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Muslim Teen Ahmed Mohamed Arrested For Designing Digital Clock

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http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/16/us/texas-student-ahmed-muslim-clock-bomb/index.html

 

High school student Ahmed Mohamed dreams of being an engineer. To show his interest in the field, he designed a homemade digital clock from a pencil case. He was promptly reported to the police by the teacher and arrested.

 

He has since been released from custody without any apology, and is considering transferring schools.

 

President Obama has invited Ahmed to visit the White House with the clock as an example of American ingenuity, and there has been widespread outrage over his arrest, many feeling it was motivated by his ethnic background.

 

http://www.vox.com/2015/9/16/9336557/ahmed-mohamed-clock-school

 

The school has nonetheless maintained a suspension and implies that Ahmed broke the school's code of conduct.

 

What's not helping the case of the school is the fact many clocks have been made by students before... and none of them were arrested: http://gawker.com/7-kids-not-named-mohamed-who-brought-homemade-clocks-to-1730999866?rev=1442419857794&utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_facebook&utm_source=gawker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

 

Pay close attention to the final one: a student actually made an inert bomb and wasn't punished; his teacher was.

 

I think it's safe to say this has racial profiling involved. Even if it didn't, the fact the school and police are offering no apologies is revolting. It is courtesy to offer apologies for inconvenience, no matter how well-intentioned you were. Said intentions can be readily questioned given the many similar cases where there were no arrests.

Edited by Ty the Tasmanian Ogilvie

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A kid with that kind of curiosity and cleverness deserves to be encouraged. I'm not gonna lie, when I heard the news this morning, I felt sick. No matter what the school tries to say, the kid was arrested only because of his ethnic background. I agree with his decision; transferring schools is the wisest option.

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They had suspicions because he's Muslim, simple as. I live in an area with a large Muslim minority and know a few a good deal well so I know what they put up with. Islamophobia is still sadly a thing.

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A 14-year-old kid who is Muslim made a digital clock, and was arrested because the school thought it was a hoax bomb? I have been laughing like you wouldn't believe the last few minutes, as this is just ridiculous. I cannot describe how I feel about this, but wow, all over a handmade digital clock?

I cannot believe that the school could be so racist, and that a massive case of Islamophobia was played out here. Humanity never wants to learn, do they? Please, people, Islams are not suicide bombers, terrorists, American haters, or anything of that type. They are just like you, followers of a religion (sorry if I offend any Atheists, but I'm making a point here), so they are no different from you with the way they work. Just because of some bunch of asses in that religion, you've made life hard for people who may have no idea what you're talking about. It's like in World War I, where everyone suddenly said Germans were evil because of the war and started rounding up the German immigrants to put in detention camps, while the Germans hadn't a clue why this was happening.

People, geez, calm down.

It's just a clock someone made.

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Please, people, Islams are not suicide bombers, terrorists, American haters, or anything of that type. They are just like you, followers of a religion (sorry if I offend any Atheists, but I'm making a point here), so they are no different from you with the way they work. Just because of some bunch of asses in that religion, you've made life hard for people who may have no idea what you're talking about.

Well the religion of Islam is very different to, say, Christianity or Judaism despite being influenced by them and being a Monotheism. Muslims live very different lives to the West, especially in traditional Muslim countries like the Gulf states. That's a major reason why there is such unease with a lot of Westerners. You know, aside from the obvious hysteria in the West over terrorism threats and ISIL.

A large portion of Muslims also do hate the state of America, it's due to the way America has gotten so tangled up in the Muslim world, countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan have been destroyed by Amercian foreign policy and America's support of Israel is very unpopular. It's similar to how many Americans hate the Muslim World, despite it being so varied.

Edited by Matthew

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Could this kid and his parents sue the school or press charges?

I would certainly hope so.

 

I'm just waiting for the large numbers of law and order conservatives who talk about how this was the right decision due to public safety concerns. Completely ignoring the non-Muslim students who have done it elsewhere without issue, thus betraying the casual racism of the whole ideology.

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Could this kid and his parents sue the school or press charges?

I believe Ahmed tweeted that he was getting lawyers and taking legal action on the school, which will definitely be well deserved.

I'm just waiting for the large numbers of law and order conservatives who talk about how this was the right decision due to public safety concerns. Completely ignoring the non-Muslim students who have done it elsewhere without issue, thus betraying the casual racism of the whole ideology.

Can't wait for Fox News to get a hold of it and take it completely out of context in order to demonize the boy, Islam, or Obama... or all three at once.

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Remember the talk about "law and order conservatives?" I was right.

 

My mother's quick to nod her head when an officer is found to be justified in a shooting, though she's clearly got a police bias and only extreme cases like Freddie Gray irk her. Everything is okay, pretty much, in the name of security.

 

The conversation ran as followed on the subject:

 

"Have you seen it? It looked like a bomb!"

