Muslim high schooler arrested for building a clock gets wave of support from Internet, Hillary Clinton
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Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Texas Muslim accused of making a “hoax bomb” after he brought a homemade clock to class, is garnering a huge wave of solidarity with #IStandWithAhmed.
The incident landed him in an interrogation room with four police officers and then, an outpouring of support for the teen on Twitter, especially accusing the Irving Police Department of Islamaphobic practices.
Twitter exploded with enough support for even Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton tweeted her support.
Later, President Obama offered Mohamed a visit to the White House, though he didn’t use the hashtag.
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 (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
Muslims and other supporters also showed their solidarity and expressed their disgust with how police officers saw his clock as anything other than creative invention.
I don’t know how to build a clock. We need kids like Ahmed around to build clocks for us. #IStandWithAhmed
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) September 16, 2015
Mohamed told Dallas Morning News he felt self-conscious of his brown skin and his name. He told police repeatedly that his invention was not a “hoax bomb,” but a homemade clock he pieced together the night before the incident.
Police spokesman James McLellan said Mohamed claimed his invention was only a homemade clock. “We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” McLellan said. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”
“Obviously, we believe that had this student not been Muslim you would not have seen this gross overreaction to an ordinary science project by a student,” Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesperson for the Council on American Islamic Relations, told the Daily Dot earlier today.
Hooper added that CAIR, the leading Muslim advocacy organization in the U.S., would follow up with police and school officials to prevent any other incidents like this from occurring.
“Obviously, his name is now all over the media worldwide, and it needs to be cleared,” he said. “The officials need to step up to the plate and taken responsibility for this overreaction.”
Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd told the Dallas Morning News “we are confident it’s not an explosive device” and that no charges will be filed.
Photo via US EMBASSY/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)
Deron Dalton is a social journalist whose work for the Daily Dot focused on police violence, activism, and the Black Lives Matter movement.