Fourteen-year-old Ahmed Mohamed’s go-to hobby is invention. His latest creation was a clock, built inside a $5-10 metal box that included a digital display and a circuit board.
On Monday, Mohamed took the clock to his high school in Irving, Texas. But when a teacher mistook it for a hoax bomb, the teenager was arrested, interrogated and taken to a juvenile detention center before his parents retrieved him.
“It made me feel like I wasn’t human. It made me feel like I was a criminal,” Mohamed told Dallas Morning News in an interview today.
Ahmed was suspended for three days.
Video from Dallas Morning News.
On Tuesday, Irving School District and MacArthur High School released a letter to parents informing them that police had responded to a “suspicious looking item” on campus, but that the item discovered “did not pose a threat” to students’ safety.
Not long after, Mohamed’s story began circulating on social media.
Outraged Twitter users have responded to his arrest and suspension with #IStandWithAhmed, and several on Twitter believe that Mohamed was profiled because he is Muslim. President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other public figures also voiced their response.
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 (@POTUS44) September 16, 2015
Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe—they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building. https://t.co/ywrlHUw3g1
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 16, 2015
He was publicly accused and harassed, so he deserves public apologies from teachers, the district, and the police. #IStandWithAhmed
— Tasnim (@neurohate) September 16, 2015
Just because it happened in Texas, don't think it couldn't happen anywhere. Fear and hatred isn't confined to one state. #IStandWithAhmed
— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) September 16, 2015
— Grant Imahara (@grantimahara) September 16, 2015
— CAIR-Chicago (@cairchicago) September 16, 2015
#IStandWithAhmed because it make me sad we live in a place where we assume danger/evil, because the color of ones skin.
— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) September 16, 2015
Mohamad’s family set up an official Twitter account for him.
— Ahmed Mohamed (@IStandWithAhmed) September 16, 2015
Today, Irving Police Department said Mohamed would not be charged.
As of this posting, the hashtag has been tweeted over 270,000 times in the past two days.