Social media was taken up by storm when there was news about a freshman from MacArthur High School, Texas who was accused of building a bomb and taking it to school with him. The alleged teenager, a Muslim immigrant from Sudan named Ahmed Mohamed, was taken out of class by his school principal and a couple of police officers after he was spotted with what the adults presumed incorrectly to be a bomb.
After this he was interrogated by police officers who kept questioning him about the device. Ahmed continually kept assuring them that it was just a clock that he had built but they didn’t take his word on it.
In an interview with MSNBC, Ahmed said that he asked the adults if he could contact his parents, here’s what the policemen’s reply was:
They told me ‘No, you can’t call your parents,'” Ahmed said. “‘You’re in the middle of an interrogation at the moment.’ They asked me a couple of times, ‘Is it a bomb?’ and I answered a couple of times, ‘It’s a clock.'”
“I felt like I was a criminal,” the teenager said. “I felt like I was a terrorist. I felt like all the names I was called.”
Ahmed said that he believes this happened because of his origins, his skin colour and his ethnicity. His father, Mohamed, shares a similar perspective. That’s not false in the slightest as there have been multiple cases of false accusations in western nations because of Islamophobia.
“My son’s name is Mohamed — people just think Muslims are terrorists but we are peaceful, we are not that way,” Mohamed said.
Ahmed’s father stated that his school didn’t even deem it important to inform his parents about their son’s arrest and he got the notification only after the police called him. Mohamed, when he reached the station, saw that his son was handcuffed and surrounded by five policemen. The school later suspended Ahmed for three days.
Well, the week changed completely after this for young Ahmed. What started out with a false accusation of being a bomb-maker led to widespread support from people all over the world. Social media just erupted in chaos and websites like Twitter and Facebook started overflowing with tweets and posts supporting Ahmed and his clock.
#IStandWithAhmed and #EngineersForAhmed and other similar hashtags have gathered hundreds of thousands of posts and tweets online on major social networking websites. Not only this, high grade officials at Reddit and Twitter are offering Ahmed internships at their firms. Google said that there would be a reserved spot for the young inventor in their weekend science fair. And MIT asked him to visit their campus.
But, by far, the most powerful word of support Ahmed received could be linked to President Barack Obama himself, who invited the freshman to visit the White House with his clock.
Mark Zuckerberg invited him to visit the company’s headquarters, posting, “Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed.”
Irving police had held onto the alleged bomb, which was in fact a clock, as evidence but, on Thursday, they said that it could be picked up by its respective owner.
Ahmed is going to switch schools after this event, apparently. He said that he doesn’t want to go to MacArthur after this embarrassing situation. That’s all cool for the young boy as he has received multiple invites from major schools and colleges from around the country.
When asked about how he feels right now about the whole issue, Ahmed said that he was scared but now he’s happy.
I was scared at the moment, but now I feel really happy,” he said. “I’m getting all this support from all over the world. And the support isn’t just for me but for everyone who has been through this. I will fight for you if you can’t stand up for yourself.
Ahmed says that he will visit the White House soon and that it had always been his dream of going to MIT. When asked about his future plans, he said, “That clock was part of my future.”