The 14-year-old Muslim boy from Irving, Texas, who rocketed to Internet stardom after police handcuffed and detained him for bringing a homemade clock to MacArthur High School, visited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Monday night for the White House’s “Astronomy Night” event.
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.
— President Obama (@POTUS44) September 16, 2015
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said before the event on Monday that Obama had no plan to meet Mohamed, according to the Dallas Morning News. However, Mohamed did manage a brief greeting with the president following the event, reports the USA Today, by making his way to the front of the crowd, which included 300 students, 11 astronauts, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Like Obama, Clinton tweeted her support for Mohamed last month, soon after he became an Internet celebrity. Many other supporters used the opportunity to raise awareness about Islamaphobic practices.
Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe—they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building. https://t.co/ywrlHUw3g1
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 16, 2015
“I felt really happy that I got support from the president,” Mohamed told the Dallas Morning News on Monday morning. “It’s really amazing that he helped me.”
“President Obama, at every stage, tries to politicize what happens, whether it is this teenager here in Texas, whether it is the shootings we saw in the Pacific Northwest,” Cruz said in Plano, Texas, on Sunday, according to the Morning News. “Over and over again, sadly, he seeks to try to divide us, to try to tear us apart. The president really ought to be looking for ways to bring us together, to unify us.”
The only thing missing from Monday night’s event was Mohamed’s clock, which Obama asked him to bring to the White House. Mohamed told the Morning News that he couldn’t bring it since he had been traveling from Sudan after meeting President Omar al-Bashir there last Wednesday and did not have time to retrieve it from his home before heading to Washington.
Photo via AgnosticPreachersKid/Wikipedia (CC BY SA 3.0) | Remix of Fernando Alfonso III