An interesting coincidence

A young boy from Irving, TX loves to tinker and invent things. He brings a homemade clock to school to show his engineering teacher. Another teacher sees it, calls the police and naturally the school and the authorities act like hamfisted tools about the whole situation, apparently on the theory that another teacher’s mistaken impression (the kid never said it was anything but a homemade clock) constitutes a terroristic threat. It should surprise nobody that his last name is Mohammed.

Now for the interesting part. Irvine’s mayor is a notorious islamophobe. You would not go too wrong thinking of Frank Gaffney.

Mayor Beth Van Duyne has accused mosque leaders of creating separate laws for Muslims and the City Council voted Thursday to endorse a state bill that Muslims say targets their faith.

[…] The mayor stands by her statements, including an interview with former Fox News host Glenn Beck last month, when she said Sheikh and other imams were “bypassing American courts” by offering to mediate disputes among their worshippers according to an Islamic code called Shariah.

The mediation is advertised as voluntary, nonbinding and in harmony with the law.

But it has led Van Duyne to back a bill by state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, that would forbid judges from using foreign law in their rulings.

While the bill does not mention religion, Leach has singled out the Islamic mediation panel as a “problem” it will solve. The wording is largely identical to that in a previous bill pitched by another lawmaker as a way to stop the influence of “large populations of Middle Easterners.”

The kid was also not some random ninth grader. From the story linked on top, bolding mine:

“He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” said Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who immigrated from Sudan and occasionally returns there to run for president. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”

Mohamed is familiar with anti-Islamic politics. He once made national headlines for debating a Florida pastor who burned a Quran.

So you have rabid islamophobes running the city and a nationally known Muslim spokesman living here. I will close with this odd detail from the top story.

They led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”

Feel free to make your own conclusions.






103 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Let the right wing howling begin

    Voto LatinoVerified account
    ‏@votolatino
    Pope Francis says the majority of his speeches in the U.S. will be in Spanish. http://nbcnews.to/1LfG5pJ via @NBCNews

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!

    It was illegal to interrogate him WITHOUT HIS PARENTS. THEY SHOULD SUE SUE SUE.

    If this boy was WHITE….they would say what a smart child he is.

    this was racial profiling!!

  3. 3
    Tim F. says:

    @rikyrah:

    this was racial profiling!!

    Ya think.

  4. 4
    MomSense says:

    How does this mayor feel about the Duggars going to a religious leader to “mediate” molestation cases? Was that bypassing the legal system?

    IOKIYAChristianist

  5. 5
    Belafon says:

    It’s Irving not Irvine.

  6. 6
    Belafon says:

    @rikyrah:

    Pope Francis says the majority of his speeches in the U.S. will be in Spanish

    That’s unAmerican and unChristian. Jesus spoke English, why can’t everyone else?!!

  7. 7
    NorthLeft12 says:

    It’s getting to the point where I don’t want to read any news anymore because of the high level of stupidity, bigotry, meanness, and cowardice of people in general…..especially [if not exclusively] on the right side of the political spectrum.

    Then I take a deep breath and push on, because we have to know these douchebags for what they do, so we can do what we can to counter them.

    Decided to drop my “independent” facade and ordered an NDP [Canadian socialist party] lawn sign for the upcoming federal election. I’ll be giving them a donation as well. We have to beat those fucking conservatives.

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    LMAO!!!

    Political Riff @PoliticalRiff
    Jeb Bush just realized that the online Alpha Male course he’s been taking to prepare for the debate is a scam from Trump University
    2:07 AM – 16 Sep 2015

  9. 9
    Matt says:

    The concern was, what was this thing built for? Do we take him into custody?

    Even the fucking SPOKESMAN can’t hide the fact that the cops spent a couple hours trying to figure out a reason to arrest the kid.

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    BUT, they can go around closing schools.

    ……….

    CPS spent millions on outside food; can’t say who got a third of it

    WRITTEN BY LAUREN FITZPATRICK AND TINA SFONDELES POSTED: 09/15/2015, 06:55PM

    More than $150,000 in pizza from Connie’s and Lou Malnati’s.

    More than $200,000 in Subway sandwiches….

    Those are just some of the expenditures that a cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools made during the last school year, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars on fast food, according to public records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

    But CPS can’t say, for the most part, whether CPS students or bureaucrats got to eat it.

