The "Un-American Ones"
A 14 year old ninth grader was super excited, he had worked extremely hard to build a digital clock and wanted to show it to his teachers in McArthur High School early Monday morning. He entered school with a smile. Ahmed Muhammed wanted to become an engineer one day, he thought his teachers will be proud of him and he would become popular among them in the beginning of school year. He had build the digital clock from a pencil case.
Well the 14-year-old child"s day ended not with praise, but punishment, pretty harsh punishment as the school called police and he was arrested. His teachers thought the clock looked like a " home made bomb".
Maybe because his name is Ahmed Mohammed, he is of Sudanese decent, his skin color is not white and he is a Muslim.
So all Muslims are criminals and terrorists ? Maybe so according to the teachers in Irving, Texas. Even so children who are educated in American Public Schools by American teachers.
Is it the zero-tolerance mindset, mixed with a bit of Islamophobia........the scare of Muslims kind of thinking which led to the police called to investigate an enthusiastic science student.
Come on people Ahmed is not a terrorist. He is like millions of so many other kids going to school in USA.
The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and the Columbine massacre in 1999, killing of Muslim students in North Carolina last year were few of many events in how this country now reacts to " threats" or "irrational fear".
The police released the child later and dropped all charges, since yesterday the story has been tweeted and shared on facebook thousands of times.
Even President Obama tried to
sugar coat the situation. He tried to comfort Ahmed by tweeting "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"!
Mohamed, who is of Sudanese background, drew support from a number of high profile African-American personalities including talk-show host Montel Williams and rapper Talib Kweli Greene.
As the hashtag #iStandWithAhmed spread on Twitter a number of NASA scientists gave their backing to Mohamed, including astronaut Chris Hadfield, and systems engineer Bobak Ferdowsi.
But can this kid or many more around him can ever forget the feeling of "being labeled as the bad guy"!
When I look around I see myself as a Muslim with a not so common name living in America. I look around at the children in our community will they be treated like Ahmed? Should they not show their artistic and scientific masterpieces to their teachers?
Are we the Un-Americans?