Of all the people arrested over the past week, only Ahmed Mohamed of Irving, Texas was invited to the White House as a result. This is because Mohamed is fourteen years old, and a Muslim, and was arrested because of rampant “Islamophobia” in the U.S. – or at least so goes the media narrative that Barack Obama has eagerly abetted by issuing his invitation.
The facts of the case are not in dispute; only the intention behind them is. Mohamed built a working clock over the last weekend, and decided to take it school to show it to an engineering teacher. The problem was that it didn’t look like a conventional clock. Instead, it was a mess of wires and other gadgets mounted in a briefcase, and looking suspiciously like the briefcase bombs that have figured in countless movies and TV shows.
Questioned by teachers and then by police, according to WFAA: “officers said Ahmed was being ‘passive aggressive’ in his answers to their questions, and didn’t have a ‘reasonable answer’ as to what he was doing with the case. Investigators said the student told them that it was just a clock that he was messing around with.” Irving police officer James McLellan explained: “We attempted to question the juvenile about what it was and he would simply only say it was a clock. He didn’t offer any explanation as to what it was for, why he created this device, why he brought it to school.”
Why didn’t young Ahmed simply give McLellan the explanation he offered later, that he was planning to show the clock to an engineering teacher? This remains unexplained, but in part because of his non-cooperation, Ahmed Mohamed was arrested, and soon released without charge. An international firestorm ensued, with Obama inviting Ahmed to the White House, and a great deal of media handwringing over “Islamophobia.” Haroon Moghul wrote in CNN that “Ahmed just looked to some like someone who might want to make bombs. He’s that very menacing brownish color that racists and bigots associate with either everything south of Texas or some country they probably think is called Terroristan. As it happens, he’s of African, specifically Sudanese, descent. He’s got a doubly Muslim name.”
And it’s true: officials at Irving’s MacArthur High School, where Ahmed Mohamed is a student, ridiculously overreacted. They did so, however, not because of “Islamophobia,” but because of the general hysteria over school shootings that has led principals and teachers nationwide to react stupidly to innocuous actions. All over the country, school officials are on constant high alert for weapons — a high alert that has more than once spilled over into outright hysteria, with students being suspended for drawing guns, pointing fingers at people and saying ‘Bang,’ etc. Then there was Josh Welch, the kid who got in trouble for chewing his pop-tart into the shape of a gun. Josh Welch never got invited to the White House.
Josh Welch and the other children who have fallen victim to this hysteria didn’t run afoul of school administrators because they were Muslims — none of them were. They found themselves in hot water because administrators are so very afraid that their school will be the site of the next shooting that they leap on and magnify the smallest matters. Would Ahmed Mohamed’s clock have been suspicious if he were a white Methodist, and would he have been arrested anyway? Without any doubt. But his arrest has become an opportunity for the purveyors of the Muslims-as-victims myth, among whom Haroon Moghul is a leading propagandist, to push hard on their spurious and insidious claim that Muslims are suffering from unwarranted scrutiny, including counter-terror programs, which should accordingly be relaxed or scrapped altogether.
That will be the result of the apotheosis of Ahmed Mohamed to Exalted Victim Status. Ahmed Mohamed will most likely be the Rosa Parks of the counter-counter-terror movement. Because of this young man and his clock, Muslim students will henceforth be exempted from scrutiny for bringing suspicious objects to school: to subject them to such scrutiny would be “Islamophobic,” clearly an act of racism against “brown people.”
Because of this incident, the clock is now ticking on “Islamophobia” – that is, on reasonable scrutiny of Muslims behaving suspiciously. Such scrutiny is on its way out. And so it could happen some day: a young Muslim just as intelligent and enterprising as Ahmed Mohamed will spend a weekend building a bomb instead of a clock, and carry it with him to school on Monday morning. School officials, if they see it, will not dare utter a word of protest: they will have learned the lesson of Ahmed Mohamed, that young “brown” Muslim boys with suspicious objects are not to be questioned unless the questioner wants to be excoriated in the media and lose his job.
When that bomb goes off, will anyone recall the silly incident in the late summer of 2015 that paved the way for it, and how the President of the United States himself made it all possible? Or will they be too preoccupied with the bloody carnage to remember?