    Within hours of CPS’ release of the records Tuesday, which was late by about two months under state law, the district announced plans to reform its food spending policy.

    CPS said its own audit showed that the district spent a total of $2.9 million on food from outside vendors between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, and nearly $1.5 million of that was authorized by the central office. CPS also said more than a third couldn’t be accounted for because the spending was miscoded or lacked detail.

    “That’s inexcusable at a time when we’re cutting nurses and counselors and, you know, they should have a zero line-item budget allowance for any kind of food for central office,” said Wendy Katten of the parent group Raise Your Hand, which has been calling on CPS for months to cut wasteful spending.

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/ne.....-got-third

  11. 11
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    It gets worse (if that’s possible). According to my local news (which may be way wrong), even though it’s always been a clock, always intended to be a clock, and never was anything but a clock, authorities still have the right to charge him with possession of a fake terrorist device (or something to that effect).

    IOW, even though it’s all shown to be a misunderstanding by a teacher, the kid is STILL considered criminally at fault for having brown skin and an Arabic last name.

  12. 12
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Hate to say it, but he may have to leave that town for a bluer city. That poor kid is now marked as a “terrorist” and will probably have a hard way to go if he stays in Irvine. I hope he sues about the suspension and the arrest, which are both unjustifiable.

  13. 13
    gene108 says:

    @rikyrah:

    As long as he has a translator, I do not see the problem. Better to talk eloquently in a language you are fluent in than bumble around in a language you speak poorly, in comparison, when making addresses.

    ***************

    The “that is who I thought it was” comment is chilling. It implies to me the local PD is not just racially profiling this kid, but avtivily kept tabs on him because his tinkering caught someone’s attention.

    Also, the Principal of the high school and police department should be sued silly for their overreaction.

  14. 14
    greennotGreen says:

    I am so sick of bigotry.

    Until my retirement this year I worked at a university. There were a few young women who wore head scarves (way more in engineering than my area, biomedical.) Other than that, about the only way you would know if someone was Muslim was if he or she declined an invitation to join your group for lunch because it was Ramadan. Because someone’s name is Mary Catherine Kelley doesn’t mean she’s Catholic; because someone’s name is Mohammed doesn’t necessarily mean he’s even religious. Quit prejudging!

  15. 15
    BigHank53 says:

    Patricia, the whole point of harassing the kid is to convince him that brown people shouldn’t live in Irving.

  16. 16
    Tim F. says:

    @Patricia Kayden: If I had to guess, I would say that is the goal.

  17. 17
    Cervantes says:

    @NorthLeft12:

    I’ll be giving them a donation as well. We have to beat those fucking conservatives.

    Hear, hear!

  18. 18
    The Pale Scot says:

    Time to leave Texas M,

    I wonder how these mooks would have looked upon me and my Irish-American friends as made zip guns, gunpowder bombs and Molotov’s while going to Bobby Sands demonstrations and keying cars with UK diplomatic license plates. We were the majority in NYC back then.

  19. 19
    scav says:

    What exactliy is “native” law in Texas to these fine exemplars of selective nativehood? Will everything be resolved by gun fights at noon? (Common and Napoleonic are clearly imports, and I somehow doubt thy’re envisioning First Nations.)

  20. 20
    Cervantes says:

    @gene108:

    The “that is who I thought it was” comment is chilling. It implies to me the local PD is not just racially profiling this kid, but avtivily kept tabs on him because his tinkering caught someone’s attention.

    I think it may have been his dad’s tinkering that caught — and holds — their attention.

  21. 21
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Belafon: So True,

    “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it ought to be good enough for the children of Texas.”

    Miriam Amanda Wallace “Ma” Ferguson, Texas governor

  22. 22
    Paul in KY says:

    @rikyrah: Sure sounds like it, Rikyrah.

  23. 23
    Paul in KY says:

    @NorthLeft12: Glad you put sign out. Hope NDP wins!

  24. 24
    Paul in KY says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: When I was in USAF, we had a LT who was our ‘Security Threat Officer’ for squadron (one of those extra duties the junior officers get stuck with). He would give a presentation to new members of unit. As part of his presentation, he had a prop ‘bomb’ he would display. This thing looked like a cartoon bomb, paper towel tubes painted red, lots of wires & old time alarm clock. Word ‘bomb’ painted on it.

