You all know that the 14-year-old student Ahmed Mohamed was recently arrested in Texas over a homemade clock. But did you know that he was handcuffed, pulled out of class at MacArthur High School by his principal and five police officers and taken to a room, without informing his parents, where he was questioned for about an hour and a half? A clock – that’s all it was. And Ahmed was arrested because his skin color is brown, he is a Muslim and because Americans are constantly in a state of abject fear of “radical Islam” perpetuated by their own government.
Did his school allow racism and profiling? Certainly. Instead of apologizing to Mohamed for humiliating and terrorizing him (the engineering teacher had praised his project), the school suspended Mohamed for three days and sent out this letter to parents:
Did the cops err in their judgment? Definitely. Instead of checking the device themselves, they took Ahmed into custody for possession of a hoax bomb. Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd, instead of apologizing for an arrest that shouldn’t have happened, accused Ahmed of being uncooperative and posing a threat — so much so that he had to be “handcuffed for his safety”.
Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne defended the school district and police. “I do not fault the school or the police for looking into what they saw as a potential threat,” she said in a statement. It was expected from Van who had earlier this year led the Irving City Council to pass a resolution endorsing an ultimately unsuccessful Texas House proposal aimed at barring foreign laws from superseding US laws.
The circumstances that led to this incident are systemic and cultural, not aberrational. The knee-jerk reaction of both the teachers and the police was an inevitable byproduct of the culture of fear and demonization that has festered and been continuously inflamed in America for many years. A 2014 Pew Poll found that Americans feel more negatively toward Muslims than any other religious group in the country. Ahmed’s arrest for making a clock is the direct consequence of sustained fear-mongering and anti-Muslim animus.
How else do you expect your teachers, cops, and politicians to react when you are a nation waging permanent, endless war against predominantly Muslim countries — bombing seven of them in the last six years alone?
The terror experts and politicians in the US profit greatly by deliberately exaggerating the threat of terrorism, keeping Americans in a state of abject fear of “radical Islam”, and building their public platforms by demonizing Muslims and scoffing at concerns over “Islamaphobia”. They have built their careers on fear-mongering over Islamic terrorism and can stay relevant only if that threat does.
So when a liberal country routinely targets a marginalized and demonized minority group with bigotry and legal persecution, why does it act surprised when a Muslim 14-year-old triggers vindictive fear and persecution because he makes a clock for school?
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