WASHINGTON: Pakistani-American Khizr Khan, who got worldwide fame when he challenged former US president Donald Trump’s knowledge of the Constitution, has been nominated to receive the country’s highest civil award — The Presidential Medal of Freedom.
President Joe Biden on Friday announced the recipients of the prestigious award including Khizr Khan among 17 noted Americans. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs (posthumously) and former Senator John McCain (posthumously) will also receive the award.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom, established under former President John F Kennedy, is the highest civilian honour, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the US, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavours, the White House said in a statement.
“President Biden has long said that America can be defined by one word: possibilities,” it added
“These seventeen Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith,” the White House said further.
“They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities — and across the world — while blazing trails for generations to come.
The awards will be presented at the White House Thursday, July 7.
Who is Khiz Khan
Khizr Khan is a Gold Star father and founder of the Constitution Literacy and National Unity Center.
He is a prominent advocate for the rule of law and religious freedom and served on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom under President Biden.
He came to fame when in 2016 he openly challenged the then US president for his knowledge of the US Constitution. His son, US Army Captain Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq in 2004.
Khizr Khan originally hail from Lahore, where Khizr studied law at the Punjab University.
He then went to the US along with his young family to continue further studies at Harvard Law School, before permanently settling down in the country.