Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Zugzwang
    08 Jun '07
    07 Aug '16 22:085 edits
    Humayun Khan was a US Army officer of Pakistani Muslim heritage.
    By all accounts, his record of service was exemplary and apparently
    everyone who knew him remembers him as an exceptional young officer.

    I have noticed some people on the internet jumping to the absurd conclusion
    that, on account of his Muslim heritage, Humayun Khan must have been
    a Muslim 'fundamenalist', who must be determined to impose Sharia law.
    I have read stereotypical assumptions about his alleged attitudes toward women.

    In fact, in 2002 Humayun Khan met a young German woman, Irene Auer, and fell in love.
    Notwithstanding their political differences (she opposed the US invasion of Iraq),
    the couple began to live together part of the time. Their parents met each other.
    In one of his last messages, he asked his fiancée to choose her engagement ring.

    Two years after his death, she still felt adrift. His parents invited her
    (once their prospective daughter-in-law) to stay with them in the USA--
    hoping to help her heal--and she did so for three months in 2006.
    Afterward, she returned to Germany and became a wife and mother.
    The Khan family has no doubt that their late son would have most
    wanted the woman whom he loved to be happy again.

    "Whenever I was upset, he always found the right words. He always calmed me down.
    He was perfect. He was the most wonderful person I've ever met."
    --Irene Auer (speaking about her late fiancé, Humayun Khan)

    P.S. Some bigots apparently object ('thumbs down' ) to this true story of cross-cultural love.
    In real life, I have noticed insecure racist white men resenting or objecting in particular
    to white women falling for and becoming intimate with non-white men.
  2. Zugzwang
    08 Jun '07
    09 Aug '16 01:064 edits
    Here's a potential Donald Trump campaign 'talking point': (sarcasm intended)
    Captain Khan acted in the best interests of the USA by saving money for the US government.
    He managed to get himself killed in action *before* he could marry his German fiancee.
    If she were his widow, then she could claim financial aid from the US government.
    Moreover, she might qualify to reside in the United States. And do Americans really
    need a Muslim-loving German woman to live among them? Take that, Angela Merkel!

    My point is that, according to both the German woman who loved him and the American
    women who respected and trusted him as they served under his command, Captain Khan
    was far from being the stereotype of a reactionary sexist Muslim man who looked down on women.
    If Humayun Khan had lived long enough to marry and have children with Irene Auer,
    then I suspect that their children would have brought up being in touch with their diverse
    heritage, as US citizens with family connections to Pakistan and Germany, perhaps Muslim, perhaps not.
    I know of no evidence that Irene Auer intended to convert to Islam or that Captain Khan
    had urged her to become a Muslim.

    By the way, Irene Auer has said that she was initially attracted to Humayan Khan
    because she noticed that, in contrast to most Americans, he could speak English
    exceptionally well, and she was a young woman who prized communication skills.
    The many nearly illiterate American and British men here might note that being good
    with words is one way to win a woman's heart (or at least to get her into bed).
  3. Zugzwang
    08 Jun '07
    10 Aug '16 02:37
    Should a young woman feel safer being alone with Humayun Khan (when he was alive) or with
    Donald Trump or Roger Ailes (whom Trump apparently admires for his treatment of women)?