Ahmed and the Clock

On September 16th 2015 a fourteen year old boy named Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for making a clock. Sounds pretty insane right?

Ahmed Mohamed goes to school in Irving, Texas. He is in ninth grade and is fourteen years old. He has a love for engineering, building and robotics and he wants to one day go to MIT. His specialty is clocks. He is extremely talented in making these clocks and is very smart. He wears NASA t-shirts and big glasses. After creating a new clock he brought it to school to show his engineering teacher.

Ahmed brought the clock to his high school and shows it to his engineering teacher. His teacher is impressed but says “I would advise you not to show any other teachers.” An odd thing to say but Ahmed puts the clock in his backpack and continues on his day. In his English class the clock starts beeping and his teacher sees the clock, confiscates it and sends Ahmed to the principal’s office. Instead of calmly taking care of the situation the principal calls the police and Ahmed was arrested.

The school claimed that they thought that Ahmed had built a bomb and that the English teacher saw it as a threat. As the fourteen year old was taken away in handcuffs his sister took a picture of him and tweeted many of the major news feeds and the image went viral. The hashtag #IStandWithAhmed went trending on twitter and later that day President Obama tweeted this tweet:

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Ahmed will now be going to the White House to show President Obama, and on twitter he received thousands of supportive messages from people all over the world including people like Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton and Aaron Levie. Ahmed and his siblings will no longer be going to that school in that school district and the police did not file “hoax bomb” charges.

Okay, my first reaction to hearing this crazy story was simply wow. It is absolutely insane to arrest a 14-year-old boy for building a clock. But most people have realized the other things that lie beneath the surface of this problem. The first is that this was definitely a case of racial profiling and racism. Especially because of a lot of the recent 9/11 type issues that our society has faced are around Muslims. So the extreme racism that is happening around the idea is that a smart, Muslim boy is going to be building bombs when he is fourteen. That is just upsetting. The second is that our country and society need to be better educated on things like science and robotics because if that English teacher had simply known more about science in general than maybe this kid wouldn’t have been arrested. Obama said it well, that more people need to be inspired to do things in the field of science.

This was an incredible event to happen in America and I hope that everyone has realized both the absurdity of handcuffing, taking mug shots and arresting a teenager building a clock and the lack of scientific knowledge that so much of our population has. Mark Zuckerberg said ” Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed.” I agree and hope that in the future America chooses to applaud the geniuses like Ahmed, not arrest them.