Mother of a Muslim Patriot: Mohammad Salman Hamdani

By Mufti Admin


Seated next to portraits of her son Mohammad Salman Hamdani, who was 23 when he died attempting to save lives at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Talat Hamdani sits during an interview in New York.

Muslim Americans have carried the cross since September 11, 2001. Time has come to take it off. My son, Mohammad Salman Hamdani, 23, was a first responder an NYPD Cadet to be killed that day at the WTC and how his noble actions and sacrifice was turned into a story of speculations, based on his Muslim faith, still boils my blood. Muslim Americans  also died that day and the audaity to blame us for the actions of foreign terrorists?

Salman was an FDNY Certified EMT, worked for Metro Ambulance, and was an NYPD Cadet. Yet this was irrelevant to the mass hysteria against Muslims. He was deemed a suspect because he was chemistry major, was born in Pakistan and was a Muslim. An acquaintance informed us that the NYPD bio flyer of Salman with his picture was circulating the precincts with a WANTED written on top and * Chemistry Major. Has NYPD ID*. The media descended upon us like vultures in anticipation of a kill, camping outside my house, bent on interrogating my 90 year old mother, since I was in Mecca. The NY Post’s sensational headline blared “Missing or Hiding” under Salman’s picture , and claimed someone saw him later that day at 11 A.M. at the midtown tunnel on October 12, 2001, when I was in Mecca and not here to defend my son.

On returning from Mecca, Congressman Ackerman, than a member of the Terrorist Task Force, interrogated us. Why did he join the NYPD? Why did he become an EMT? Why did he go to London to stude? Where was he going that day?Who was he planning to meet? When did I last see my son? And he suggested that the INS might detain Salman since he wasn’t born here. We contacted the White House, FBI, and Senator Schumer, but only received form letters from the former two. Senator Chuck Schumer has yet to respond. Only then we learned that Salman’s name was included in a heroic context in Section 102 of the PATRIOT Act, which was passed on October 26, 2001. Six months later, on March 20, 2002, two police officers came and notified that his remains were identified through DNA testing at about the same time that the Patriot Act was passed, and almost the same day that we had returne from Mecca, five months earlier. We had his funeral on April 5, 2002 and two years later, on 6/21/2004, my husband also died of a broken heart.

Is this what America really is? I did not come here to lose my child and be inflicted with this excruciating pain, which I have to live with till the day I die. What have we become? Have we forgotten our history? The Pilgrims came to this great land of liberty to escape religious persecution from the British. Two centuries later, we have metamorphosed into Nazi Germany, replacing the Jews by Muslims. Not so fast. The First Amendment of the US Constitution protects all faiths.

President Obama had said in his inauguration speech that America is not at war with the Muslim world. What better opportunity than this to make a statement of who we are as a nation and as a people and regain our moral standing in the world. If the Trinity church can stand on the footprints of the WTC, why the objection to another place of worship near it, like the ICC?
This country belongs to all her citizens–citizens of diverse ethnicity, race and faith. When Salman and other first responder went to rescue their fellow Americans, they did not hesitate to think about the faith of the victims. We as a nation, have to keep their legacy alive by doing justice and transcending the barriers of race, faith and ethnicity. There are more than 8 million Muslims who are an integral part of the American fabric. They are not terrorists. They also died in the 911 attacks. They are protected, like other people of faith, by the US Constitution and the should not be persecuted on American soil for their faith.

We need to come together as a nation and heal and move forward in united instead of being divided along the religious lines. Not all 911 families are out for revenge. There are many 911 families who are advocating reconciliation and peace, and I am one of them.

Talat G. Hamdani
Mother of Mohammad Salman Hamdani, NYPD Cdet, EMT, WTC II


1 reply
  1. Jo Fretz
    Jo Fretz says:

    I saw Mrs Hamani’s interview about her son Mohammad and how as a Police Cadet(or cadet who had recently completed his training), without a thought, immediately responded to to the Towers during the 9/11 attacks. I think what everyone forgets about these EMT’s( I believe Mohammad was an EMT also?), Police officers, Police Cadets, and Fire Fighters unlike I forget what they listed his name under at the memorial “ancilarry people at the site” in other words, people who just happen to be there for no particular role, is that people like Mohammad RAN TO BE THERE, RAN INTO THE TOWERS TO SAVE PEOPLE, HE DID NOT RUN AWAY AS EVERY OTHER NORMAL HUMAN BEING WAS DOING, as the ancillary people at the site were doing. The man wanted to be a doctor!! Everything in his soul cried out HUMAN SERVICE – HELP OTHERS – SAVE OTHERS BEFORE MYSELF!!! And they will not give him the respect he deserves of placing him with the first responders?!?!?!? Some people are going to hate me for saying this and I don’t mean it to be disrespectful only to get a point across…He was more a first responder than anyone else because he did not HAVE TO DO IT but HE DID!!! I want to help Mrs Hamani in her quest to have her son’s name moved to where it rightfully should be at the memorial – IN HER LIFETIME!! Please if someone could give me an address to where i may reach her, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you and God Bless.