President Obama wants Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old who was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school, to bring his creation to the White House.
On Monday, Mohamed built a clock and brought it into MacArthur High School in Irving, but ended up in handcuffs after teachers thought the device looked suspicious. Police said Wednesday he will not be charged.
“When I showed it to her, she thought it was a threat to her,” Mohamed said. “It was really sad she took a wrong impression of it.”
After the clock beeped during class, Mohamed was searched, and a school resource officer believed it could be “the infrastructure for a bomb,” Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said. Police denied that his Muslim faith or background played any role in the actions officers took.
The arrest sparked a wave of support on social media
Obama tweeted out support for Mohamed, saying that America ought to be encouraging students to get into science and engineering — presumably, rather than arresting them. “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House?” he said. “We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”
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
In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg applauded Mohamed for his engineering prowess and then invited him to the office.
“You’ve probably seen the story about Ahmed, the 14 year old student in Texas who built a clock and was arrested when he took it to school. Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed,” Zuckerberg wrote in his brief post. “Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’d love to meet you. Keep building.”
Thus far, the post has garnered almost a million likes and 133,000 shares. Zuckerberg joins a legion of other prominent figures – MIT professors, and NASA scientists among them—who’ve stood up in support for Mohamed, not to mention countless voices on social media.
Not to be outdone by Facebook, Twitter is also offering Mohamed an internship.
Hillary Clinton tweeted support for Mohamed as well. In a tweet, her campaign essentially condemned the arrest as Islamophobic, albeit with far less explicit language. “Assumptions and fear don’t keep us safe — they hold us back,” the tweet reads. “Ahmed, stay curious and keep building.” Though the tweet wasn’t signed by Clinton herself, it comes through her campaign account.
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
There’s been uproar over Mohamed’s arrest as news spread of it overnight and into this morning. Mohamed was arrested on Monday for bringing a homemade clock to school that police deemed to be a “hoax bomb,” even though he maintained that it was only a clock.
“Because his name is Mohamed and because of September 11th, I think my son got mistreated,” Mohamed’s father told The Dallas Morning News.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has also commented on the arrest.
“This all raises a red flag for us,” Alia Salem, director of the council’s North Texas chapter told the paper. “We’re still investigating, but it seems pretty egregious.”
After encouragement from the likes of President Barack Obama and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, a Muslim high school student in Texas who was arrested after he brought in a homemade clock said Wednesday he wants to transfer to another school.
“I guess everyone knows: I’m the person who built a clock and got in a lot of trouble for it,” said 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed at a news conference outside his home on Wednesday.