    One of our senior NCOs hated this guy & one day to get him in trouble (and commander too, as he also disliked him), he ‘discovered’ this ‘bomb’ in a desk drawer & called in a bomb threat (while afternoon Wing Commander briefing was going on). They evacuated building & also Wing Commander HQ (which was physically close by).

    He got in trouble for it, but was getting out anyway. I had to work with that guy for another year after the LT is question left for another job. He was pretty worthless (the NCO). Drank himself to death within 2 years of retiring.

  25. 25
    Paul in KY says:

    @gene108: You should definitely use your best language (when in any official proceedings).

  26. 26
    daveNYC says:

    My conclusion is that the city is going to get its ass sued and will settle to avoid looking even worse than they already do.

  27. 27
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    It just sucks, all the way around. But I can’t say I was surprised that it was Irving. That area’s never been a hotbed of tolerance, as the early 1960s demonstrated vividly, and tragically.

  28. 28
    kindness says:

    God damn Texas….You make me embarrassed that I’m white. So let me generalize some. How is it that (white) people in charge in Irving are all such stupid bigoted assholes? In this country you are allowed to be a bigot. Used to be (most) everyone had the sense to hide that from the masses. Now, here in this example, not so much. I am embarrassed.

    Sure hope Wonkette covers this one. That way at least I’ll get some fun out of it.

  29. 29
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Paul in KY: It is looking pretty good nationally, although we still have about five weeks to the actual vote. My riding looks to be a toss up between the NDP and Cons. The sitting MP here was one of many Cons who retired, presumedly because they did not want to work for an opposition party.

  30. 30
    Jay C says:

    Horrible as this story is, I found at least one small ray of positivity in reading the comments to the linked article: assuming they were all mostly locals, opinion was running at least 5-6 to 1 that the school district and police had acted like idiots in Ahmed Mohammed’s case, and that BS like this was an embarrassment to their town, and Texas in general.

    @daveNYC:

    My conclusion is that the city is going to get its ass sued and will settle to avoid looking even worse than they already do.

    I tend to doubt it (that they’ll settle): not an expert, but I think suits against “zero tolerance” harassments in schools tend not to have a good success rate. Though I’d like to proved wrong.

  31. 31
    kc says:

    I saw a photo of the thing and, well, I can see why someone would think it looks like a bomb. It’s not surprising that he would be questioned about it.

  32. 32
    Elizabelle says:

    Letter from high school principal about the furor over a homemade clock: it’s pure obfuscation and ass-covering. This is not the open and honest communication he applauds himself for.

    From MacArthur High School principal Dan Cummings and the school superintendent:

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

    In Irving ISD and at MacArthur High School, your child’s safety and well-being is always our top priority and we want to maintain open, honest and timely communication with you. If there was ever an imminent threat to your child, we would take immediate and necessary precautions, and we would inform you immediately.

    While we do not have any threats to our school community, we want you to be aware that the Irving Police Department responded to a suspicious-looking item on campus yesterday. We are pleased to report that after the police department’s assessment, the item discovered at school did not pose a threat to your child’s safety.

    Our school is cooperating fully with the ongoing police investigation, and we are handling the situation in accordance with the Irving ISD Student Code of Conduct and applicable laws. Please rest assured that we will always take necessary steps to keep our school as safe as possible.

    I recommend using this opportunity to talk with your child about the Student Code of Conduct and specifically not bringing items to school that are prohibited. Also, this is a good time to remind your child how important it is to immediately report any suspicious items and/or suspicious behavior they observe to any school employee so we can address it right away. We will always take necessary precautions to protect our students.

    Thank you for your understanding and support of MacArthur High School as we do everything we can for your child’s safety.

    Got that. No information on the actual incident, and that school and police jumped to conclusions. Just talk with your kids and keep everyone else even more vigilant and suspicious. Because we’re all about safety.

  33. 33
    D58826 says:

    My first question is can we give Texas back to Mexico. Which of course begs the second, and bigger question, would Mexico be stupid enough to want it back?

  34. 34
    D58826 says:

    @Elizabelle:

    suspicious-looking item on campus ‘ This is the same state that allows people with fully loaded ar15s to wander about the landscape and is in favor of teachers carrying guns in school. They have a strange definition of ‘suspicious looking’

  35. 35
    Elizabelle says:

    @D58826: It’s insane, is it not?

  36. 36
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    My conclusions? That family better get the fuck out of Texas.

    The local police have obviously been surveilling the family. The kid is lucky he didn’t get shot. He probably won’t be so lucky again if they stay.

