couldn’t take it,” she said. “I controlled myself at that time... It is very hard.”