Ahmed Mohamed, a 14 year old, ninth grader student of MacArthur High School, Irving, Texas, was arrested for bringing bomb to school but the ticking was just a home built digital clock invented by this little genius.A teenager with a passion of inventing things, he just wanted to show his teacher the digital clock he had made from a pencil case but unfortunately, his day ended not with praise, but punishment after the school authority called police.
This ninth grader has a talent for tinkering- he constructs his own radios and he once built a Bluetooth speaker as a gift for his friend. On Sunday night, he quickly put together his self made clock (“just something small”, as he casually put it to the Dallas Morning News: a circuit board and power supply connected to a digital display) and proudly offered it to his engineering teacher the next day.
But the teacher looked wary. “He was like, ‘that’s really nice’, I would advise you to not to show any other teachers”, Ahmed told the Dallas Morning News. During English class, the clock beeped, annoying his teacher. When he showed the device to her afterwards, she told him ‘It looks like a bomb’. “I told her, it doesn’t look like a bomb to me”. But the English teacher kept the clock, and during 6th period, Ahmed was pulled out of the class by the principal and a police officer. Ahmed said that he was taken to police headquarters, handcuffed and fingerprinted. He got a three day suspension, while the police delved deeper into the “hoax bomb” that was actually a clock.
Speaking to the Dallas Morning News from his Irving home, Ahmed’s father blamed the incident on Islamophobia. “He just wants to invent good things for mankind, but because his name is Mohamed and because of September 11, I think my son got mistreated. That is not America. That is not us”, he said. The Council on American -Islamic Relations said it will be looking into the case. Attorneys for the organization, along with the Mohameds, told local TV station WFAA that they planned to meet with MacArthur High School principal and Irving police chief on Wednesday afternoon.
People have come forward in massive support for Ahmed, who loves robotics, and builds inventions of his own. President Barack Obama and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg extended invitations for Ahmed Mohamed. Zuckerberg has also offered Ahmed a job. Other famous personalities who expressed solidarity with Ahmed include Hilary Clinton and Google.
Appearing for a press conference after the absurdity of his arrest was laid to rest, he said he will take Obama up on his offer and transfer schools after. Ahmed and his parents are heartened by the response from outside their community. “What can I say? I’m grateful to the United States of America ” his father said on Wednesday. “What’s happening is touching the hearts of everybody who has a child. And that is America.”