  37. 37
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @D58826: I think Mexico is entirely too smart to go for that, even if we included the return of Arizona and New Mexico.

  38. 38
    Elizabelle says:

    I’m thinking this kid will get a lot of support from his community, actually. This was embarrassing. It’s suburban Texas, near Dallas. It’s a fairly international area.

    Not one of the deserted cowtowns.

    I see good coming out of this, I hope so.

    Maybe Ahmed will get a scholarship to a special tech high school — if one exists — and maybe he can be rewarded for his enterprise and imagination, by MacArthur High School. He was in a robotics program in earlier grade.

  39. 39
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    My first question is can we give Texas back to Mexico. Which of course begs the second, and bigger question, would Mexico be stupid enough to want it back?

    @D58826:

    1. Probably not but would be worth trying.
    2. Sure. Mexico has zero qualms about ethnically cleansing a region of the natives and then resettling with their own. It still happens there quite often.

    I’m against the whole plan because I want the Texans – the bad ones, anyway, which seem to comprise a majority – to stay right where they are.

  40. 40
    debbie says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I’m thinking this kid will get a lot of support from his community, actually.

    Except that you’re talking about Texas.

  41. 41
    satby says:

    A FB family member (distant) shared a Britain First “Islamic Extremism” video that’s currently making the right wing hot and bothered. They’re all terrorists and all coming to overrun our countries. I try to point out that organization is a white power group in the UK, but the last 15 years of indoctrination against Muslims has really made people crazy, or t least the subset of people inclined to hate others. Because of the Iran deal and the refugees, they’re ratcheting up the hate to 11 as a preemptive move before someone suggests bringing more refugees here.

  42. 42
    Robin G. says:

    If this family sets up a GoFundMe, they’ll get everything they need for a team of lawyers to make this district’s existence a living hell. I hope they make it as vindictive as possible.

  43. 43
    Scott S. says:

    There’s some talk about people in Denton, about 30-50 miles north of Irving, trying to get the kid into UNT’s TAMS program for gifted STEM high-schoolers…

  44. 44
    DTTM says:

    @Belafon:

    Actually, Jesus spoke “American”…Palin told me so.

  45. 45
    Peale says:

    Have we seen a picture of this clock?

    ETA: because I’m not going to get all up in arms yet. Could be that, like a lot of young folk, this kid was being a jack-ass and I don’t tend to want to avoid circling the wagons for a jack-ass.

  46. 46
    Betty Cracker says:

    Anil Dash has been all over this. There’s a picture of the kid (wearing a NASA t-shirt) in handcuffs on Dash’s Twitter feed. If the look on that kid’s face doesn’t break your heart, you don’t have one.

  47. 47
    D58826 says:

    @Peale: Assuming he is a 14 year old jackass it still seems like a bit of overkill to cuff him, take him to jail and threaten terrorism charges.

  48. 48
    Fred says:

    On Daily Kos Radio, David Waldman made the point that if the school/police really believed the clock was a possible bomb they would have evacuated the school. Instead they claim to have been protecting the safety of the students by keeping what they claim to have thought a hazardous device in the school while waiting for the police to arrest the kid.
    They can’t have it both ways (in a rational world, but it is Texas so…) either they felt the device was a threat or they didn’t. Either way they acted inappropriately and probably illegally.

  49. 49
    Fred says:

    @Betty Cracker: Betty, thank you for that link. My heart does break for that kid. My heart breaks for this world we live in that tries to crush such a beautiful spirit.

  50. 50

    Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who immigrated from Sudan and occasionally returns there to run for president.

    Not that this is the point at all, but that was certainly an unexpected thing to find casually dropped into the middle of the article. “Oh yeah, Ahmed’s dad is running for president again, yawn.”

    The good news is, Ahmed’s getting a ton of support from the world of geeks and nerds. Chris Hadfield (former commander of the International Space Station) just tweeted at him to invite him to an event in Toronto.

  51. 51
    lol says:

    Can’t believe no one commented on this detail though.

    who immigrated from Sudan and occasionally returns there to run for president.

  52. 52
    NonyNony says:

    @Fred:

    On Daily Kos Radio, David Waldman made the point that if the school/police really believed the clock was a possible bomb they would have evacuated the school.

    It seems pretty clear to me that since they didn’t call the bomb squad and didn’t evacuate the area, they didn’t think it was a bomb.

