Gold Star Father Khizr Khan campaigned for Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Phil Murphy in Princeton on Thursday afternoon.
Khan, who spoke at the the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, is the father of fallen Iraq War hero Captain Humayun Khan.
More than 100 people, including numerous state, county and local officials, packed the Solley Theater at the Arts Council to hear Murphy and Khan speak. Murphy greeted the audience with an Arabic greeting and stressed the values of fairness, diversity and inclusion in his brief speech. He also highlighted the fact that the state has a large Muslim population.
“New Jersey stands proudly as the most diverse state in the nation,” Murphy said, adding that state leaders should wear that diversity as a badge of honor “or not bother running as a candidate.”
He praised four Rutgers University students who won an international startup competition for their ride-share rickshaw service project to help refugees. The students beat out more than 50,000 participants from 100 countries. All four students are Muslim, Murphy said. “They are just as American as my four kids,” he said.
When introducing Khan, Murphy said Hilary Clinton rightly called him “the best of America.” “Unfortunately, too many state and national leaders do not believe in the values of fairness and inclusion,” he said, adding that the governor was silent “while Trump trampled on values of inclusion and openness.”
Khan called voters can set the direction of the country straight on election day. “An anomaly has taken place in our nation,” he said. “Please set the direction of this country straight.”
He said people in New Jersey can have their names “listed in the gold letters of history” by leading the charge to fix things. People are closely watching what happens in New Jersey on election day this November, he said.