Much has happened to Ahmed Mohamed since we last reported about the 14-year-old who was taken into police custody after he brought a self-made clock to class that school officials thought was a bomb.
During that time, police in his suburban Dallas hometown of Irving (where, notably, Mayor Beth Van Duyne has made a name for herself by stirring up Islamophobic fear of a Sharia law takeover) ultimately decided not to press charges against him, while also saying that his race wasn’t a factor and that they were justified in detaining him.
In addition, a Twitter account and hashtag started by Mohamed’s sisters, “#IStandWithAhmed,” has been getting tremendous attention. He received messages of support from notable figures like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and President Barack Obama—both of whom invited Mohamed to meet with them, with Obama welcoming the teen to the White House’s Astronomy Night on October 19. Mohamed has also received valuable support from a student organizer at his high school who has used her Twitter page to report valuable information about the school’s response to the controversy.
Mohamed, his family, and members of the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (who aided Mohamed in his quest for justice) stood in front of Mohamed’s house yesterday for a press conference in which they talked about the controversy and support they have received. “That is not America,” said Mohamed’s father about what happened to his son, after offering gathered media pizza and refreshments.
But, as can be expected, not everyone is supporting Ahmed. Dan Cummings, the principal at Mohamed’s school, sent a completely-tone-deaf letter to parents that asked students to “immediately report any suspicious items and / or suspicious behavior” without offering any apology for their actions. The decisions made were supported by local police and by Mayor Van Duyne in their own statements, which were reported by the The New York Times.
In addition, Republican presidential candidates weighed in on the controversy last night, turning the conversation towards an alleged need to control “radial Islam.” Both Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham talked about persecution against Christians like Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk briefly jailed for not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, with Graham saying he’s “worried about radical Islamic terrorists who are already here planning another 9/11.”