Ahmed Mohamed and His Clock Versus Texas

by Lucas Killam-Goeb on October 16, 2015 - 11:52am

      In the article “14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed arrested for beginning homemade clock to school.” Rich McCormick explores the incident that occurred in Irving, Texas on the 14th of September, 2015. Ahmed Mohamed had been arrested at his school due to his teacher confiscating a homemade clock that he had made the day before. The author explains the device was simple, made from circuit board, a power supply wired to a digital display inside of a casing with a digital screen on the front. Although when he showed his clock to his teacher, she confiscated it from him. Later that day he was arrested during his class. He was threatened by his principle to be expelled if he did not come up with a written statement. Ahmed insisted it was just a clock he made when was interrogated again at the juvenile detention center.  After everything was cleared up and the clock had proven not to be a bomb, Ahmed declared that he will no longer bring any inventions of his to school. He still received a three suspension from school. The article then proceeds to explain that once an image of him handcuffed went viral, the tech community started to support him. The twitter community started tweeting with #IStandWithAhmed, declaring their stance on the subject.

 

     When I first read this article I was shocked. I could not believe that racial profiling and institutional racism was still this prevalent, especially with young children in high school. This story really hit me. Especially when I found out he was still suspended from school for three days after it was proven that he did nothing wrong. Islamophobia is a big issue in the world, especially in the United States and it is not right. This young boy was sent through a traumatizing experience due to the ignorance of his academic institution. Although, I am glad to see that people were there to stand up for Ahmed. Countless organizations such as Microsoft and SpaceX reached out to him after the incident. These people sympathized with him and acknowledged his brilliance despite being so young.  I believe that this article and the countless other articles that were written about this subject will open the eyes of these people who are quick to make assumptions about people based on their physical appearance.  

 

References:

      McCormick, Rich. “14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed arrested for beginning homemade clock to school.” The Verge. N.p., September 16, 2015. Web. October 8th, 2015.

Comments

When I saw this story in the news, I got annoyed by the ignorance of people these days. I chose to pick this article because it is really sad to see what people are thinking about when they see a different ethnic group than their own. I agree with Lucas on this article how people are so quick to assume someone by their ethnicity and skin color. The fact that this student is only 14 and he got accused of building a bomb because of his ethnicity is disgusting. It shows us all that no matter what age you are and where you work, there is always going to be discrimination towards someone. It makes me sick that he got a three day suspension because of it and he got arrested and got questioned for it. The teacher had no right to accuse a student of technically being a terrorist because of his ethnicity, the student was only trying to impress his teacher by building a hand-made clock. It makes me happy to see that so many people stood by him and support him throughout this whole “nightmare” because he’s only 14 years old and to go through that at a young age will affect you in many ways. It’s beautiful to see so many people join each other to support a cause worth fighting for, for example celebrities, people from around the world and even the president of the United States wanted to invite him to the White House to meet the young boy because he is such an inspiration to many. I hope this young boy will continue to build things and do what he loves to do.

I felt the need to respond to your post because I agree with you in disbelief how stupid it is that Ahmed got suspended because of his science project that was viewed as a bomb. This proves how ignorant and racist our society is, even with children. While reading your summary, I found this story sad for Ahmed, who was so proud to show his clock to his teacher. This is shocking that someone that this student trusted would report him as a terrorist. Stereotypes are killing the common sense of people, and because of Ahmed’s skin color and religion people will associate him to an extremist perspective. We learned in class that race is just a social concept, but racism is real, therefore the education in schools must be anti-racist. However, this concept of anti-racist education is often not well implemented in schools because, just like in the case of Ahmed, educators make the mistake of having racist behaviours that do not help out to the school policies, practices, etc. Thus, I agree to what you wrote in your response, that it is unbelievable that even children are victim of racial profiling. At least, we saw how much support the child received after this unfortunate incident. What do you think educators should do to avoid another case like this in the future?

I chose to comment on this article because I was outraged by how people treated this innocent young Muslim boy. I agree with Lucas in how appalling his arrest was. This means faculty and police seriously believed he had constructed a bomb with the knowledge of a 14 year old. I believe this story will only add fuel to the flames that is stereotypes. The stereotypes were already prevalent but the spotlight of this news story will only reinforce the existing stereotypes offering yet another reason for people to be Islamophobic. I hope Ahmed isn't discouraged by what happened because it would be such a waste of raw talent. I can relate to being stereotyped against based on my race. It is devastating to a young mind and I hope this young man is compensated for what happened to him. Despite what happened, their reaction is only fair as around the time, terrorists acts in the United States were increasingly prevalent. What can their government implement to decrease this fear of terrorism as well as a this inherent Islamophobia?