 

I concurred, but then I raised the case of students who did something similar without issue.

 

"Was it the same school?"

 

Well, no, of course not.

 

"Okay then. Everywhere's different."

 

Bullshit. While there's room for variation, if school A here thinks this is a threat to students and school B doesn't, I'm concerned. Thank you for swinging me more in favor of a standardized, federally-controlled school system though instead of the state-centered mess we have now.

 

Now let's see here. Barring the diesel/fertilizer clock, none are really comparable to this one that admittedly does look like a briefcase explosive. But let's be frank here: even if there's caution, it's still outrageous that the school and police are offering no apologies. The most this student should have gotten was a reprimand to clear this sort of thing with a teacher in the future just to be safe, as the fertilizer actual bomb kid did. He's being made out as a villain by the authorities instead, when he made a simple mistake.

 

Just another daily dose of casual racism due to the law and order crowd believing the armed forces and police can do no wrong in our society.

Edited by Ty the Tasmanian Ogilvie

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I'm glad he's getting a lot of support. He deserves an apology and his arrest record expunged. I can't blame him for wanting to transfer schools after the ordeal he went through.

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I'm glad he's getting a lot of support. He deserves an apology and his arrest record expunged. I can't blame him for wanting to transfer schools after the ordeal he went through.

I'd be okay if they had briefly detained him, saw it wasn't a bomb, and then released him with an apology for the inconvenience and a warning that he should double check such things with teachers in the future, just to be careful.

 

Though this isn't what happened. He was arrested, given no sort of apology for his inconvenience, has a mark on his record now, and to top it all off the school is continuing to punish him.

 

Zero tolerance BS at its finest I guess.

 

The only comparable case we have to this (though not entirely, since it WAS an actual bomb in that case, albeit inert) is one where the student did get permission from the teacher, so we can't really use it as a gauge, though I don't think it's unreasonable to assume his ethnicity might have colored perceptions a bit.

 

Discrimination against Muslim-Americans is pretty well-documented; we don't need to look further than the fact there was a "controversy" over a Muslim site in Manhattan to see this. It's amazing people deny the existence of bigotry and discrimination. These pseudo-intellectuals who appeal to "respect for the dead" on really bizarre grounds will even try to have an aura of brilliance when you use the term "racism" by saying "well Muslims aren't a race durrhurr," nitpicking on semantics rather than addressing the point: people are being discriminated against for ethnic background, beliefs, etc.

Edited by Ty the Tasmanian Ogilvie

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I've seen it pointed out on tumblr that, if they really did think it was a bomb, the whole school would've been evacuated and whatnot. It was really just an excuse to humiliate a muslim kid.

Really, we wouldn't be having this conversation were it not for the state of panic caused by 9/11, despite there having been no major terrorist attacks on western soil since then, to my knowledge. The more recent 'siege' in the Sydney CBD doesn't really count, what with it being a lone-wolf hostage situation started by an insane cleric who was somehow out on bail. There are more 'terror plots' being deliberately engineered and then busted by the fucking FBI than actual terror plots.

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I've seen it pointed out on tumblr that, if they really did think it was a bomb, the whole school would've been evacuated and whatnot. It was really just an excuse to humiliate a muslim kid.

I hadn't actually thought about it before, but that is a good point, actually.  I don't know how schools are in Texas, but over here, if the word "bomb" is even uttered, the whole school is evacuated and locked down and the administrators call in an actual bomb squad.  I've seen it happen a handful of times in middle and high school, where we weren't allowed in the building because someone supposedly threatened to blow it up.  Never once did they ever find an actual bomb, and I don't think an arrest was ever made as a result.

So if schools in Texas operate even remotely similar to how they do here, there probably would have been a large scale evacuation and investigation.  There was none of that in this instance.

"Have you seen it? It looked like a bomb!"

That sounds like my father's logic, except instead of "it looked like a bomb," it would be "it could have been a bomb."  Literally justifying the arrest under the hypothetical notion that it could have been bomb.  And that is why I never debate politics with my family.

Edited by Tara

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I think his younger age really should have given him more leeway in that regard.

 

He's not like the 30 or 40 year old joking about a bomb at an airport, when between 9/11 and their older age it should be well-known that's not appropriate. He's a grade schooler who just thought he'd show off his creativity, and apparently didn't think it all through.

 

I can't say what the school and police did was entirely unjustified, but I can't say they were entirely right either. He's a kid and he will make mistakes no matter how smart he is.

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Also, while he was detained, he was repeatedly denied access to a lawyer or his parents by the police when he was asked. That is literally a crime, and I hope the cops get sued for that, too.

So much for the Miranda Law

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I think his younger age really should have given him more leeway in that regard.

 

He's not like the 30 or 40 year old joking about a bomb at an airport, when between 9/11 and their older age it should be well-known that's not appropriate. He's a grade schooler who just thought he'd show off his creativity, and apparently didn't think it all through.

