Ahmed Mohamed is a 14-year-old Muslim American student at Irving MacArthur High in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. The ninth grader has a self-proclaimed passion for building and inventing -- not only was he a member of the robotics club in middle school, he repairs his own go-karts and builds radios for fun. But when he brought his latest invention, a clock, to school on Monday, he could never have anticipated the reaction, or what it would lead to.
"'That’s really nice,'" Ahmed said his engineering teacher told him, after showing him the clock. "'I would advise you not to show any other teachers.'"
Ahmed's English teacher had a different reaction. Per the Dallas Morning News:
“She was like, it looks like a bomb,” he said.
“I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.’”
The English teacher kept his clock while Ahmed was taken out of his class by the school's principal and a police officer. He was led to a room where four other police officers awaited. According to the Dallas Morning News, "He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: 'Yup. That’s who I thought it was.'"
Ahmed said he was searched and questioned by the police officers, and even threatened by his principal with expulsion if he didn't provide a written statement.
"They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” Ahmed told the Dallas Morning News. “I told them no, I was trying to make a clock... He said, 'It looks like a movie bomb to me.'"
Police say they arrested Ahmed based on the charge of creating a "hoax bomb." Police spokesman James McLellan said "[The Irving police] have no information that he claimed it was a bomb... He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation."
Ahmed's clock was brought to an evidence room, where it currently remains.
At about 3 p.m., officers took Ahmed out of the school and brought him to a juvenile detention center, but was never put inside a cell. After he was fingerprinted, he met up with his parents, who escorted him out. He's still currently suspended from school.
The incident has sparked outcry on and offline and has reinvigorated the ongoing conversation about Islamophobia in America. It's inspired a hashtag, #IStandWithAhmed, which at press time, is the top trending topic on Twitter both nationwide and throughout the world.
Today, Ahmed himself took to Twitter to thank those supporting him:
The incident is currently being investigated by the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Dallas Fort-Worth Chapter.
In the meantime, Ahmed -- who says he'll never take an invention to school again -- is at home with his family. "He just wants to invent good things for mankind," Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, said. "But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated."
For more information about Islamophobia, you can check out MTV's Look Different.