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Gold Star Father Khizr Khan Speaks In Phoenix About Backlash Against Muslims

Khizr Kahn
(Photo by Will Stone - KJZZ)
Khizr Kahn and Athena Salman speak in Phoenix on Dec. 10, 2017.

Khizr Khan — a Gold Star father and outspoken critic of President Donald Trump — said Arizona, like much of the country, must reject anti-Muslim attitudes.

On Sunday, Khan met with Muslim leaders in Phoenix to discuss backlash against the community.

He points to the recent election in Virginia - where democrats won key races — as an example of how the country is pushing back against what he sees as President Trump’s efforts to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment.

“Whenever a Muslim community is attacked, people apologize they are ashamed, of the behavior of this type of hate and bigotry and ignorance because the people at the foundation of this hate are ignorant about the founding documents of this country. It is a shame that a Muslim has to remind them,” Khan said.

Valley Muslim leaders said there has been an uptick in hate crimes in the last year, but that not enough of them are being reported.

Athena Salman, a Democratic state representative who was with Khan, said she plans to introduce legislation to mandate reporting in the state. 

Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.