    And given that, I think I’ve figured out what they were doing. They saw the clock and assumed the only reason a brown-skinned kid would be building a digital clock was as a piece of a homemade bomb (nevermind that this is literally the dumbest idea anyone has ever had – why would you spend the money building a clock for a bomb if you aren’t a James Bond movie villain? Even if you needed a clock it’s been common knowledge for decades that digital watches or clock radios are what the actual guys building bombs with timers use). So they illegally interrogated him for hours to try to figure out where he was hiding the other bomb making material that he must have had somewhere.

  53. 53
    D58826 says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Oh yeah, Ahmed’s dad is running for president again, yawn.”

    For those old enough to remember I don’t think Harold Stasson was suspected of terrorism and he ran for president every 4 years during the 50’s and 60’s

  54. 54
    father pussbucket (fka gnomedad) says:

    (TV bombs look like clocks) + (Mooslim nerd) = shitstorm

  55. 55

    @D58826: Maybe his kids couldn’t tell time.

  56. 56
    Cervantes says:

    @lol:

    Can’t believe no one commented on this detail though.

    Someone did.

  57. 57
    Peale says:

    @NonyNony: Maybe the kid was an extreme DIY hipster? I mean, why buy a clock when you could build one? It’s like all those mass shooters we hear about who start by making their own bullets and hand carving the stocks for their rifles.

  58. 58
    D58826 says:

    Sigh and it’s not just Texas:

    New York City police union chief Patrick Lynch said Tuesday it’s “irresponsible, unjust and un-American” to criticize cops for wrongfully slamming retired tennis star James Blake to the ground outside his Manhattan hotel.
    In a scathing open letter addressed to “all arm-chair judges,” Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, tears into public condemnation of Officer James Frascatore’s tackling of Blake, who was mistaken for a suspect in an identify theft ring. The former tennis great was arrested, handcuffed and detained for about 15 minutes before police realized their error last week.
    “If you have never struggled with someone who is resisting arrest or who pulled a gun or knife on you when you approached them for breaking a law, then you are not qualified to judge the actions of police officers putting themselves in harm’s way for the public good,” Lynch begins

  59. 59
    Paul in KY says:

    @Fred: They obviously didn’t think it was a real bomb. They just wanted to fuck with him & his family. What a bunch of assholes.

  60. 60
    Eric U. says:

    I think a lot of bombmakers use cellphones nowadays. Pretty easy to get a stolen cellphone and wire it up. The trick is making the parts that blow up

  61. 61
    Elizabelle says:

    Ezra Klein in Vox: This heartbreaking photo drives home why Ahmed Mohamed’s arrest was such a travesty

    Let’s count the ways this picture sets America back.

    1) At a time when we’re trying to persuade the Muslim world that we are not their enemy, that our policies aren’t driven by anti-Muslim bias, we are racially profiling Muslim children as bomb-wielding terrorists. We are seemingly confirming the Muslim world’s worst fears about us — and giving ammunition to those who argue that America is deeply hostile to Muslims.

    2) At a time when the World Economic Forum ranks America as 48th [in math/science education; OED has U.S. at 27th and 20th, respectively] … we’re arresting a child who wears NASA shirts and builds machines in his spare time — and we’re doing it because the education professionals charged with guiding his development can’t tell the difference between a clock and a bomb.

    3) At a time when we desperately need the world’s most talented immigrants to come to the US and build the industries of the future, we’re sending a message that immigrant families like Mohamed’s will be treated with suspicion and, at times, outright racism.

    4) But the most heartbreaking part of the picture isn’t about national policy or international headlines. It’s the look on Mohamed’s face. America was supposed to be better than this. But on Monday, his school and his local police force — both of them public institutions that his family’s tax dollars support — failed him in a terrible, traumatic way.

    Klein calls the principal’s letter “infuriating, victim-blaming”.

  62. 62
    David Hopson says:

    @D58826: I don’t think the Mexicans are stupid enough to take Texas back. I suggest simply kicking it out of the union and letting it become the Republic of Texas again.

  63. 63

    Tech writer Andy Ihnatko has a great blog post about this, because he’s pissed:

    http://ihnatko.com/2015/09/16/.....not-brown/

    It’s a bad idea to piss off science nerds. They protect their own. This town had better hope Neil de Grasse Tyson doesn’t decide to weigh in, because he’ll take their heads off.

