[Video: Irving MacArthur student arrested after bringing homemade clock to school Watch on YouTube.]
Irving MacArthur student arrested after bringing homemade clock to school
Video by The Dallas Morning News
A high school student in Texas whose hobby was inventing thought he had a unique idea for a project: to build his own clock.
The effort landed him in handcuffs and juvenile detention on Monday, accused of making a hoax bomb.
The detention of Ahmed Mohamed, 14, a student at MacArthur High School in Irving, Tex., near Dallas, generated accusations that he was targeted because of his religion.
While the police said on Wednesday that Ahmed would not be charged, questions arose on social media about bias and improper police conduct toward a nonwhite, Muslim student of Sudanese heritage who happened to have a love of tinkering.
“It would not have occurred if he did not have a Muslim name and have a heritage from the Muslim world,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, calling it a symptom “of the growing Islamophobia in our nation.”
“We have seen almost no pushback,” Mr. Hooper said. “When businesses declare themselves Muslim-free zones that sends a message that it is O.K. to do these things.”
Ahmed also attracted support from the White House.
Ahmed said he brought the clock, which he had fashioned with a digital face in an inexpensive box, to school on Monday to show to an engineering teacher, who said it was “nice” but then told him that he should not show the invention to other teachers.
But when it beeped during an English class, Ahmed revealed the device to his English teacher, according to an account in The Dallas Morning News. “She was like, it looks like a bomb,” he said.
In a video posted on the newspaper’s website, Ahmed described how he was eventually taken from school by the police. “They took me to a room filled with five officers,” he said. “They interrogated me, and searched through my stuff and took my tablet and my invention.”
He said he was fingerprinted, and mug shots were taken at a juvenile detention center. He was not allowed to call his parents but was released when they came to get him.
The clock had a digital display, …Read More