Ahmed Mohamed in handcuffs as he is arrested.

On Tuesday, September 15, Ahmed Mohamed, a fourteen-year-old child of Sudanese-Muslim descent brought a homemade alarm clock to school with the intent of impressing his engineering teacher. While he successfully demonstrated his technical prowess to that teacher, his English teacher did not react so positively. Instead of encouraging an inquisitive, intelligent young mind to become an asset to humanity, the school had him arrested.

Ahmed Mohamed and others like him are exactly who we need to nurture in order to secure our future as a society. This hits particularly close to home since I have young nephews who are the same age, and who are curious and technologically adept. They have completed technical projects ranging from setting up gaming servers to earn extra money to working nuclear fusion demonstrations for their science fair.

Why were the more science-literate teachers not consulted prior to calling the police? Ahmed’s engineering teacher actually asked him not to show his homemade clock to other teachers. It was only because the clock had an alarm function that went off during class that his English teacher discovered it. Should English teachers in Texas be required to take remedial physics and engineering courses to understand the difference between garden-variety integrated circuits, clocks, and bombs?

Beyond that, the most troubling aspect to me is that the officer, upon seeing Ahmed, exclaimed, “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.” It’s difficult not to be left with the impression that the child, at fourteen years old, had already been profiled by law enforcement due to his Muslim immigrant background.

It should concern us all that the officer’s reactions and statements made Ahmed feel “conscious of his brown skin and his name.” This is exactly the sort of heavy-handed, unjust action that is then used by Islamists to recruit those who feel like they no longer belong and have been victimized within our society. His statement of vowing to “never bring an invention to school again” should give us pause on who such misplaced actions actually serve.

We must do more to fight back against anti-Muslim bigotry, realize that Muslims are the primary victims of Islamism, and understand that without humanizing them and standing up for their rights we have no chance of making actual progress.

  • Jerom Kwan Ip

    The teachers dont need to learn about physics. they need to learn about humanity.

  • Finn Jacobsen

    Isn’t this just what the muslim terrorists want to achieve: Making us all afraid of “Muslim-looking” boys with home made alarm clocks and cloth-covered faceless Muslim-looking women? And I do not mean to excuse the school teachers or the comments from the police officer.

  • Sir Joseph Forshaw

    Only in America! ….teachers should have a broad knowledge base. If it has wires it’s a bomb? If you cannot explain it..it’s a miracle? Pathetic.

  • The Overman

    Ahmed was accused of a “hoax bomb” which is illegal. He was not accused of having a real bomb. I’m an atheist and think it’s perfectly rational to be hyper-vigilant with people who worship a brutal, murderous prophet. Also, Ahmed’s father is a Muslim activist, so it’s entirely possible that this was a big set up. I thought humanists were smart, but in Syed’s case, not so much.

    • Susan Germain-Wachs

      I agree with you, but the child did not need to be handcuffed.

      • The Overman

        You are probably right, but cops have rules they have to follow — for their own safety and for the safety of others. As we’ve seen in the news all too much lately, even young teens can do incredible damage. The cops main concern is that the “perp” will grab their gun or some other object and potentially hurt someone.

        • RegularJoe62

          How exactly was he going to do “incredible damage” with a “hoax bomb?”

    • Also, Ahmed’s father is a Muslim activist, so it’s entirely possible that this was a big set up.

      You think?

      It’s inconceivable that the cops thought this was an actual bomb, because they didn’t evacuate the school, bring in a bomb-sniffing dog, or any of the things you’d expect civil authorities to do when faced with a bomb scare. It’s obvious this was an instance where the cops decided to teach the brown kid a lesson, which is more than poor Ahmed could expect from the Texas school system itself.

    • EyesandEars

      Define “activist.” Are you an active Humanist, Atheist, Agnostic who stands up for your beliefs? The boy showed his clock to his Engineering teacher. Shouldn’t someone have asked that teacher about it?

      • The Overman

        Just look into Ahmed’s father’s past, then get back to me.

  • D.