 

I can't say what the school and police did was entirely unjustified, but I can't say they were entirely right either. He's a kid and he will make mistakes no matter how smart he is.

I'm not sure exactly what you think he should have had to think about?  He didn't deliberately make it look like a bomb, and while I understand that the project may have resembled one in a general sense, literally anything with a timer and bare circuitry can look like a bomb.  Like, if I didn't know this shot was from Back to the Future, I could easily be convinced that it was either a bomb or a scene from a movie about a bomb, just given what little I know about bombs.  That is, that they have a timer that looks vaguely like this...

backtothefuture_2261121b.jpg

...and that they make things go boom.

Even forgiving the post-9/11 hysteria and racial profiling, it certainly seems like someone saw this...

150916134402-clock-ahmed-mohamed-texas-m

...saw that it looked like a few wires and a timer, which the media says is what a bomb essentially looks like, and made a pretty startling assumption as a result.  And as you mentioned before, this isn't even a super uncommon project for students to even do, making it extra baffling as to why they would immediately go to that assumption.

There's nothing in what we have so far (unless there's a detail I missed) that I think indicates that he was just ignorantly doing something inappropriate.  It's not comparable to a kid saying "lol I'm just goin' to blow this taco stand up!" as a joke.  He showed off a science project to his teacher, and that resulted in said teacher retaliating to what they perceived as a threat.  Even if it were such a case of badly-placed jokes, from my own experience, I've not seen them go particularly easy on them because of age.  That is just anecdotal, mind you, and could be explained as a result of differences in geography, but I don't see Texas being the more level-headed and understanding when it comes to bomb threats, even compared to how paranoid my state is of anything that not a well-dressed, shot-haired white male with a Bible in his hands.

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I jumped the gun on the other clocks remark. The others don't seem to resemble this one. It looks like there might be a genuine lack of precedent.

 

No, I don't imagine Texas to be levelheaded in its treatment of issues like this, but I mean I think that would be the compromise solution to this subject. A student doesn't think about such a thing like this because it sound almost ridiculous, but the good news is a case like this provides some precedent. I'd hope this at least leads to some advisory by schools nationwide to make sure something couldn't be seen the wrong way.

 

One time, when I was at the shooting range when I was 17, I turned the gun to the side without pointing it at anyone to ask the instructor if I was holding it right. Cue him jumping on me and forcing it back forward.

 

I use this as an example that sometimes, common sense isn't that common, and formal advisory on what could be misinterpreted as a risk behavior be used. Had it been a different gun instructor, I might have been shot for all I know.

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http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/2015/11/23/ahmed-mohamed-seeking-15-million-in-damages/76255674/

Making the intelligent choice of pursuing legal action when the country is struggling with heightened Islamophobia, the family is seeking 10 million from the city of Irving and 5 million from the school district.

I'm kind of disgusted, to be honest. Another case of people using lawsuits as a lottery.

Plus, the school district? School districts are crappy enough. You shouldn't expect school funds to be your personal piggy bank.

What happened to you was wrong. But dear God, you're not helping anything with this.

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Well hang on a moment. 

How much would you want? 

You're basically accused of being a terrorist because of your background with utterly no proof. 

Wrongfully arrested and detained.

You get photos taken of you arrested which are going to stick with you for life.

Whilst you eventually got a lot of praise and support, there are a ton of bastards out there who are likely using him as a scapegoat for their right wing bullshit.

Put a price on making that right? Good on him, the way this kid was treated was utterly disgraceful.

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Maybe it's wrong for me to say as I don't live in America, but I agree with Hogfather. It shouldn't have happen and they have the right to take as much money as they want. Most people won't even bother reading the whole story, they'll just see his name, the fact he was suspended and see the word Muslim, then let there own ignorant prejudice do the rest.

Plus with the internet in this day and age, the entire world now knows about it. It's pretty galling to think that a bit of creativity had been branded bad by the school and is suddenly known by the entire world.

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Yeah, I'm sorry, but I'm in full support of the kid here.

This is just what we happen to call "karma" taking place - you wanna take a kid in cuffs for making a clock and embarrass him based on who he is, well don't expect any sympathy when he gets back at you for it.

People who are so terrified of muslims wouldn't have to worry that much about Islamaphobia if they weren't doing everything in their power to leave them no choice by disenfranchising and dehumanizing them. It's the same shit with us african americans, and other groups like women and hispanics - prejudice only begets more prejudice. And as much as I firmly advocate violence when there's no other option, there have been plenty of moments when people go for the most disgraceful option available without a clue as to the consequences (despite them happening and being reported on the internet frequently enough that they should be savvy to this).

No seriously, turn this the other direction and see if they'd like the KKK being associated with all white people. Sure there's the advantage of the institutionalized factor that hardly any other group has, but barring that it's the same other factors at play.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonic

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