When a memorial is ready to be built and an architect (or in this case simply the design) is ready to be chosen, the parameters that are held as most important will not come from a rational place. They will come from one of emotion. Waldman's book The Submission is a written symbol of the power and the authority Americans had over their own Muslim citizens at the time. Mohammed Khan had won with his design submission both anonymously and fairly. There was no reason at all to question his motives. It was simply his name that gave it away. What did his name give away? Well, the book complicates that.
The architect Khan being pictured or imagined as the villain in entirety regardless of his individual background or origin serves as a reminder of how far stereotypes and ultimately, prejudice against persons can go. In this case, very far! His designs were called "paradises for martyrs" and were protested against. His design was a beautiful and mathematical homage to the dead and would have been a fitting remembrance of that day: metal trees upended along with lines of various fruit trees contrasted with pools called The Void. Ultimately, I do think that Khan was being chosen as the scapegoat for their grief. He wanted to be the one to design a memorial (which is a homage to grief). Instead, he became the scapegoat, the figure of blame.
There are two points in the second half of the novel that I felt were noteworthy as far as this idea of scapegoating: the first being when he shaves his hair, and the second being when his design ends up being actualized in a Muslim moghul's garden. He wished to wash away the blame by removing his hair. It was a process of purification of any outward signs that he is Muslim. I think this gives us something to ponder further: can culture be purified? Can we wash off where we come from just like that? Evidently, this novel tells us that you cannot. It sticks to you like a stigma. Khan couldn't wash off the blame that was placed on him for being Muslim. Was it his name that marred him? Maybe. But I do think that his roots would have been exposed, even if he was known as just Mo. "The suspicious wins over common sense." The angry mobs would not have had it. Their voices were too loud, too angry, and much too emotional to be silenced. What do you possibly say to people whose loved ones have just died in a bloody massacre, even if they are being irrational?