The late Salman Hamdani was an American hero. He was a 'first responder' on September 11 2001, placing himself in harm's way to save other human beings. For 6 months, he was regarded as a suspect. Then when his remains were found at Ground Zero, Salman Hamdani was finally exonerated.
For those 6 months, his parents lived a double jeopardy of distress - their son was missing and they had neighbours looking at them suspiciously as rumours spread that their son may have been a terrorist.
Now with a terror-loving congressman holding hearings into Muslim radicalism, Salman Hamdani's story was being cited by Congressman Keith Ellison in his emotional testimony. And the American Right are having a field day of bigotry, alleging Ellison made the whole thing up. Matthew Shaffer, a Fellow at the National Review Institute, does some googling and alleges that there really weren't any serious rumours about Hamdani at all.
Shaffer should tell this to Talat Hamdani, Salman's mum. Here's what she has to say:
Despite his noble instincts, the tabloid media initially suggested that because of his Pakistani-American heritage, he might have been involved with the attacks.
My grief was compounded by the suspicions that clouded Salman's name and the suggestion that his faith -- my faith -- not the acts of 19 murderers, was somehow responsible.
Her entire piece, written in response to the IRA-supporting Peter King witch hunt, should be read in full.
All of which just goes to show how irrational is racial and religious profiling.
Words © 2011 Irfan Yusuf
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