(CNN) — The week started pretty terribly for Texas high school student Ahmed Mohamed. On Monday, the teen, who is Muslim, brought to school a clock that he was proud to have made on his own and was arrested for what police initially — and falsely — said was a hoax bomb.
But by mid-week, his face and name were splashed across traditional and social media, and he’d received thousands of tweets and Facebook posts of encouragement. President Barack Obama invited him to the White House and praised his love of science. Leaders at Reddit and Twitter offered him internships. Google executives said they were reserving Ahmed a spot at their weekend science fair and MIT asked him to visit the campus.
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
Related: Obama invites teen accused of making bomb to White House
Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg invited him to visit the company’s headquarters, posting, “Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed.”
The hashtags #IStandWithAhmed and #EngineersForAhmed garnered hundreds of thousands of posts and tweets.
By Thursday, more details of the 14-year-old’s arrest in Irving, Texas, came to light.
In an interview late Wednesday with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Ahmed said he was pulled out of class at MacArthur High School by his principal and five police officers and taken to a room where he was questioned for about an hour and a half.
He said he asked the adults if he could call his parents.
“They told me ‘No, you can’t call your parents,'” Ahmed said. “‘You’re in the middle of an interrogation at the moment.’ They asked me a couple of times, ‘Is it a bomb?’ and I answered a couple of times, ‘It’s a clock.'”
“I felt like I was a criminal,” the teenager said. “I felt like I was a terrorist. I felt like all the names I was called.”
Hayes asked what he meant.
In middle school, Ahmed said, he had been called “bombmaker” and a “terrorist.”
“Just because of my race and my religion,” he said, adding that when he walked into the room where he was questioned, an officer reclined in …Read More