Street Naming Should ‘Rectify’ Injustice to 9/11 Muslim Hero
A street in Bayside, Queens, is scheduled to be renamed after Salman Hamdani, a Pakistani-American who gave his life helping others on 9/11 and was first misidentified as a terrorist, the Queens Chronicle reports.
The story, by Joseph Orovic, reports on the efforts Hamdani’s mother has gone through to memorialize her Muslim-American son’s heroics on Sept. 11, 2001.
Talat Hamdani, 61, has spent over a decade battling the perception that her son, Mohammed Salman Hamdani, was anything less than the 23-year-old NYPD cadet who rushed to help at the World Trade Center that fateful day.
He’ll be one step closer to full recognition for his heroics this spring, when a proposed renaming of 204th Street at 35th Avenue in Hamdani’s honor will come before the City Council.
Community Board 11 voted unanimously for the renaming on Feb. 4, moving the proposal on to Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone).
“We the people do have the power to rectify,” Talat Hamdani said. “This is democracy at work. I’m happy, but yet it’s not over.”
According to the article, Salman Hamdani, who grew up on Bayside, rushed to the World Trade Center immediately after the attacks, and died trying to help others that day. The authorities initially suspected he was part of the terror network. He was later buried with full honors from the Police Department, and lauded as a hero by Commissioner Ray Kelly.
But at the 9/11 Memorial, Salman’s name resides along the South Tower’s perimeter, in a veritable purgatory among those whose connections to that fateful day were tenuous or hard to define.
Talat wants her son’s name moved to be among the first responders who died helping others that day. The renaming is solace, however small, but helps build her case.
“It is an injustice,” she said. “I think this event, the naming of the street, is going to send a strong message to the whole city.”