Khizr Khan, the father of an American war hero who riled Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election after delivering a speech critical of real estate mogul, has cancelled an event in Toronto scheduled for Monday as “his travel privileges are being reviewed” by the US government.
Khan had drawn fire from Trump after speaking in support of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last summer. His son, Humayun, was in the US armed forces when he was killed in a suicide bombing in Iraq in 2004. After criticising Trump, both he and his wife were attacked by Trump.
Announcing the cancellation of the event, the organiser, Ramsay Talks, posted a message on its Facebook page that said: “Late Sunday evening Khizr Khan, an American citizen for over 30 years, was notified that his travel privileges are being reviewed. As a consequence, Khan will not be travelling to Toronto on March 7th to speak about tolerance, understanding, unity and the rule of law.”
It quoted Khan as saying, “This turn of events is not just of deep concern to me but to all my fellow Americans who cherish our freedom to travel abroad. I have not been given any reason as to why. I am grateful for your support and look forward to visiting Toronto in the near future.”
In the listing for the event, Ramsay Talks had stated: “His remarks then are sadly prophetic now: ‘Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims, he disrespects minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He wants to build walls and ban us from this country’.”
Media reports said the review that prevented Khan from travelling to Toronto was being undertaken by American authorities rather than those in Canada.
Khan’s experience is the second of cross-border issues that emerged within 24 hours. Canadian national broadcaster CBC reported that a 30-year-old Indo-Canadian, who was travelling from Montreal to a spa in Vermont, was stopped from entering the US. A border agent reportedly told her, “I know you may feel like you've been Trumped.”
Manpreet Kooner is a Canadian citizen and Canadians do not generally require visas to travel to the US for purposes such as tourism as long they possess a Canadian passport, which she told CBC she did.