September 9th, 2010
The Sensitivities of 9/11 Families
by Donna Marsh O’Connor
The Huffington Post
“On Wednesday, the 25th of August I spoke at a press conference organized by a group called New York Neighbors for American Values in favor of the building of an Islamic Cultural Center two blocks away and around the corner from, as it has come to be called, Ground Zero. Ground Zero. Ground Zero. No matter how many times I say it, it doesn’t lose meaning. Instead, it accrues meaning. It is the place where my pregnant daughter Vanessa Lang Langer was murdered…” (more)
9/11 Widow: The Media Duped Us
As I watch other victims argue over Park51, I feel like reporters turned us into the experts we never were
By Alissa Torres
The first time I heard about the Park51 Islamic community center was on May 6, 2010, when I received the following e-mail from a New York TV reporter:
“I’m doing story today about the proposed mosque project at the WTC site. I am interviewing the developers but I am also trying to look for family members who think building a mosque at the site is a bad idea.”
“Bad idea” — that was a bit leading, wasn’t it?… (more)
Donna Marsh O’Connor, on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, explains why she supports the Park51 Islamic Center.
Talat Hamdani, who lost her son in the 9-11 attacks, shares her opinion on Newt Gingrich’s efforts to stall the community center from being built.
Saturday Aug 28th, 2010 5:55 AM
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Muslim Mother of 9/11 Victim Asserts Islamic Center a Matter of Religious Freedom
Interview with Talat Hamdani, mother of 9/11 victim and member of 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, conducted by Scott Harris
During the sometimes ugly debate about the proposed location of an Islamic community center two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City, family members of 9/11 victims have often been quoted as expressing opposition to the project. Many have said that the location at an abandoned Burlington Coat Factory building opens up old wounds, is too close to hallowed ground or just plain hurtful.
Arguments which counter that another mosque has been located for years just four blocks from the World Trade Center site fail to change the minds of many 9/11 family members who are still grieving for loved ones lost. But the mother of one 9/11 victim has a very different perspective from the majority of family members quoted in the media. Talat Hamdani’s son Salman, a New York City Police cadet and Emergency Medical Technician, was killed on Sept. 11 when he went to the burning twin towers to assist in rescuing victims of the attack. When Talat did not hear from her son in the days after 9/11, she was told that as a Muslim, he may have been arrested by the FBI as a terrorist suspect. The New York Post newspaper in a sensational headline proclaimed that Salman was either “Missing or Hiding.”
The unfounded accusations of her son’s complicity with terrorism compounded the mother’s grief when Talat was informed six months after the attack that Salman’s remains were located under the World Trade Center rubble. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Talat, an active member of the group 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, who responds to those protesting the building of an Islamic center near the site where her son died as he attempted rescue victims of the attack.
Another Wound For Muslims Who Lost Loved Ones on 9/11
The Huggington Post
…Such rhetoric angers Hamdani, who said she has her own comments for politicians who make them.
“You did not lose a child in the 9/11 attack. You don’t know what it is that we went through. And you are a very immoral person to exploit our tragedy for your selfish political goal,” Hamdani said.
“Why should we as Americans be punished for the actions of foreign terrorists? We have to be acknowledged as equal Americans, as people of any other faith. To be refused, as a whole people, the right to build? No. It’s not right,” she added…” (more)