Pakistani-origin Khizr Khan — who came into the spotlight after challenging ex-US president Donald Trump’s knowledge of the American constitution — will receive the highest US civil award from President Joe Biden.
The US president named 17 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public, or private endeavours.
Khizr — the father of US Army Captain Humayun Khan who was killed in Iraq in 2004 — 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 has served on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom under President Biden.
The awards will be presented at the White House on July 7.
“These seventeen Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith,” the White House said in a statement.
It said that these individuals 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.