A Teenager’s Worst Nightmare
by Natalie Delmonte
Ahmed Mohamed is a 14-year-old student at MacArthur High School, Texas, who was arrested for the homemade clock he brought to school. Ahmed had built a clock within a pencil case and brought it to school in order to show it to his science teacher. When he showed it to his English teacher, she believed it to be a threat. She confiscated his clock, sent him to the principal’s office where the police were called and Ahmed was cuffed and taken in to custody. He was then put in a juvenile detention facility where he was fingerprinted and had his mug shot taken. He was later on released back to his parents, and suspended from his school for 3 days.
This incident begs the question: “If he had been a non-Muslim, would he still have been treated the same way?” The answer is probably no. Ahmed had been known to bring many electronic gizmos that he built at home, so for him to bring something like a homemade clock would not have been unusual or even suspicious behaviour. What has happened to him is completely unacceptable and is further proof of the perpetuation of racial stereotypes.
This incident went viral on Twitter, spurring the hash tag #IStandWithAhmed. Ahmed received support from many people including Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Hadfield. Though what happened to him is terrible and completely unacceptable, Ahmed is reaping the benefits of having so many people support him. As of now he has received many scholarship offers, as well as offers for internships and tours of major scientific corporations.