    I think the biggest issue is zero tolerance policies in school. There are many instances of kids bringing pocket knives or a pop tart shaped like a gun that evoke a disproportionate response in the school administrators. I recall one instance of a student being suspended because a story written about shooting a dinosaur with a gun.

  • John D

    At first I was in full support of Ahmed in the situation. But, then I looked at pictures of his “clock”. He had basically pulled the guts out of a clock and reassembled them into a metal case (about 10 by 10 inches). When he showed his science teacher the teacher told him not to show anyone. Why??? Because the device looks like the makings of a bomb. The school was right in calling the cops. Perhaps Ahmed just made a bad decision taking a device that looks like a bomb to school. Perhaps Ahmed is a troll and trouble maker. I don’t know. I do know that this kid got invited to the White House because he used a clock and a soldering iron to frighten a bunch of teachers. Congrats Ahmed.

    • RegularJoe62

      Now he’s a troll and a troublemaker. I think my prediction of him being called a “thug” within a week will probably come true.

  • Brian Phillips

    Was he really trying to mimic a bomb or was he genuinely trying to build a alarm clock and show his engineering teacher? That would be what we should ask. We should judge the situation and not the ethnicity of the kid or his fathers beliefs. I think that is all Syed is talking about.

  • alexa penn

    good article -well thought out and written. myself, not as horrible as this, but many teachers do this to kids – it happened to me. i did some hands-on botany research into different kinds of leaves and very happily handed it to my teacher. limply she took it in her hand, didn’t look at me, and blankly went ahead with whatever her little mind was doing. nada afterwords, just nichts!!! luckily it didn’t stop me being interested in academia – after all it was only west palm beach, fla. . . what could be expected there in the late ’50’s) (we moved back to NYC – whew! :} (nb – i did have some really good teachers in another school – they weren’t all bad. however, my dad had to get special authority so i could take science class – all boys!! can you imagine? and guess what? girls got to take home ec. – cooking, sewing (which was also real fun, but ALL girls). And, at the time, the school was ALL white – . . . i used to ride in the back of the busses. . . i can’t believe i was alive when that was going on!

  • Krystal potter

    Unfortunately, while religion runs rampant and people of low IQ and violent tendencies breed faster than people of reason, these incidences will not stop. When the U.S. was just getting started, people of many races, including Jews, Italians, and Irish had to change their names and rid their accents to survive. If I were a Muslim in today’s world, my name would soon be Bob smith. I know it shouldn’t have to be that way, but the fact is, people are scared to death of muslims. Until muslims can somehow stop the madness going on in their religion, they must expect people to be paranoid. At least we’ve now tamed christians to book bannings instead of burning people at the stake. It’s horrible on the kids and I agree with everything you said, but if muslims choose to bring their children into a highly paranoid culture that was made so by their religions own actions….then they need to prepare those children for these kinds of reactions. They also need to do something globally. Muslims holding Muslims accountable for bad behavior. That would go a long way.

    • Todd VonOhlen

      Krysal, when are you going to hold your fellow Christians accountable for the bombing of clinics and the killing of Doctor Tiller? When are you going to chastise the Westboro Baptist Church

      for interrupting veterans funerals? When are you going to demand an apology for the the people who lied us into an attack on a country that had nothing to do with 9/11? This would go a long way!

  • Doubting Thomas

    This whole incident sounds like a South Park episode.

  • CB

    The “Overman” said it succinctly. My biggest concern is Obama’s recognition of an illegal action by a muslim son of a radical which will only encourage more illegal muslim actions…. Where does it stop?

    • fenaray

      Jesus, Mary and Joseph, get a grip.

  • MiltonDValler

    Why “Sudanese-Muslim” not just Sudanese or drop this altogether. You are playing into the religionists camp by perpetuating the notion that religion is a biological facet. It is not. Religion is entirely man made. Why not “Sudanese-Chigaco Bears” or “Sudanese-Ice Hockey” extraction.

    Anyway, best wishes for massive success with Ex-Muslims of North America. It is noble and humane to offer support to those wishing to exit an oppressive religion.

  • Lowell Bushey

    I just learned something I didn’t know. The “bomb” was discovered when the alarm went off, yet school officials still were worried. Are they serious?