Muslim couple that sparred with Trump to be honored at local gala

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

The Pakistani parents of deceased United States Army Capt. Humayun Khan will be honored next month at the annual Arab-American Civil Rights League gala in Dearborn.

Khizr and Ghazala Khan first received national attention after Khizr Khan spoke about his son, who died in Iraq in 2004, at the Democratic National Convention. The man also criticized GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump during his speech, prompting the nominee to hit back in statements suggesting Ghazala Khan was unable to speak at the event because of her Muslim faith.

Since then, the Charlottesville, Virginia, couple have remained outspoken critics of Trump’s policies, including his proposed ban on Muslim immigration.

The Khans will receive a civil rights award at the 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29 ACRL gala at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center at 15801 Michigan in Dearborn. The event will be preceded by a VIP reception at 5:30 p.m.

Khizr Kahn has confirmed his attendance, while his wife also hopes to attend, according to the ACRL.

The event also will feature keynote speaker Amre Moussa, an Egyptian politician and diplomat, ACRL officials said. He previously served as secretary-general of the Arab League and as Egypt’s minister of foreign affairs. He joined the United Nations in 2003 as a member of the high level panel on threats, challenges and change for international peace and security, before meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 to sign a “memorandum of understanding.”

Antochian Orthodox deacon the Rev. George Shalboub also will be honored at the event with a community service award for his work on the state’s mental health advisory board and the commission on Arab and Chaldean American affairs. He is based at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Livonia and holds degrees from multiple institutions, including a Doctor of Ministry Degree in pastoral counseling from the Graduate Theological Foundation.

More than 800 dignitaries and guests are expected to attend the gala, including state and community leaders, elected officials and civil rights activists, according to the ACRL.

People may purchase tickets or contact officials for sponsorship opportunities.

(313) 223-4616


Sponsorship contacts:

Nasser Beydoun at (313) 702-1700

Rula Aoun at (313) 633-0231 or