Khizr Khan’s claim that the U.S. is restricting his travel may be unraveling
Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father whose impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention in July called on Americans to reject a ban on Muslims entering the United States, claimed that his “travel privileges are being reviewed” by U.S. authorities, forcing him to cancel a scheduled speech in Toronto.
The announcement on Monday coincided with President Trump's rewritten order to temporarily ban entry of citizens from six Muslim-majority nations to the United States. Khan has been a U.S. citizen for more than 30 years and was born in Pakistan, which is not one of the six nations.
Ramsay Talks, the organizer of the event Khan was to speak at, seemed to take Khan at his word on Monday and included a statement from him in a cancellation post on Facebook. “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,” said Khan, according to the post. “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.”
The claim, which does not state which U.S. agency contacted him, immediately raised doubts about how it was possible that a U.S. citizen was being prevented from traveling abroad.
On Tuesday, Bob Ramsay, who runs Ramsay Talks, said he didn't know the specifics of Khan's predicament. “I don’t know exactly who conducted the review, but in speaking with Mr. Khan, it was certainly U.S. authorities,” Ramsay said. “That’s all I know.”
As questions about his motivations for making the claim swirl, Khan has refused to elaborate on his initial statement to The Washington Post and other publications. A more detailed request for clarification did not receive an immediate response Tuesday afternoon.
It is unclear whether Khan has previously traveled outside the United States since he was naturalized.