Teen inventor Ahmed Mohamed, the Muslim boy famous for bringing a homemade clock to school that was mistaken for a bomb, was forced to leave the US due to flawed reporting, made-up facts, and general misinformation in the media, one of his attorneys tells RT.
“There has been a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about what happened,” Susan Hutchinson, Mohamed’s family attorney said.
“There is misinformation about [Ahmed’s family’s] connection with other groups of people, the basis of their Muslim faith, about their activities in the Muslim community… there’s just a lot of wrong information out there […] rumors and things made-up by some people in the media,” she stressed.
The attorney also noted that the misunderstandings began as soon as the story first broke. In September of last year, 14-year-old Ahmed was pulled out of class and arrested at his high school in Irving, Texas, after he brought a self-made digital clock to class to show his teacher. He was handcuffed, taken to a juvenile detention center, questioned by police, fingerprinted, and photographed for mugshots, before finally being released without charges. Moreover, he was threatened with expulsion if he refused to sign a confession saying he intended to bring a “hoax bomb” to school, according to his lawyers.
The boy later said he “felt like he was not human” while being treated like a criminal. Ahmed was suspended from school even after police inspected his invention and found nothing resembling a bomb.
The boy received worldwide support, with #IStandWithAhmed hashtag trending number one for a while, and even got an invitation to visit President Barack Obama in the White House, controversies in media coverage resulted in Ahmed receiving death threats, Hutchinson said.
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.
— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
“There were reports that it really was a bomb, that Ahmed’s father planned the whole thing – although how can he possibly plan a false arrest by the Irving Police department?
“[…] There was never an accurate picture that this boy had made this very crude little alarm clock that he put in his pencil box from the seventh grade in order to impress his teacher,” Hutchinson explained.
Ahmed had to move to Qatar, where he was invited to take part in the Young Innovators Program run by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development. He briefly returned to the US last week to attend a court hearing, as his family has filed a lawsuit against the school and city of Irving, citing unlawful actions towards the teenager. His attorney said her job now is to clear up the controversies surrounding the boy’s image in the media so that he can one day return home without fear.
“[Ahmed’s] life has changed drastically. He and his family have moved half way around the world […] I think they have received some threats to their safety.
“My job is to clear that up enough to where there is not any problem with his safety and he is able to come back if he chooses to do that.
“[People] need to really see him for who he is – this curious sweet 14 year old boy – and I think when people actually understand that, then the negative emotional aspect of it all will go away,” Hutchinson suggested.