Neighbors described Khan — who immigrated to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia when he was 7 years old — as “friendly” and “reserved.” They said he launched his Web site while taking classes at Central Piedmont Community College and selling Cutco knives.
Abdullah Mahmud, an acquaintance of Khan’s who attends the same mosque, the Islamic Center of Greater Charlotte, defended Khan's viewpoints, saying his anger stems from the United States' foreign policy and occupation of Iraq.
Mahmoud said the blood-drenched videos Khan shows of U.S. soldiers injured in combat “serve the purpose of making the reality of the Iraqi scene visible to people.”
“Those videos are not much different than videos involving American soldiers targeting Iraqi civilians,” he said. “You have to look at both sides here.”
One of Khan’s neighbors, Ron Williams, also defended Khan’s right to free speech.
“Our actions (in Iraq) were interpreted broadly in the Muslim world as an attack on Islam,” Williams said, “I defend his right to speak out.”