Juvenile delinquency is of course a problem of modern times and a main concern for everybody. So much so that a 14-year old boy got arrested for a homemade clock. If that sounds impossible to you, once you’ve got all the facts down, you might see what’s wrong with the world in the end. Racism and the panic that has been intensifying worldwide has finally led to an incident demonstrating that humans can be impossibly rash in judgement.
14-year old Ahmed Mohamed of Irving was arrested because of a homemade clock. Before getting angered at a Muslim child getting bullied by authorities once again, you should know that Ahmed, who is a brilliant freshman currently on suspension from Irving ISD, Dallas, has been released from custody at the juvenile detention center he was being held at and is now probably speaking to President Barack Obama about talking to NASA engineers and scientists about his own projects.
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.
— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
Ahmed was arrested at school in Irving when his English teacher noticed that he had a homemade device with him. The teacher thought the device could have been improvised explosives, and as Barack Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest points out, “rushed to judgement”. Although Ahmed was merely harboring a homemade clock that he had been working on, the Irving school panicked and had the 14-year old arrested under suspicion of terrorism.
After Ahmed was taken to the local juvenile detention center in Irving, police forces quickly released him to his family who has been in America for the past three decades, after discovering that the suspicious item they thought could be an explosive device was merely a clock.
Ahmed was interrogated once taken from classes, and judging by the conversation he had with 4 different police officers and a dozen teachers, he was definitely being discriminated. Judge on your own based on the excerpts below:
Officer (who Ahmed didn’t know): I thought it would be him.
Officer: So you tried to make a bomb?
Ahmed: No, I was trying to make a clock.
Officer: It looks like a movie bomb to me.
Although the U.S. united in support for the 14-year old aspiring engineer and the school district, as well as the police apologized for their rash behavior, the fact that prejudice yet again caused a nation to feel ashamed remains. Ahmed is now being offered preferential treatment, along with his family and is invited to the White House, too. He won more than he lost in this battle, but his participation demonstrated that the U.S. is no longer comfortable with discrimination, and social media is playing a very important role in enforcing that newfound righteous feeling.
The overwhelming support Ahmed received from Irving and globally on social media shows that when mistakes are made, people are prepared to take responsibility. Unfortunately, current state of affairs drive people towards prejudice, especially against Muslim citizens living in the United States. The problem is global and America should take initiative, as it has taken many times, to show the rest of the world that prevention can be accomplished without prejudice getting in the way.
We hope that Ahmed and his family aren’t negatively impacted by this incident in the long run and we hope that schools learn from the situation and instead of singling out children of different religion and ethnicity, focus on safety and security across the school. Although the arrest of Ahmed was motivated as teachers believed that the homemade digital clock that he brought to school was suspicious, their behavior after Ahmed and his peers repeatedly assured them that it’s only a clock, and after the science teacher that he shared his invention with didn’t calm the alarmed people down (as he clearly was of competence to decide whether a digital clock is a homemade clock or an explosive device, being a science teacher and all) is condemnable. “That behaviour is not America!” – Ahmed’s father. Arresting a 14-year old for nothing is not something that should be taken lightly by anyone.