Khan was scheduled to appear at a 7 March 2017 event hosted by RamsayTalks. The company released a statement a day prior to Khan’s appearance saying that Khan had been “notified that his travel privileges are being reviewed.”
“As a consequence, Mr. Khan will not be traveling to Toronto on March 7th to speak about tolerance, understanding, unity and the rule of law,” the statement read.
The statement also included remarks attributed to Khan, though the agency that reportedly contacted him was not identified:
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.
RamsayTalks host Bob Ramsay told Snopes via e-mail that he did not know which agency got in touch with Khan, and that his company was not contacted prior to Khan’s cancellation.
Khan, who was born in Pakistan, was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1986, as was his wife Ghazala. The couple’s son, Humayun Khan, was killed while serving as an Army captain in Iraq in 2004, which led to their being designated as a Gold Star family.
The Khans appeared at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in support of the party’s nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In a highly publicized speech at the convention, Khizr Khan criticized Clinton’s opponent, Republican nominee Donald Trump, saying:
Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words “liberty” and “equal protection of law.”
Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
You have sacrificed nothing and no one.
As a U.S. citizen, Khan may leave the country and re-enter it provided his passport is valid, though other countries have the option of deciding whether to let any U.S. citizen enter. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency does not contact citizens prior to their traveling outside of the U.S. We queried the Canada Border Services Agency seeking comment but have yet to hear back.
Khan has not issued any further comment regarding the event cancellation.
|By Arturo Garcia|
Khizr Khan claims travel privileges under review
Gold Star father Khizr Khan’s “freedom to travel abroad” is reportedly under review, and he says he doesn’t know why.
Khan was scheduled to speak at a luncheon in Toronto on Tuesday “on what we can do about the appalling turn of events in Washington — so that we don’t all end up sacrificing everything.” The two-hour event was to include a presentation and then a question-and-answer session.
But Khan was told late Sunday that his traveling privileges were under review, according to Ramsay Talks, which organized the luncheon.
“As a consequence, Mr. Khan will not be traveling to Toronto on March 7th to speak about tolerance, understanding, unity and the rule of law,” it said in a statement. “Very regretfully, Ramsay Talks must cancel its luncheon with Mr. Khan. Guests will be given full refunds.”
Individual tickets were priced at about $100.
Khan said in a statement that he was confused about why his travel status changed, without explaining in detail the circumstance.
“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,” Khan said. “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.”
It’s not clear exactly what Ramsay Talks meant by "traveling privileges,” and the group did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Khan.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection official, citing privacy issues, declined to discuss Khan specifically but appeared to dispute the report, telling POLITICO that CBP doesn’t contact travelers in advance of their travel abroad.
“With respect to Global Entry or trusted traveler membership, CBP’s engagement is about the status of membership in the program, not any particular travel itself,” the official said. “Of course, any U.S. citizen with a passport may travel without trusted traveler status. All individuals are subject to inspection departing or upon arrival to the United States.”
Khan became a national name when he blasted then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump from the stage of the Democratic National Convention, telling Trump he had “sacrificed nothing” and, as he held up a pocket-size Constitution, asked Trump whether he had even read it.
Khan has been a U.S. citizen for more than 30 years, and his son, Humayun Khan, a University of Virginia graduate and Muslim American Army captain who died in Iraq in 2004, was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
News of Khan’s travel restrictions, first reported by CTV News, followed the release Monday of Trump’s revised executive order banning travel from six Muslim-majority nations. The ban, which will go into effect March 16, would not have impacted Khan.
Khizr Khan cancels Toronto trip after being told his travel privileges are being ‘reviewed’: reports
Khizr Khan, the Muslim American Gold Star father who famously railed against President Donald Trump at last year’s Democratic National Convention, has cancelled a planned speech he was scheduled to give in Toronto after being informed that his travel privileges are “under review.”
Rosa Hwang, a senior producer at CTV National News, reports that Khan received word that his privileges were under review on Sunday evening. It is not clear from Khan’s account who has put him under review.
“This turn of events is not just concerning to me, but to all my fellow Americans who cherish our freedom to travel abroad,” said Khan, whose son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan, died in Iraq in 2004. “I have not been given any reason as to why.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Daily Dot it does not contact travelers before they leave the United States.
“U.S. Customs & Border Protection does not contact travelers in advance of their travel out of the United States,” the federal agency said. “With respect to Global Entry or trusted traveler membership, CBP’s engagement is about the status of membership in the program, not any particular travel itself. Of course, any US citizen with a passport may travel without trusted traveler status.”
Ramsay Talks, the organization that was due to host Khan’s speech, confirmed that the talk had been cancelled and that tickets would be refunded.