  64. 64

    @NonyNony:

    I think you’re probably right. It couldn’t be that he’s a smart kid who built a machine for fun — he must have had an ulterior motive, because what kind of kid actually enjoys science and learning?

    I also wonder if some of the teachers and/or administrators already disliked him. It’s not uncommon for teachers to get pissy if a student is smarter than they are.

    ETA: To be clear, good teachers (like the ones who post here!) are usually thrilled to have a really brilliant student and imagine the day when that student makes his/her Nobel acceptance speech talking about how it’s all due to their wonderful teacher. But there are also authoritarian assholes who go into teaching and get upset if any students are smarter than they are.

  65. 65

    @Elizabelle: I call bullshit on the third bullet point.

    At a time when we desperately need the world’s most talented immigrants to come to the US and build the industries of the future, we’re sending a message that immigrant families like Mohamed’s will be treated with suspicion and, at times, outright racism.

    I say start by treating the talented immigrants who are already here, better. Instead of making them jump through endless hoops of an arcane system that hasn’t changed much since the 1960s.

    ETA: There is a shortage of doctors in many parts of the country but the hurdles that immigrant physicians encounter are even worse than EB immigrants in other professions.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:

    Update on Ahmed Mohamed: no charges, but not much honesty from the authorities, either:

    Update at 11:20 a.m. Wednesday: At a press conference this morning, Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing “a hoax bomb” to school — and not a clock, as Mohamed said he repeatedly told his teachers.

    But, Boyd said, “we are confident it’s not an explosive device” intended to cause “alarm.” Rather, he said, officers determined it was “a hoax bomb” and a “naive accident.”

    As a result, he said, no charges will be filed against Ahmed, and “the case is considered closed.” He also said “the reaction would have been the same regardless” of the student’s skin color.

    Irving police released a photo of the clock during the press conference.

    Police won’t call it a “clock”, but the newspaper did.

    His sisters, 18-year-old Eyman and 17-year-old Ayisha, could hardly keep up with the tweets and stunning news about their little brother. Because Ahmed was never much for social media, the girls set up a Twitter account for him, @istandwithahmed, and watched it balloon to thousands of followers within hours.

    “We’re trending No. 1!” Ayisha cried to her sister, holding a cellphone over a stuffed coffee table in the living room.

    “It’s a blessing and a curse,” Ayisha said of Ahmed’s arrest and subsequent fame. “I don’t think he’ll ever be able to live normally again.”

    But they were happy for invitations to visit companies including Google and to move and study in other cities, and for the tweets of support, including one from Hillary Clinton.

  68. 68
    Elizabelle says:

    “Assumptions and fear don’t keep us safe — they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building,” [Hillary] Clinton’s tweet read.

    @Humboldtblue: Outstanding news.

    Talk about gift-wrapped.

    Wonder if the Ahmed case will come up in tonight’s debate?

  69. 69
    Linda Featheringill says:

    You may have already seen this but it’s worth noting.

    #stand with ahmad has 438,000 tweets.

    Including this one:

    President ObamaVerified account
    ‏@POTUS
    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.

  70. 70
    D58826 says:

    Well I’m glad they cleared that up. According to the police spokesman the student on being questioned ‘could not give an adequate explanation on what it could be used for’.
    Really!!!!!!!

    Years ago there was a movie that I think starred Paul Newman and the character said to the cop – ‘oh you are cop must have flunked your literacy test’. Heaven help us

  71. 71
    Humboldtblue says:

    @Elizabelle: The science and tech nerds across the world have the boy’s back and so do us luddite idiots.

    And I was reading the Istandwithahmed feed earlier and it’s awesome.

  72. 72
    Elizabelle says:

    @Humboldtblue: One tweet said Ahmed is guilty of nerding while Muslim.

    So glad so many have this little guy’s back. Nice turn of events.

    And you know there are some teachers at MacArthur glad to see the principal and some of the other schmuck colleagues embarrassed. Must be hell to work with some of them.

    That principal’s letter was a work of art. I’m just wrapping myself in school district protocol here, nothing to see. Move along now.

  73. 73
    tom says:

    I suspect the father will be the focal point for the conserva-crowd going forward, it will be easier to hate an adult than a kid (not that they can’t do both but it’s easier).

  74. 74
    Humboldtblue says:

    @tom: Don’t believe that for a Halal minute. They’re going after the kid already and in the most vicious angry and intolerable ways possible. The dad and the rest of the family will be saved for dessert.

