#IStandWithAhmed: Story of a clock, 'bomb' and a 14-year-old

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 18, 2015 09:02 IST
Ninth grade student Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was taken in handcuffs to juvenile detention after taking a homemade clock to school. (Photo: Dallas Morning News)

A 14-year-old American boy arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school has become the face of a global campaign supporting scientific curiosity, having been asked to drop by the White House, visit the Facebook headquarters and intern at Twitter!

US President Barack Obama and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are among those who have come out in support of Ahmed Mohamed, a teenager of Sudanese origin. His story went viral on Wednesday after media in Texas reported about his arrest and suspension from school earlier this week.

Mohamed was taken to a juvenile detention centre after teachers and police officers said they believed his clock could have been used in a bomb.

The boy from Irving in Texas is now at the centre of a movement supporting scientific curiosity and temperament among school-going children and denouncing any sort of racial profiling.

The hashtag #IStandWithAhmed has trended worldwide on Twitter and Obama tweeted in support of Mohamed from his official handle, saying: “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science...”

Celebrities and common people alike, came out in support of Mohamed, tweeting in their good wishes and support.

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg said a post on the social networking site, “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.”

Zuckerberg added that the “future belongs to people like Ahmed. Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I'd love to meet you. Keep building.”

Mohamed’s family said the boy, who makes his own radios and repairs his go-kart, had spent 20 minutes before bedtime on Sunday to assemble the clock using a circuit board, power supply and other items. He was then suspended for three days after taking the clock to school on Monday.

Read: Obama backs Muslim boy held for bringing homemade clock to school

His father suggested officials reacted the way they did because of the boy's name and faith.

“He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed told the media. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”

Police in Irving later said Mohamed will not be charged with “possessing a bomb hoax” because there was no evidence he meant to cause harm.

What started out as a simple science experiment has snowballed into a worldwide campaign denouncing racial profiling. Looks like Mohamed will end up having the last laugh.

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