Friday, September 18, 2015

Ahmed Mohamed and the Myth of Islamophobia

Ahmed Mohamed in Handcuffs
Ahmed Mohamed is a fourteen-year-old Texas ninth grader who brought a clock to school to show to his teachers. (As we will see below, Ahmed didn't build a clock. He simply removed the outer casing from an ordinary digital clock.)

For years, schools have been encouraged by liberals to adopt a "zero tolerance" approach, leading to elementary school students getting suspended for bringing a Nerf gun to school or for chewing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun. While the "zero tolerance" policy has led to some absurd results, the media react much differently when the victim of the policy is a Muslim.

Ahmed's teachers decided to err on the side of caution and called police when they thought the clock looked similar to a bomb. For the record, I think their reaction was silly, and I certainly don't believe that Ahmed should have been removed from the school in handcuffs. However, I can understand how someone would conclude that Ahmed had put together a "hoax bomb," especially with a "zero tolerance" policy in place. Consider the following pictures. The top is a suitcase bomb; the bottom is Ahmed's clock.

There is clearly some resemblance, though I'm assuming that Ahmed's clock was much smaller and couldn't pass for a real bomb. But again, teachers are positively encouraged to be suspicious.

Hence, all we can fairly say is that teachers and police, constantly hounded into adopting a "zero tolerance" policy towards anything that looks like a weapon, went overboard and arrested a teenager for building a clock.

But that's not what's being said. Teachers and police are being accused of racism and Islamophobia, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (unindicted co-conspirators in a terrorism funding case) is using Ahmed's story as their latest proof that America is filled with anti-Muslim bigots. Here's a small sample from CAIR's Twitter page to show the mileage the organization is getting from this story:

Of course, CAIR hasn't bothered to present the slightest evidence that Ahmed's arrest had anything to do with Islamophobia. Teachers and police, for all we know, would have acted exactly the same way if the clock had been brought in by a Christian, a Hindu, or a Jew. We might think that CAIR would be more careful when accusing someone of hatred and bigotry, but CAIR only seems to insist on not "jumping to conclusions" when a jihadist is slaughtering infidels.

Due to the instant international outrage, Ahmed has since been invited to the White House by President Barack Obama, been invited to Facebook headquarters by Mark Zuckerberg, and been offered internships at Twitter and Reddit. These invites are supposedly based on his knack for inventing things. However, Dr. Thomas Talbot has shown that Ahmed didn't invent anything. He simply removed the outer casing from a standard store-bought alarm clock and put the insides into his own box.

(If you're wondering whether Dr. Talbot is qualified, he's a research scientist at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California and Chief Scientist for the Armed Forces Simulation Institute for Medicine at the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center.)

So here's what we have. A teenager took the casing off an alarm clock and put the rest into a box, then brought the box to school. His teachers, pressed into adopting "zero tolerance" policies, thought the device looked similar to a bomb and called the police. Police, suspecting that the student may have intended the clock as a "hoax bomb," removed the student from school in handcuffs. Because the student is a Muslim, the story has been spun into a narrative of bigotry, racism, and Islamophobia by organizations like CAIR and the media and politicians who mindlessly do their bidding. The student, who simply removed the casing from a clock, is now being praised for his brilliance and is about to head to the White House.

What message does this really send to young people?

Though I never agreed much with the late Christopher Hitchens, he was spot-on when he defined Islamophobia as "a word invented by fascists and used by cowards to manipulate morons."


Thor said...

Well we're not scared of muslims. In fact, we like some very much. So we are not Islamophobes. But we are scared of some of the fruit of Islam, so maybe we can be called Islamofruitophobics, and the Islam we don't like, we can call Islamofruit. I think the idea has merit.

Zub said...

As a +30 year career electronics engineer, what was said on the video is largely correct. The transformer part is wrong however. You can't operate such a large 7-segment display practically on batteries because of the power it draws. To do so would require a very sizable battery.