  75. 75
    J R in WV says:

    @kc:

    NO.

    Just no. It is a circuit board, wires, and a battery. Your dishwasher has one of those if it isn’t 20 years old. It’s just on the inside of a chrome or plastic case.

    Bombs have explosives of some kind, have to have, and those are distinctive. Any of those cops should have been able to take one look at that thing and know that it was a home made electronic device, which is NOT a synonym for BOMB.

    There isn’t room anywhere around that gadget for anything that would go bang. Clocks are not bombs. Not Bombs! Clocks tell time, and can alert you to the fact that it is time to check the oven to be sure dinner isn’t about to become charcoal. Or time to leave for school. They never explode.

    This is naked hatred of a brown person who is smart, creative, original, thoughtful, and who will grow up to be a good citizen, if the freaks running Irving, TX don’t break his spirit.

    No better way to create a radical than to show people nothing but naked hatred. And that would be the fault of the teacher, the principle, and the cops… like it takes 5 cops to arrest a 90 pound 8th grader, or whatever year he’s in. Amazing stupidity, Zero tolerance for doing well in science class. Hate him for being the best student in the school, too.

    Hoping they sue and get 10% of the budget for both the school system and the police department for the year! But knowing in TX that won’t happen, unless they get a bench trial with a federal judge.

  76. 76

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I don’t think Ezra’s point is that far off yours, since Ahmed’s family is already here. We really do need to get our immigration system up to date, because it’s completely insane. IIRC, during the Bush years some contractor was caught simply shredding people’s applications rather than processing them, because the process is ridiculous convoluted on the receiving side, too. But yanno, god forbid we should hire people to work through the backlog — that’s gubbmint spending!

  77. 77
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Do you think Obamacare, with its emphasis on primary care, might help a bit in opening opportunities for physicians from abroad?

    And I’d like to see a program to educate primary physicians in this country too. Don’t leave them with such outrageous university bills they have to go into a specialty practice.

    Am sure it’s the AMA and existing physicians who are a lot of the obstacle there, along with the reduce immigration crowd.

  78. 78
    Elizabelle says:

    Also, FWIW: note that Ahmed’s dad, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, is able to leave the country to go campaign to be president of Sudan, and return.

    Proof he’s legally in this country.

  79. 79
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Love that essay. Thank you.

  80. 80
    Paul in KY says:

    @Humboldtblue: That’s my Pres!!!

  81. 81
    Paul in KY says:

    @J R in WV: I would assume the teacher that initially called it in has an animus towards him and/or muslims.

  82. 82
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Paul in KY: I imagine so.

    He brought it in to his engineering class; the teacher praised it. I suspect he was taking it back to his locker after class and a non-technical teacher saw it — or the teacher is buddies with a cop who “is interested” in the kid’s dad.

    Fucking Texas.

  83. 83
    J R in WV says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Gosh!!! Ya think?

    Probably a whole nest of haters around Dallas, which is most famous as the site of President Kennedy’s death. And they apparently haven’t improved much in all the decades since.

  84. 84
    J R in WV says:

    @FlyingToaster:

    I think the alarm (it was a multi-purpose clock with sound!) went off in the middle of English class, and that pissed off that teacher, who started the whole mess off immediately.

  85. 85

    […] to run for president. Now, you take that, combined with Irving TX’s already demonstrated (via TimF at Balloon Juice)…oh, let’s call it a lack of hospitality toward Muslim residents, and it doesn’t […]

  86. 86

    […] Obama’s response to the Muslim kid in Texas who was busted for bringing a homemade clock to school is […]

  87. 87

    @Elizabelle: There are only 140,000 green cards for EB category with no country getting more than 7% of the total quota per year. There aren’t enough Green Cards to go around if you are from India, China, Mexico and I think the Philippines. So there are people who are waiting for years, whose original intent to immigrate has been approved but have to wait till they get an actual green card. And of course getting to that stage is not easy in the first place.

    ETA: My friend who I had talked about earlier finished her residency in pediatric oncology in 2009. Then she was on J-1 (exchange student/scholar) visa and only recently was able to change to H1-B. She hasn’t even begun her GC process yet.

  88. 88
    FlyingToaster says:

    @J R in WV: WTF?!?!?!

    There was a white kid in my 10th grade chemistry class who made a tube of and put it in his bag to his next class (last hour); the cork blew out and ricocheted around his Spanish class. He didn’t even get sent to the principal.

