We stand with Ahmed
If he had another name, religion or belonged to another ethnic group, would 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed have been suspended and later arrested on Monday in Dallas for bringing a clock he built to school?
The issue at hand has become immediately evident.
Ahmed is Muslim, with a name that suggests as much. Because Ahmed is from the African nation of Sudan, it is likely that he was racially profiled.
Men, women and children like him have been detained at airports and faced other forms of ethnic profiling for similar reasons.
Nevertheless, he is just a 14-year-old American boy who wanted to make his MacArthur High School teacher proud by revealing a clock he built at home.
But we are not blind to the underlying issue in America today.
Ahmed’s case has been another instance of police violating the rights of a citizen. According to the Texas Family Code Section 52.025, “A child may not be left unattended in a juvenile processing office and is entitled to be accompanied by the child’s parent, guardian, or other custodian or by the child’s attorney.”
He was repeatedly denied the right to see his parents, and he was not able to meet with them until he was released from a juvenile detention center.
Perhaps this issue is largely important because last week all of America remembered the travesties that occurred on 9/11.
Perhaps this issue is important because, although the tragic Boston Marathon bombing was two years ago, it is still fresh in our minds — especially since Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced earlier this year.
Perhaps this issue is important because, although the U.S. government does not track religious affiliation, the Muslim population in the U.S. has seen significant growth and is projected to greatly increase in the following years. (The Muslim population will likely surpass Christians as the world’s largest religion in the second half of this century.)
Whatever the reason, we see law enforcement failing to recognize the civil rights of one of its young citizens.
We have seen that, because of the actions of a few extremists, there are many people in America who seem to have hastily generalized millions of others who have done us no harm.
Many of us support the positive outcomes that have come from this otherwise awful event. As a result of this incident, Ahmed has received an invitation from President Barack Obama to visit the White House and support from Hillary Clinton, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, MIT and NASA.
We stand with Ahmed and for a tolerant America that honors the freedom promised to its entire people since the founding of the nation.