The clock offensive


Photo Credit: Zach McCollum

Mohamed made a digital clock model similar to this.

by Zach McCollum, Opinion & Editorial Editor

A 14-year-old student, Ahmed Mohamed, from MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas wanted to build a clock. Being an aspiring engineer, Mohamed already had many skills in the field and was completely capable of building said clock. After asking his teacher if he could could build the clock, his teacher turned him down because it would appear to be a time bomb. This was apparent only because Mohamed is Muslim, and other faculty may be under the assumption that the clock actually is a time bomb.

After building the clock, Mohamed showed his teacher the finished product, a perfectly functional digital clock, which was in no shape or form a time bomb.

Mohamed was placed under arrest on September 16, that very day, and was subjected to interrogation. He denied his allegations by saying his creation was simply a clock. And, if fact, it was simply a bomb. Mohamed was just a young engineer trying to show off his exceptional skills.

Fortunately, Mohamed was let go, but his release does not excuse the racial stereotyping his teachers and faculty subjected him to.

This was a fourteen-year-old student who just wanted to impress his teachers with something he created. The final product, the clock, that Mohamed built is so unbelievably impressive for a boy at such a young age to make, and his excellence as a young engineer cannot go unmentioned. But Mohamed’s academic stature is not the problem at hand.

A very important thing that must be said is that not every Muslim is a terrorist. Yes, there have been a number of attacks including incessant car bombings, the infamous Boston Marathon, and not to mention the 9/11 attacks, but Mohamed is a very bright, young student who could not harm a fly. His father is also very knowledgeable and actually helped spark his son’s interest in engineering.

It is definitely an understandable equation why the faculty overreacted, but Mohamed even told his teacher that he was going to make a clock. Though he should have listened to his teacher and not made the clock, the building of said clock clearly was harmless.

Another important issue that needs to be addressed is police treatment. The Irving Texas police treated Mohamed with utter disrespect and aggression. Even after all was said and done, and police released the fourteen-year-old, the police failed to even apologize to Mohamed for his unprecedented arrest. This speaks to how racially biased a great deal of people on the work force, including police, are, and how it affects many minorities in America.

By the grace of the some of the more sane Americans, Mohamed has been funded nearly $10,000. Some of the more prominent figures donating to the cause include President Barack Obama and facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. From which the latter invited Mohamed to Facebook corporate.

It is heartwarming to see a teeming number of good America’s empathizing with Mohamed, his family, and many other Muslims, alike.