14-year-old teen arrested for bringing clock to school now invited by President Obama, Facebook, Twitter and Google
The 14-year-old Muslim boy who had made headlines for bringing a homemade clock to school has been sent a White House invitation by none other than U.S. President Barack Obama.
Ahmed Mohamed, a ninth-grade high school student from Irving, Texas, was arrested on Monday after his teachers reported him to the police for making a clock, which they said resembled a bomb.
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
The arrest led to an outburst of anger on social media with thousands expressing their annoyance and displeasure at authorities for arresting Ahmed over his school project.
Irving Police said they have not charged Ahmed and dropped the case against the teen on Wednesday afternoon. However, Irving police told the reporters on Wednesday that he remains suspended from school until Thursday.
Ahmed’s religious and ethnic background were quoted in many of the comments as the likely cause of his arrest, a point of view that was shared by the largest Muslim civil advocacy group in the U.S.
Ibrahim Hooper, the spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told Al Jazeera that it was “obvious” the school boy’s religion had played a role in his arrest.
“We believe the arrest would not have occurred if the student had not been Muslim … the school’s reaction and that of the police stems from the fact that he is a Muslim,” Hooper said.
“It is a symptom of growing Islamophobia that a 14-year-old was handcuffed and dragged away for doing a science project.”
After #IStandWithAhmed hashtag went viral, social media users supported the teen using the hashtag, with sympathies that kept continuously pouring in for the boy. According to analytics site Topsy, the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed has picked up more than 500,000 mentions on Twitter so far, and continues to rise fast. The story is also ranked highest on the user-generated curation website, Reddit.
Later, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook highly valued Ahmed’s engineering skills and invited him to Facebook.
This weekend, Google too has invited Ahmed to attend the Google Science Fair and have requested him to particularly bring his clock.
Hey Ahmed- we're saving a seat for you at this weekend's Google Science Fair…want to come? Bring your clock! #IStandwithAhmed
— Google Science Fair (@googlescifair) September 16, 2015
Here’s the tweet of Twitter offering an internship to Ahmed:
— Twitter (@Twitter) September 16, 2015
Reddit Cofounder also expressed his willingness to meet Ahmed:
— Alexis Ohanian ? (@alexisohanian) September 16, 2015
In the meantime, according to the Dallas Morning News, Ahmed’s family is getting adjusted to the overnight popularity of Ahmed following the distressing arrest. His elder sisters have set up a Twitter account for Ahmed, which he used to thank his supporters by stating the sad reality of the racial inequalities children like him had to face everyday.
Thank you fellow supporters. We can ban together to stop this racial inequality and prevent this from happening again pic.twitter.com/fBlmckoafU
— Ahmed Mohamed (@IStandWithAhmed) September 16, 2015