His family says Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim and an American, loved his country and the military. He also believed strongly that peace would be the ultimate outcome of the war in Iraq.
Khan did not live to see that outcome.
The Department of Defense announced the 27-year-old was killed Tuesday in Baquabah, Iraq. It happened when suicide bombers drove into an American compound while Khan was inspecting soldiers on guard duty.
Khan, who lived in Bristow, is the 20th Virginian to die in Iraq.
"Instead of running, he stood foward to the oncoming taxi to prevent it from going inside," said Shahrayar Khan, who is 11 months older than his brother. "Even being in Iraq, surrounded by moral peril, I knew he would do the right thing. That he was there to protect and to save lives."
InnaLillahi Wa inna Ilahi Raji'un.
Another muslim soldier, Cpl Wassef Hassoun, has been captured by Al-Qaeda extremists in Iraq and also faces the likely prospect of beheading. Falsely accused of deserting his post (a charge that most observers accepted uncritically), his family prays fervently for his release.
It is crucial to note that these soldiers are doing jihad. Not just the internal struggle to stay upon the Path, but the lesser but no less critical at times type that involves risking your life to defend what you believe in. The essence of jihad is to fight in defense of your values, and these men have chosen to answer that call in service of the only nation on Earth that lets them pursue their faith in true freedom and liberty. Is it any surprise that they take up arms?