You may recall a 14 year-old boy admirably constructed a functioning handmade clock which included computer chip boards and wires. His name was/is Ahmed Mohamed. And instead of being recognized or appreciated for his electronics skills, he was suspected of building a bomb, handcuffed, and brought in to the local police station for questioning.
His teachers, it is fair to say, had not overall been impressed that Ahmed had skillfully built a working electronic clock. Rather than praising the boy for his technological prowess and innovative methods, one or more of the teachers at his Irving, Texas high school suspected that Ahmed’s clock was actually a bomb. Police were called, Ahmed’s clock was confiscated and he was brought in and questioned by police without his parents present.
This all happened back in 2015, and gathered tremendous attention in the media, with many sympathetic to Ahmed’s plight, and others not able to get past either distrust of people from a Muslim background, or simply outright fear and hatred toward one and/or all Muslims.
The situation even caught the attention of President Obama, who invited Ahmed to the White House, and to bring his clock with him. This was obviously after it was recognized that Ahmed’s clock was, well, nothing but a skillfully engineered working timepiece that likely meets the standards of all the major clocks brands we sell, including Howard Miller Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, Hermle Clocks and Kieninger Clocks.
President Obama even tweeted the following tweet to attempt to bring positive attention to this talented boy who had become a lightning rod among many with Islamophobia. Many others across the country were also quite supportive of the boy. #IStandWithAhmed became a trending topic on Twitter.
President Obama’s full tweet, sent from his POTUS Twitter account, read: “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”
While Ahmed got additional positive attention from many in industry and the hi-tech field in particular, he was also subject to much negative stereotyping and harassment by many others in the general public.
A foundation in the country Qatar offered Ahmed a scholarship to study there, and he and his family have since moved there.
Meanwhile, their case for discrimination based on race or religion has wound its way through Federal Court, and just hours ago, a Federal Judge, US District Court Judge Sam Lindsay, dismissed Ahmed’s claims’ essentially saying that there was not sufficient evidence to suggest that the actions and behavior of the school differed enough from what might have happened with someone from any background in a similar situation. The fact that a 14 year-old was questioned by police without his parents present, also violated his Constitutional rights, was also rejected by the Court.
Ahmed had been seeking both 15 million dollars in damages, both to his reputation and because of his Constitutional rights being allegedly violated, and an apology from the Irving Texas (just outside of Dallas) School District.
US District Judge Samuel Lindsay dismissed all of Ahmed’s claims.
However, the Court gave Ahmed until June 1 to file an amended lawsuit.