I tend to agree this may indeed be a hoax device used for political gain, media exposure, and of course propaganda value. If I were to guess when operating this device it would look very much like those cheesy "countdown bomb timers" seen on television shows like McGyver. You know the one, with the bright red LED numbers ticking down and the big on off switch. What this kid did was absolutely not worthy of the attention it is getting. It some ways it can be viewed as electronic considered plagiarism.

Now Prez O-Bomb-a (pun intended), why don't you invite to the WH the young man from Mali who built wind turbines from broken bicycle and tractor parts that provides meager electric light to his village hut? To me THAT is worthy of the media attention and a full ride scholarship. FYI web search William Kamkwamba for more info.

Itiswritten said...

This is crazy. I doubt if the liberal media will ever report this experts analysis Obama was so quick to invite this moslem boy to the white house. its appears to me that Obama might truly be a closet moslem.

Nojmul Huda said...

“What message does this really send to young people?”- Answering Islam

Bravo Ahmed for fooling the intellect world and getting attention from President of America by creating a device look like a bomb to fool teachers and police and at the same time draw attention of media as ingenuity for creation for a school boy like you when the whole world is fighting against Islamic terrorism and thousands of illegal immigrants assembled in Europe for asylum. It is an human tragedy.

People would not be surprised when they see young Muslims fight along with their adults side by side in Syria, Iraq, Africa, Afghanistan etc. to protect Islamic Jihad to spread Islamic Sharia law and Kingdom of their Allah. These kinds of incentive by President for a simple mistake by adults would prolong War against Islamic terrorism. One day a true Jihadist could bring a real bomb in disguise of a school science project and blow up school building. Is this not a genuine fear for a citizen of America?

King Harkinian II said...

Apparently, this kid's family is Sudanese. The father has run twice for President of Sudan, and is apparently looking to do so again - there is evidence he will use this as a publicity stunt. Lord willing, the truth shall come out.

Rikki B said...

After all the excitement by the greater media (not to mention fawning) over this boy, I'm glad to read this article. About the Hitchens quote, someone pointed out on Facebook that it was Andrew Cummins who actually said it, not Hitchens. After doing a bit of searching I came across this Sam Harris corrected himself after attributing the quote to Hitchens. Just figured I would send this here in case you didn't see the comment on FB.
I always enjoy your articles and videos David, keep them coming!

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

There is far more going on here than initially meets the eyes and ears. His daddy likely put him up to this and just took advantage of what he knew would be the reaction.

Steve Sailer has been really good at Fisking these news events

Osmer Harris said...

I played into it as well, that is until I saw the glee on his face, and found out who his daddy is. We got played like a bad violin. This young man may well become a master bomb maker, and what father would not be proud of that.

patricia300100 said...

People who responded to what could have been a bomb brought to school by someone belonging to the suicide bombing head chopping body dismembering sex slaving all these things taught by muhammad religion? Thinking it could have been a bomb is somehow EVERYONE ELSE S FAULT?


Instead now teachers and the police have to somehow become experts at bomb detection and suicide bomber children ..who would and who wouldnt fir a free ticket to heaven according to Islam..bombers go straight to paradise. No other islamics ever know if theyll make it to heaven or not. Only the bombers get a guarrantee.

Its not those concerned about the murderous actions of Islamic people that should be criticized...its those allowing people who belong to such a wicked ideology to liive amounst the very others their prophet told them to kill when they had the population and power to do so. To not subjugate and murder when they can do it violates muhamads direct commands.

jt smith said...

It`s a Jewish conspiracy LOL

David Seguin said...

this is pure insanity, i think it is time for you to make another video regarding the current events on "creeping sharia" and all the crap the moslems are doing regarding this set of instructions from their big book of crazy.

Krzysztof Rejdak said...

