- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

President Obama has reached out via Twitter to a 14-year-old Muslim boy who was arrested and suspended from his Dallas-area high school after he brought a homemade clock to class.

“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,” the president’s tweet read.

Ahmed Mohamed — who makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart — made headlines this week after he was arrested for bringing his homemade clock to impress his teachers at MacArthur High in Irving, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“Here in high school, none of the teachers know what I can do,” Ahmed said in a taped interview from his bedroom, which is beginning to look like the back room at RadioShack, according to The Morning News.

He said he threw the clock together in about 20 minutes using a circuit board and a tiger hologram pencil case.

Ahmed said that when he showed it to his engineering teacher Monday morning, he advised him not to show it to anyone else. So Ahmed kept it in his bag until English class, but it beeped in the middle of a lesson and the teacher demanded to see it after class, The Morning News reported.

“She was like, it looks like a bomb,” Ahmed said.

The teacher confiscated the clock, and Ahmed was sent to the principal’s office, where he was confronted by five police officers, The Morning News reported. The principal threatened to expel him if he didn’t make a written statement, Ahmed said.

“They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’ ” he said. “I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.”

“He said, ‘It looks like a movie bomb to me.’”

Ahmed was handcuffed and taken to a juvenile detention center to be fingerprinted. His family said the principal also suspended him for three days.

The school district would not comment on the case, citing student privacy laws, The Morning News reported.

Police spokesman James McLellan said Ahmed maintained that the device was a clock, but officers still didn’t believe he was being truthful.

“We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” Mr. McLellan told The Morning News. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”

Asked by the paper what “broader explanation” could have been expected, the spokesman explained: “It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. The concern was, what was this thing built for? Do we take him into custody?”

Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who immigrated from Sudan and occasionally returns there to run for president, said his son “wants to invent good things for mankind.”

“But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated,” he told The Morning News.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it is also investigating the incident.

“This all raises a red flag for us: how Irving’s government entities are operating in the current climate,” said Alia Salem, who directs the council’s North Texas chapter.

In the meantime, Ahmed vowed never to take an invention to school again. Mr. Obama’s tweet, however, may change that. His message was retweeted more than 31,000 times within the first 20 minutes it was posted. The hashtag #IStandWithAhmed had become the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter by Wednesday afternoon.

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