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Ahmed Mohamed: If Arrest 'Wasn't Because of Religion, It Was Because of Race'

Twitter/Ahmed Mohammed
Ahmed Mohammed shared this photo on social media after news of his story started trending.

Ahmed Mohamed is a 14-year-old who loves tinkering with electronics. On Monday, he brought a homemade clock to school. After he showed it to a few of his teachers, the clock was confiscated. Ahmed was then questioned by police and taken to a juvenile detention facility in handcuffs – accused of making a hoax bomb. He was wearing his NASA t-shirt at the time he was arrested.

Ahmed talks with the Texas Standard about his arrest and the Internet fame that has come with it.

He says his arrest was likely due to discrimination and ignorance. "If it wasn't because of religion, it was because of race," he says.

Though the charges have been dropped, Ahmed's story is still spreading across the web like wildfire – Ahmed has gotten encouragement from NASA scientists, and people at places like GoogleTwitter and Facebook. President Barack Obama hasinvited Ahmed to bring his clock to the White House, saying "We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great."

Some folks are going so far as to call him a hero. "I feel really amazed because I didn't know I'd get this far. I didn't know I was gonna get this much support," Ahmed says about the attention. "I didn't think people would care about a Muslim boy."

He says he has big plans for the future, but this incident hasn't changed his dreams. "I'm still going to my dream college," he says "Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]."

And he has a message for his supporters: "Thank you for standing up not just for me, but for other students."

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.
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