Things are looking up for 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, the robotics/engineering enthusiast who brought his homemade clock to school and ended up getting arrested.
The incident happened in Irving, Texas, on Monday. According to the Dallas Morning News, Mohamed built the clock and brought it in to show his teacher at MacArthur High School. He was then questioned by police and taken into custody for building what the police call a “hoax bomb.”
Today, Mohamed has received props for his science skills and invites to both the White House and Facebook. From President Obama via Twitter:
“Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed,” Zuckerberg posted. “Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’d love to meet you. Keep building.”
The Dallas Morning News reports that at a press conference this a.m., Police Chief Larry Boyd said that while the device, when confiscated, was “suspicious in nature,” the follow-up investigation showed that it was a “homemade experiment, and there’s no evidence to support the perception he intended to create alarm.”
Mohamed’s arrest called into question whether he was treated differently because of prejudice against Muslims. His father expressed “shock” at the treatment of his son, as he was surrounded by five police and handcuffed with no attempts to reach his parents.
“He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, told the Dallas Morning News. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”
In case you missed it, here is the shot of Mohamed in handcuffs, wearing a NASA shirt no less:
#IStandWithAhmed is the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter, with more than 634,000 tweets as of this time.
Watch Mohamed talk about his love of inventing stuff and his arrest in this Dallas Morning News video below: