Khizr Khan calls Donald Trump a 'black soul': Is there a spiritual connotation?

Donald Trump has been called a lot of things in the 2016 presidential race.

On Sunday, Khizr Khan, the Muslim father of a U.S. Army soldier killed in Iraq in 2004, labeled Trump a "black soul."

Is that term new to you? It is to me. A quick Google search turned up this definition at

black soul
An individual who lacks the capacity for empathy and compassion

My immediate question: Is there a deeper spiritual connotation — perhaps a religious or theological history associated with that description of which I am not aware? 

Here is the context of the quote, via CNN:

Washington (CNN) Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim US soldier slain in Iraq in 2004, said Sunday that Donald Trump has a "black soul," indicating he lacks empathy and compassion.
Khan told CNN's Jim Acosta on "State of the Union" that he hopes Trump's family will "teach him some empathy."
"He is a black soul, and this is totally unfit for the leadership of this country," Khan said. "The love and affection that we have received affirms that our grief -- that our experience in this country has been correct and positive. The world is receiving us like we have never seen. They have seen the blackness of his character, of his soul."
Khan moved into the national spotlight after he pulled out a pocket copy of the Constitution during his speech at the Democratic National Convention. He said Trump would have barred his Muslim family from entering the United States.

(This is totally unrelated to the main point, but I am curious if CNN Googled, too, and relied on the Urban Dictionary for its definition of "black soul." Or maybe that's just the universally accepted definition.)

With or without the "black soul" quote to CNN, the Khan story was the big political story of the weekend. In a front-page report today, the New York Times — which did not reference that quote — said Trump "appeared to be caught on Sunday in one of the biggest crises of his campaign." And the Wall Street Journal in its lead front-page story today — also without that quote — noted that Khan's "flare-up with Mr. Trump dominated campaign coverage over the weekend."

But it was the "black soul" quote that raised my GetReligion antenna. That CNN quote, by the way, also made its way into some other major news organizations' headlines:

Another interesting piece about Khan, with a strong emphasis on his family's Muslim faith, was published on the front page of Saturday's New York Times:

The Times' lede:

When Capt. Humayun Khan was ordered to Iraq a dozen years ago, his father wanted to talk to him about being an American Muslim soldier sent to war in a Muslim country.
His son, though, was focused only on the job at hand.
“I asked him, ‘How do you feel about the whole Iraq deal?’ ” recalled Khizr Khan, who became a United States citizen after emigrating from Pakistan in 1980. “He said: ‘Look, that’s not my concern and that’s not my pay grade. My responsibility is to make sure my unit is safe.’ And that’s all he would talk about, and nothing else.”
Captain Khan, 27, died on June 8, 2004, after he told his men to take cover and then tried to stop a suicide bomber outside the gates of his base in Baquba. And on Thursday night, speaking about his son at theDemocratic National Convention, Mr. Khan gave a voice to Muslim Americans outraged by the anti-Muslim pronouncements of the Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump.
In a speech that electrified the convention and turned Mr. Khan into a social media and cable news sensation, he waved a pocket Constitution and challenged Mr. Trump, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
Mr. Trump’s call for restrictions on Muslims entering the country is acutely personal, Mr. Khan said, in an interview on Friday, adding that he had no plans to campaign for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, nor had the campaign asked him to.

But back to the "black soul" remark and my original question: Is there a deeper spiritual connotation? Am I missing something obvious? Is there some kind of religious or theology history here? A holy ghost even?

Or should that description be taken at a more mundane level — as in, Trump is an uncaring jerk? My inquiring mind wants to know.

By all means, share your expertise — or even your lack of expertise — in the comments section below or tweet us at @GetReligion.

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