[Pnews] Muslim student arrested for building a clock mistaken for a bomb

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 16 12:38:14 EDT 2015


*http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/9/16/muslim-student-arrested-for-building-a-clock-mistaken-for-a-bomb.html

*

*Muslim student arrested for building a clock mistaken for a bomb*


Marisa Taylor

September 16, 2015

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, is led away in handcuffs by police at MacArthur High 
School in Irving, Texas on Sept. 14, 2015. The teen had built an 
electronic clock and showed it to teachers at school, after which he was 
accused of building a bomb.

Via Twitter

A ninth-grader in Irving, Texas with a talent for tinkering built an 
electronic clock and brought it to school earlier this week to show an 
engineering teacher. But instead of being impressed, the school accused 
Ahmed Mohamed of building a bomb and called the police, who sent him to 
juvenile hall in handcuffs, according to local news reports. His family 
and a local advocacy group worry that Mohamed was targeted for his race 
and Muslim faith.

“He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” Ahmed’s father, 
Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who immigrated to Texas from Sudan and has run 
for president against the incumbent Omar al-Bashir, told The Dallas 
Morning News on Tuesday. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of 
Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated."

The 14-year-old freshman told the newspaper that the clock, which 
featured a circuit board and power supply wired to a digital display, 
took him about 20 minutes to build on Sunday night. He’d also built 
radios, repaired his own go-kart and was part of the robotics club in 
middle school, and wanted to impress his new teachers at MacArthur High 
School.

But when Mohamed showed the gadget to a teacher on Monday morning, she 
advised him not to show it to anyone else. Another teacher said she 
thought it was a bomb after the clock’s alarm beeped in the middle of 
class, the Morning News said.

Later Monday afternoon, the school principal and a police officer pulled 
Mohamed out of class, leading him to a room where four officers 
questioned him about his invention.

“They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” Mohamed told The 
Morning News.

He insisted that he had made a clock, but an officer told him, "It looks 
like a movie bomb to me," according to the newspaper.

ABC affiliate WFAA reported that police said Mohamed was being “passive 
aggressive” in answering their questions about the clock and that he 
didn’t have a “reasonable answer” as to what he was doing with it.

He was handcuffed and escorted by police to a juvenile detention 
facility, where he was fingerprinted and then released shortly 
thereafter. A photo of Mohamed wearing a NASA T-shirt and a startled 
expression as he was led away by police has since exploded across social 
media.

MacArthur High School also reportedly suspended Mohamed for three days.

The case has piqued the interest of the Council for Islamic-American 
Relations (CAIR), which worries that Mohamed was targeted because of his 
race and religion.

“I think this wouldn’t even be a question if his name wasn't Ahmed 
Mohamed,” Alia Salem, with the Dallas chapter of CAIR, told WFAA. “He is 
an excited kid who is very bright and wants to share it with his teachers.”

In 2013, the California chapter of CAIR found that nearly half of Muslim 
students polled in a statewide survey had experienced some form of 
anti-Muslim bullying, with one in five female students reporting that 
they had been picked on for wearing a headscarf to school.

CAIR has also observed that, among 36 bills or amendments introduced in 
16 states in 2013 that "vilify Islamic religious practices," six of them 
were proposed in Texas.

And a 2014 Pew Research Institute poll found that Muslims were rated 
most negatively of all religious groups in the U.S., receiving an 
average score of 40 out of 100 on a “feeling thermometer.” The only 
other groups to receive below a “neutral” score of 50 were Mormons, at 
48, and atheists, at 41.

CAIR plans to accompany Mohamed and his father in a meeting with the 
school principal and the police chief on Wednesday afternoon, WFAA said.

As for Mohamed’s clock, it is being held in the police evidence room, 
according to The Dallas Morning News.

Mohamed, the newspaper said, vowed to never bring one of his inventions 
to school again.

-- 
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