    That was 38 years ago, and he was white, but it was still in the Bible Belt.

    There’s something REALLY WRONG in Irving.

  89. 89
    Paul in KY says:

    @J R in WV: I know it is trenchant commentary like that from me that keeps you coming back to BJ.

    Plenty more where that came from.

  90. 90
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Thank you. Agree the immigration system is broken.

    We are lucky to have your friend, the pediatric oncologist.

  91. 91

    @Elizabelle: Another immigration horror story for you. An acquaintance of mine whose intent to immigrate was approved, had to leave the country to visit an ailing relative in India. When your change of status application is in progress you need to let the proper authorities know that you are leaving the country and get what is called advanced parole. She had to leave in a hurry to see her dying relative so she had no time to fill out the paperwork. As a result she was stuck in India for longer than she had originally planned, her trip turned out to be several years long instead of a couple of weeks long. Since her husband was a citizen who also could afford a good immigration lawyer, she could finally return.

  92. 92

    @Elizabelle: Another immigration horror story for you. An acquaintance of mine whose intent to immigrate was approved, had to leave the country to visit an ailing relative in India. When your change of status application is in progress you need to let the proper authorities know that you are leaving the country and get what is called advanced parole. She had to leave in a hurry to see her dying relative so she had no time to fill out the paperwork. As a result she was stuck in India for longer than she had originally planned, her trip turned out to be several years long instead of a couple of weeks long. Since her husband was a citizen who also could afford a good immigration lawyer, she could finally return. The worst part of all this is she blames herself for being away from her family which included a young son.

  93. 93
    D58826 says:

    @kc: I would give the English teacher the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they can’t even reset a circuit breaker. All they had to do was get the engineering teacher involved and that should have ended the discussion

  94. 94
    cckids says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Maybe Ahmed will get a scholarship to a special tech high school — if one exists — and maybe he can be rewarded for his enterprise and imagination, by MacArthur High School. He was in a robotics program in earlier grade

    I don’t know if this has been cited yet, but Pres. Obama invited Ahmed to the White House & told him to bring his clock. FSM, I’m going to miss him when he’s not the Pres anymore.

    Link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=893833480652056&set=a.100840766618002.1846.100000762374540&type=1&theater

  95. 95
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Wow. An immigration attorney would have advised her on how important the advance parole is. Terrible outcome.

  96. 96
    Elizabelle says:

    @cckids: I know. Shortstop called PBO a “lithe-duck president” a thread or two up.

    President Obama is a class act. I’d feel safer if he could do a third term.

    Look forward to seeing pics of PBO and Ahmed. At the White House.

  97. 97
    Jim Filyaw says:

    Er, excuse me for asking, but aren’t the Ten Commandments “foreign law”?

  98. 98

    @Elizabelle: Her father had had a stroke and was critical, so I guess she was not thinking straight at that point.

  99. 99
    John says:

    @gene108: I agree that profiling is evident here. However, the dickhead cop who said “That’s who I thought it was” probably meant he thought it would be a middle eastern person of color, in the generic sense. At least I hope that’s the case, because if it turns out that these dirtbags were keeping an eye on a fucking fourteen-year-old, we need to seriously consider cutting Texas loose.

  100. 100
    chris9059 says:

    @rikyrah: If he was white people would be saying he is in the great American inventor/tinkerer tradition of Edison, Hewlett-Packard etc. But because his skin is brown and his name is Mohamed he must be a terrorist

  101. 101
    Grover Gardner says:

    @kc:

    So did half the crap at my daughter’s science fair. Heck that baking-soda-and-vinegar volcano could have been made entirely of plastic explosives! In other words, NO. All they had to do was ask the science teacher, who presumably could have taken one look and said, “Hell no, it’s a clock!” Unless he’s as big an idiot as the rest of them.

  102. 102
    Sondra says:

    I vowed last year to use the epithet f*cking in front of Texas whenever I commented on a story oozing like slime mold out of that miserable state. I have been lax in that effort lately but I’m going back to it now after this story.

    I hope that Obama brings him to the White House, that the kid’s family patents his new invention and that it turns out to be that next giant step for mankind: I’d settle for the next “Goggle” and that the kid makes millions on it.

  103. 103
    LeonS says:

    @kc: Questioned? Sure, why not? Better safe than sorry. That not what happened though, is it?

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