Mohammad Salman Hamdani

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Mohammad Salman Hamdani
Hamdani.mohammad.jpg
Born December 28, 1977
Karachi, Pakistan
Died September 11, 2001(2001-09-11) (aged 23)
New York City, United States

Mohammad (or Mohammed) Salman Hamdani (December 28, 1977 – September 11, 2001) was a Muslim American who died at the World Trade Center in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, when he went there to offer rescue assistance. For this he was mentioned in the 2001 Patriot Act of the US Congress, as an example of Muslim Americans who acted heroically on 9/11.

Life[edit]

Hamdani was born in Karachi, Pakistan and moved to America with his parents when he was 13 months old. He had two younger brothers, Adnaan and Zeshan, who were born in the US. His mother Talat taught English at a middle school in Queens and his father Saleem was the owner and operator of a convenience store in Brooklyn.[1][2]

He was on his high school's football team in Bayside, Queens where he lived.[3] He majored in chemistry at Queens College and graduated in June 2001.[Note 1] In July he started employment as a research technician at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Rockefeller University in the Protein/DNA Technology Center, and additionally had a part-time job driving an ambulance.[3][4] He was an NYFD-certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)[5] and a New York City Police Department cadet.[6] The night before 9/11 he was working on an application for medical school and helping his father cope with heart disease.[2]

Death[edit]

Hamdani’s name is located on Panel S-66 of the National September 11 Memorial's South Pool.

It was believed that on the morning of September 11, 2001, while on the way to work at Rockefeller University, Hamdani witnessed the smoke coming from the Twin Towers and hurried to the scene to aid victims, using his police and EMT identification to get a ride through the restricted traffic.[Note 2] He died in the World Trade Center and his remains were found in the rubble of the North Tower.[2]

At first Hamdani was listed as missing and there were media reports that he was under investigation as being possibly involved in the attack.[5][7][8][9][10] In October 2001 an unidentified body along with Hamdani's medical bag and identification were found at Ground Zero, the site of the destroyed World Trade Center. His body was not yet positively identified by DNA profiling.[6] He was declared a hero by Congress that October, 45 days after the attacks.[7] Specifically, he is mentioned in the USA PATRIOT Act, Title 1 in section 102 (titled "Sense of Congress condemning discrimination against Arab and Muslim Americans"), which states that:

Many Arab Americans and Muslim Americans have acted heroically during the attacks on the United States, including Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old New Yorker of Pakistani descent, who is believed to have gone to the World Trade Center to offer rescue assistance and is now missing.[11]

His remains were discovered in multiple pieces among those that were found in the wreckage of the North Tower.[1] They were identified five months later, in March 2002,ref name=Rockefeller/> and shortly afterwards on April 5, 2002 at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, he was memorialized as a hero by Mayor Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Kelly, Congressman Ackerman and 500 others.[6][7][12] A memorial scholarship fund in his name, for outstanding Pakistani-American students, was created at Rockefeller University in 2002 by his mother Talat Hamdani.[4]

Legacy[edit]

On March 10, 2011, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, in his testimony before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security for its hearing on "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community’s Response", cited Hamdani as being falsely accused of being involved in the WTC attacks only because he was a Muslim.[13][14]

At the National September 11 Memorial, Hamdani is memorialized at the South Pool, on Panel S-66.[15]

On April 28, 2014, the corner of 204th Street and 35th Avenue in Bayside, Queens was renamed to 'Salman Hamdani Way' to honor hamdani, after the community board unanimously agreed on the name-change. Councilman Paul Vallone, Hamdani's mother Talat Hamdani, Munir Avery, Salman Ahmad, brother Zeshan Hamdani, Assemblyman Edward Braunstein and local residents attended the ceremony.[16]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A picture of Hamdani in the chemistry lab can be found at http://qcpages.qc.edu/~whersh/whh2004sal.html . Note that his research work was included in the article mentioned there: William H. Hersh, Ping Xu, Cheslan K. Simpson, Jonathan Grob, Brian Bickford, Mohammad Salman Hamdani, Thomas Wood, and Arnold L. Rheingold (2004) "Synthesis and Structural Characterization of Trivalent Amino Acid Derived Chiral Phosphorus Compounds". J. Org. Chem., 69 (6), pp 2153–2163. PMID 15058965
  2. ^ See red "A" in each of the following linked maps for the location of Bayside, Queens, NY where Hamdani lived; Rockefeller University, where he worked; and the site of the destroyed World Trade Center where he went to aid victims and died.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Otterman, Sharon (January 1, 2012). "Obscuring a Muslim Name, and an American’s Sacrifice". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c Shane, Scott (September 11, 2002) Out of loss, a struggle for meaning The Baltimore Sun.
  3. ^ a b "Mohammad Salman Hamdani: An All-American Jedi". (March 9, 2003) The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b "Rockefeller University Announces Scholarship Fund in Name of Employee Who Died at World Trade Center". (April 8, 2002) Office of Communications and Public Affairs, The Rockefeller University.
  5. ^ a b "Mother of a Muslim Patriot: Mohammad Salman Hamdani". (March 17, 2011) The Muslim Observer.
  6. ^ a b c Fenner, Austin (April 6, 2002) "Muslim Cop Cadet Mourned". Daily News.
  7. ^ a b c Schabner, Dean (June 29, 2005) "Debate Heats Up Over 'Sunsetting' Parts of Patriot Act". ABC News.
  8. ^ Shaffer, Matthew (March 10, 2011) "Rep. Keith Ellison’s Bigotry". National Review Online.
  9. ^ Dwyer, Jim and Wakin, Daniel J. (October 12, 2001) "Absent Police Cadet Sought After Disappearance". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Gorta, William J. and Crittle, Simon (October 12, 2001) "Missing - or Hiding? - Mystery of NYPD Cadet from Pakistan". New York Post.
  11. ^ Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001 Sec. 102 (a) (6), p. 276, PUBLIC LAW 107 - 56.
  12. ^ Brown, Laura J. (April 15, 2002) Muslim American Hero of September 11 Remembered Washington File, Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.
  13. ^ Congressman Ellison's Testimony To The House Committee On Homeland Security - As Prepared For Delivery (March 10, 2011) Congressman Keith Ellison 5th District of Minnesota.
  14. ^ CHS (2011) Committee on Homeland Security Hearing (The part of Congressman Ellison's testimony about Hamdani begins at 1:03:48 of video.)
  15. ^ Mohammad Salman Hamdani. Memorial Guide: National 9/11 Memorial. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  16. ^ Rosenberg, Eli (April 28, 2014). "Queens street renamed for Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a Muslim police cadet who died helping victims at the World Trade Center on 9/11". Daily News. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Mohammad Salman Hamdani at Wikimedia Commons