Wow! I cannot believe that with all the access to immediate information that history is repeating itself. The majority of humans are so evil right now that it makes one just puke. I think the problem or part of the problem is that humans lie for power sake and for acceptance sake. The Koran preached dishonesty as holy. This will always resonate with humans who enjoy scamming the populous. Politicians, lawyers and salespersons are known as professional liars. They probably look at the Koran as a guide to success. If one loves to scam then the Koran is their guide and islam will always make sense to them.

Krzysztof Rejdak.

Dacritic said...

Anne Marie Waters: "(People who debate against Islam) are not the ones causing the fear of Islam. It is the actions of Muslims that are causing the fear of Islam."

Couldn't have said it better.

And... "There has never been a more 'misunderstood' religion."

And they call the Quran the "clear" book.

foofy said...

I noticed the word "crusader" in one of their tweets and perceive it as disguised language.

David said...

David, Just FYI, it is against the law in Texas to make a Hoax bomb and take it to school. This is the reason Ahmed was taken into Police and questioned. I feel that the officials treated it just as they should have, nothing silly about it. I was the first to post a supporting message on the Irving ISD school home page. I regret a few words used but I was mad once I read the entire story three or four times from three or four sources. If anything, the teachers that ignored the box when he showed it to them shoud be suspended. He was in a last period English class when the English teacher reported it. Apparently he managed to pass through six classes showing it to each teacher when his science teacher advised him not to show it to anyone. Sorry I have to dissent on the opinion that officals over reacted. Take care, God bless and thanks for all you do. Praying for you. David

Nojmul Huda said...

@ foofy,

Christians are in "Crusade" not by sword like Quran teaches but by word of God like the Bible teaches to spread the light of Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ among Muslims so that they give up dark path, the bloody path of devil to get salvation from our merciful God and save their life for eternity.

President Obama and media should award American Muslims who fight in corrupted Islamic countries with words, not by time bombs or suicide bombs to keep their citizen in their home land in peace. Europe and America have enough refugee.

Greg Olsen said...

I am ex-Military and if someone came into my room with a case, popped it open, and it looked like that, Duck and Cover would pop into my mind!

Fhghjjhjj Fgfgfg said...

Well, as an islamic infidel I am really scared of islam. Simply: I consider it a totalitarian ideology more than a religion.
And muslims? Well, how many Germans or Russians gave themselves fully to nacism or communism? Not much, but those few were enough to intimidate, dominate and misuse their nations in the name of supreme ideology. The misuse was sweetly covered by seducement with booty - property of Untermenschen or property of kulaks and bourgeoisie rightfully given to the privileged ones. Simply: in relevant era both nations became threat to civilization, humankind, democracy, progress,...
Is there any similarity with muslims? Intimidation: apostasy and blasphemy punishments, misuse in the name of something beutiful and superior: Allahs and/or Muhammads will, sweet seducemenet: property of dhimmies taxed with jiziya.
What I think islam was founded as an ideology of islamic state protected by Allahs will. Although on Memri TV in Democratization section is possible to hear islamic scholars or imams calling for reformation, Calvin, Luther, I do not find any similarity with Christianity in this matter.
Christianity developed independently on state - the Roman Empire(Mark 12:17) and became the state religion in 325. Since 325 till reformation, protestantism and secularism it was being corrupted by government and used as an ideology.
May be a comparative study of islam and nacism or communism would clarify fundamental problems of islam better (no Golden Rule, state ideology, eternal political leader,....).
I am an European living in Europe. I come from a family of Untermenschen and then kulaks/bourgeoisie. In my family there were both submissive and ressistance attitudes towards the evil of totalitarian idelogies. Restitution of position in society and property rights was not able till the end of Cold War.
Both Germans and Russians can be considered as first and last victims of above mentioned ideologies, also muslims are first and last victims of islam.

Hap said...

Neither of the "suitcase" devices are bombs. One is a partially dismantled Micronta model 63-765 clock inside a cheap Vaultz VZ01479 locking pencil box and the other is a custom Honeywell unit used to demonstrate their various specialized switch-gear at the 2007 EMEA Partner of Choice Meeting in Malta.