Ahmed Mohamed is going to have a busy couple of weeks. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has joined the list of high-profile names showing support by extending an invite to meet the 14-year-old Irving, Texas student arrested Monday for bringing a clock 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 on his personal Facebook page shortly after 1:30PM. "Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I'd love to meet you." President Barack Obama this morning invited Mohamed to the White House in a tweet, while Hilary Clinton tweeted support for Mohamed while implicitly saying the boy's arrest was a product of Islamophobia.
"The future belongs to people like Ahmed."
Mohamed's arrest at MacArthur High School resulted in an outpouring of both sympathy for Mohamed and outrage at the local police and school district. The story is now taking a new, viral shape today — one day after Mohamed's arrest — as more people around the country rally in support for the ninth grader with a love of robotics. Mohamed was released after being handcuffed and led out of school, whereupon he was interrogated by five police officers without his parents and asked why he was trying to make 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 (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
Mohamed was put on an three-day suspension while local police conducted an investigation, unsure on whether the clock constituted a "hoax bomb." MacArthur High School principal Dan Cummings further compounded the situation by sending out a tone-deaf letter to parents that repeatedly patted school officials and authorities on the back for keeping children safe and reiterated the district's Student Code of Conduct. Later today, The Dallas Morning News reported that Mohamed will not be charged.
"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."