WASHINGONT - An American Muslim mother is struggling to get the name of her son among the first responders, who have sacrificed their lives for saving people in the 9/11 tragedy.
"He was a prime example of what it is to be a human being, Talat, the mother of Mohammed Hamdani, told CNN.
Hamdani, a 23-year-old Muslim, was a certified Emergency Medical Technician and onetime cadet at the New York Police Department.
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Hearing the news that two planes hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, he rushed to the scene to help save people.
Since then, no one has ever heard about him.
He went in there to save humanity," his bereaved mother said.
Six months later, the remains of the young Muslim, who is of Pakistani origin, were found nearby the scene.
"They gave us his jeans and his belt, which my husband identified were his clothes, his mother recalled.
Hamdani was buried after the 9/11 attacks with full honors from the New York Police Department, and proclaimed a hero by the city's police commissioner.
He is cited by name in the Patriot Act as an example of Muslim-American valor.
However, to the shock of his family, Hamdani's name was never listed in the 9/11 memorial among the first responders, who lost their lives while trying to save people.
Instead, his name was put in a separate section of the memorial among those considered loosely connected to the World Trade Center.
The bereaved mother believes that her son's Islamic religion is the reason behind denying him the right to be put on the 9/11 memorial.
"They are discriminating because of his faith and that is not right, she said.
He did not stop to wonder are they Christian or Muslims or are they Jews or their ethnicity or their color, she said of her son's action on 9/11.
It's just humanity.
But the memorial denies discrimination against the young Muslim, saying criteria do not apply to Hamdani to be put among first responders.
So many of the names on the 9/11 Memorial represent individuals both in and out of uniform, known and unknown who displayed extraordinary bravery on that horrible day, and that includes Mohammed Salman Hamdani," a spokesman for the memorial said in a statement.
The memorial argues that Hamdani was not an active cadet when he died and that he had not received a presidential medal for valor, which is among criteria for first responders.
"While this case did not meet the criteria for the First Responders' section of the Memorial, that in no way diminishes the courage and bravery Mr. Hamdani and hundreds of others showed on 9/11, said spokesman Michael Frazier.
However, the Muslim mother vows to keep her struggle to get her son's name enrolled in the list of first responders.
"I want to see it in my lifetime, she said.
It's a very - it's so intense pain that is indescribable."He's not here to speak for himself, Talat said I have to speak for him. And I will till the day I die. "
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net