Fourteen-year-old Ahmed Mohamed entered one of his classes in a Texas high school last week with a homemade clock that was created from a pencil case. Instead of being praised for his handiwork, Mohamed was arrested because his teacher mistook the clock for a bomb.
This story spread rapidly on social media, due to allegations of prejudice. Many people were outraged at the belief that Mohamed was profiled because he is Muslim.
On Twitter, the hashtags #IStandWithAhmed and #NotABomb trended with pictures of watches and clocks. There was sharp criticism on racial, ethnic and religious profiling.
According to CNN, Ahmed Mohamed was described as a very intelligent and peaceful teenager who wishes to go to MIT.
President Barack Obama praised Mohamed on social media…
And Presidential Candidate Hilary Clinton…
And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg…
Suhayla Ahmed, a junior finance and government and politics double major at UMD says she felt a connection to Ahmed and his story.
“I never experienced anything like this,” Ahmed said. “But I always felt a sense of alienation and like you’re wrong if you’re Muslim.”
She describes her experience as almost being burdened by her identity. As a Muslim, she says, your actions don’t just represent who you are as an individual, but it represents your entire religion.
Since last week, Mohamed has become a role model for those who have been negatively profiled due to race, ethnicity and religion.