The Internet can be a very scary, terrifying, no good place. This is especially true if you’re a minority of any type, and spectacularly true if you’re a Muslim in a post-9/11 world.
So when the story of 14-year old Ahmed Mohammed began circulating Tuesday night, it’s safe to say that many of us had already resigned to the fact that his story — of how the high school freshman was handcuffed in front of his entire school and unlawfully arrested for making a clock that “looked like a movie bomb” — would simply become one of many modern day tales of Islamophobia and anti-blackness manifesting itself on an institutional level that would be swept under the rug.
But then something extraordinary happened.
It all started with the #IStandWithAhmed hashtag (at print time, a whopping 1.08 million tweets have been made under this hashtag.)
Then people from the science world began chiming in…
…which soon turned into offers and opportunities for young Ahmed.
Facebook and Twitter lit up with support for Ahmed, both figuratively and literally.
As the news spread, more people began to express their outrage, including a few you may have heard of:
Word went all the way up to the top.
Some people showed their support in more comedic ways…
…While others drew some powerful comparisons.
Support for Ahmed was all over Tumblr, too.
And it manifested in a buffet of supportive think pieces
But among all of the heart-warming posts and pieces that appeared on the web today, the best post of all, of course, was this one:
There’s no denying that we have a long way to go as a society to combat Islamophobia and prejudice – and Ahmed Mohammed personally still faces an uphill battle, as he transfers to a new high school and comes to terms with the trauma of this event. But the unexpected yet heartwarming turn this otherwise horrific story took gives us all hope.