An Irving, Texas teen named Ahmed Mohamed was arrested Wednesday, after bringing a clock he made out of a pencil case, to school to show his teacher. The school called the police, fearing that the clock was a bomb.
CNN reports that Mohamed told WFAA “They arrested me and told me that I committed the crime of a hoax bomb, a fake bomb,” after he was released.
Irving Police spokesperson James McLellan said that they attempted to question Mohamed, but he would only tell them that it was a clock. Once the device was proven to be a clock, Ahmed Mohamed was released. Police later announced that Mohamed will not be charged with a crime.
Many are calling the incident a case of Islamphobia, stating that Mohamed was profiled. The hashtag #IStandWithAhmed has trended since Wednesday morning, with thousands tweeting their support. President Obama took to Twitter to invite Mohamed to the White House, also saying, “We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.” Hilary Clinton and U.S Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan also tweeted their support for Ahmed Mohamed.
Under Texas law, any person who knowingly makes, possesses, transports, or sells a fake bomb with the intent of causing alarm, can be charged with creating a false bomb. The school failed to contact Mohamed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, an immigrant from Sudan. The first contact was a call from police, informing him that his son was being charged with possessing a false bomb.
They denied him the ability to speak to his son, as well as for him to see the device in question. “The police never let me see it but I know what my son brought to school. It was an alarm clock that he made. He wakes up with it most mornings…” Mohamed told CNN.
Police Chief Larry Boyd denied that the Mohameds racial or religious identity had anything to do with his arrest, and applauded Irving Police’s relationship with the Muslim community. Boyd did, however, say “We live in an age where you can’t take things like that to school.”