The Clock Faker Goes International

The story of Ahmed Mohamed is one of the most revealing of our time. Ahmed, a 14-year-old Texas student whose father keeps running for president of Sudan, took apart a clock and stuck the clock’s workings in a case with a lot of wires, dummied up to look like a suitcase bomb. (I assume everyone understands that such bombs use timers, i.e., clocks.) He claimed to have invented or built a clock, when in fact he had merely dismantled and disguised one. Why did he do this? He wanted school authorities to think that he had brought a bomb to school so he could expose their “racism.” Neil Munro sums it up:

The boy’s device was a commercial 120-volt alarm clock, first dismantled and then placed in a case where the screen could not be seen by any users. [Ed.: Great clock!] The boy also left the clock’s innards exposed, so when the power-cord was plugged in, the clock could electrocute anyone who reached inside the case to turn the alarm on or off. The device’s intended purpose was so obscure, in fact, that puzzled police and teachers thought it was a hoax-bomb.

Which evidently was what Ahmed had in mind. His ploy worked like a charm: the story was big news nationwide, and Barack Obama invited the boy to the White House, while he was also feted by Google, MIT and others. Needless to say, Obama didn’t invite the boy who was suspended from elementary school for biting a pop tart into the shape of a gun to the White House. So this story isn’t about the silliness of zero tolerance school policies, it is about…what, exactly?

Ahmed himself explains on a Turkish web site:

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who is New York for the 70th United Nations General Assembly, has met with 14-year-old student Ahmed Mohamed, who was detained at school by the police in Texas when a teacher thought a clock he had made was a bomb.

Mohamed was among the invitees of a reception in New York on Sept. 25, which was also attended by Prime Minister Davutoğlu. …


Speaking to reporters before the reception, Mohamed said he was excited to meet the Turkish prime minister.

“Despite everything, we should always be creative, even when others turn you down,” said Mohamed.

“My dream is to raise consciousness against racism and discrimination,” he said, adding that he would like to visit Turkey in the future.

Mohamed, a Muslim teenager, became an overnight celebrity after a teacher confiscated his clock and alerted school officials when it started beeping in one of his classes.

I take it that “racism and discrimination” means taking note of the fact that Muslims commit an awful lot of terrorist acts. Although, to be fair to the principal and teachers at Ahmed’s school, they would have reacted the same way regardless of who brought a fake suitcase bomb to school. The pop tart kid, after all, was no Muslim. Which is why Google and MIT took no interest in him.