A 14-year-old Muslim boy was arrested after his teacher decided his homemade clock could be a bomb, prompting people to tweet they #IStandWithAhmed in solidarity with him.
Ahmed Mohamed, who enjoys making his own radios and go-karts, took the club to MacArthur High school in Irving, Texas on Monday.
A teacher raised concerns, prompting police to question him, search his things and march him from the school in handcuffs.
Police said they did not believe the device was dangerous but said it would be mistaken for a fake explosive.
Mohamed was suspended from school for three days but has not yet been charged.
“She was like, 'it looks like a bomb',” Ahmed told Dallas News of what the teacher said. “I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.’”
“[A police officer said] ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’ I told them no, I was trying to make a clock. He said, ‘It looks like a movie bomb to me.’”
People registered their disgust as the undue suspicion levelled against the boy.
One Twitter account, @IStandWithAhmed, reportedly belonged to his family.
Ahmed's sister told me to post this. Yes this situation is real for those questioning. pic.twitter.com/Oxd0JxUS6O— Prajwol/Ru (@OfficalPrajwol) September 16, 2015
It is so important to #StandWithAhmed, a 14 year old who is curious and engaged about his world should be celebrated, not branded.— Ms. T (@jacksontalent) September 16, 2015
It really does not bode well for the USA when a smart kid makes a clock and gets arrested by idiotsSeptember 16, 2015
Ahmed's family thanked their supporters after the hashtag trended #StandWithAhmed, saying people could "stop this racial inequality to prevent this happening again".
Thank you fellow supporters. We can ban together to stop this racial inequality and prevent this from happening again pic.twitter.com/fBlmckoafU— Ahmed Mohamed (@IStandWithAhmed) September 16, 2015
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is investigating.
“I think this wouldn’t even be a question if his name wasn't Ahmed Mohamed,” Alia Salem, executive director of its North Texas chapter, told USA Today. “He is an excited kid who is very bright and wants to share it with his teachers.”