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This is What It Means to Be a Muslim Whiz Kid in America

This is What It Means to Be a Muslim Whiz Kid in America

They thought the clock the robotics-loving Muslim teen created was a bomb. Typical.

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed Mohamed from Texas woke up Tuesday morning excited to take his latest creation to his new high school. He built a clock over the weekend and wanted to show his engineering teacher what he could do. But Ahmed’s teacher wasn’t too impressed and told him it’d probably be best not to show other teachers his clock. When it beeped during another class, Ahmed had to show his creation to his teacher, who felt it looked more like a bomb. The teacher then notified school authorities and soon enough, Ahmed was escorted out in his NASA shirt and handcuffs to a room for interrogation as his Irving MacArthur High School classmates looked on.

Upon his entrance into the interrogation room, one police officer (who Ahmed never met before) had the nerve to say, “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.” — a little innocent brown boy named Ahmed Mohamed. Who else, right?

The officers took Ahmed’s tablet and clock, and later he was taken to juvenile detention where he was searched, had mugshots snapped, and got fingerprints done. He was made to feel like a criminal during his first few weeks in high school, all for trying to show his new teachers his skill set.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mW4w0Y1OXE&w=560&h=315]

The teachers didn’t really care about his skill set, or Ahmed’s innocent intentions. That Islamophobia kicked in real hard, real quick, and now a Muslim teen has to deal with a court case. Probably not how he or his family wanted the school year to start off. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is investigating and trying to help Ahmed and his family through this whole ordeal. And it just sort of stinks, right?

 “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”

A young, creative mind put together a neat invention—what he enjoys doing in his downtime—and suddenly he’s in handcuffs and interrogated because he’s Muslim. We’ve seen kids build nuclear reactors and get praised, white kids pose with guns and hardly cause a stir, students articulately announce they made a bomb and not suffer any consequences. The trend is clear. Raise your eyebrows and report “suspicious” activity—but by the way, it’s only suspicious when a person of color is involved! Try to hold on to your head…mine’s about to fall off with all the SMH that’s going on over here.

All hope is not lost though. There’s been an outpouring of support for Ahmed (@IStandWithAhmed) on social media and beyond. People around the globe are showing their support with the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed—currently the top trend worldwide on Twitter. Bobak Ferdowsi of NASA even told Ahmed to give him a call in a few years, because they need a smart mind like him on board.

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Even the President showed some support…

clock

If it wasn’t clear already, Ahmed, all of us here at MuslimGirl stand with you. Keep doing you, brother.

Image via Dallas Morning News

View Comment (1)
  • This is sheer case of discrimination. It was the duty of school teachers to verify the test project thoroughly before calling up police. Even a cursory talk would have resolved any misgivings but strangely exaggerated action was initiated by calling the Police. This sort of stereotyping shouldn’t be encouraged by schools.

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