US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is responsible for the rise of intolerance towards Muslims, says Khizr Khan, who has sparked a firestorm with his remarks about Trump at the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
"You see people wearing scarves, people are pointing fingers at them and throwing them out of flights and calling them names when they pass by and all of that," Khizr Khan told Capital Download on Monday.
Khan, the father of a Muslim US soldier who was killed in Iraq, made headlines last month when he called out Trump on his proposed ban on Muslims entering the US.
Trump embroiled himself in yet another controversy, when he belittled Khan’s wife, Ghazala, in response.
Kahn said on Monday that Trump’s rhetoric against Muslims, combined with his immigration policies, make him a culprit in fueling the Islamophobic trend.
"Most Americans are against this kind of nonsense, but there is an element that has gotten voice, has been encouraged by this political rhetoric, and especially this election season has made it worse,” he noted.
Trump’s response to the Khan family caused a series of bipartisan condemnations. A group of US military veterans have visited Congress to denounce the candidate and urge Republican lawmakers to withdraw their endorsement of him.
"Donald Trump's hate speech, bigotry and unabashed incitement to violence against minorities, to include the Muslim community, desecrate the very values of liberty and equality which we as American military veterans swore an oath to protect," said Muslim Navy veteran Nate Terani.
American Muslims have also expressed their frustration with the anti-Muslim rhetoric in the 2016 election cycle.
The entry ban has been one of several controversial statements the billionaire businessman has made about Muslims this year, including the idea of setting up a registry for Muslims living in the US and monitoring their mosques.