I've been rather quiet regarding the recent events that occurred in Texas where one Ahmed Mohamed got arrested for having an interest in electronics. My father was an electrician and for anyone to drive a wedge into a promising career in such a field kind of hits home. Now that the dust has settled and I have more information, I'll share my opinion on the matter.
Unfortunately we live in a day and age where electronics in cases are going to give people pause and cause for concern. That's the nature of things when you have other human beings who are willing to murder others on a grand scale. The point of focus in the media however was the fact that this individual happened to have the name Ahmed. Well, unfortunately we live in an age where having the name Ahmed and putting circuitry in a case is going to give people pause as well.
The problem that arises is that it's hard to fault anyone here. There are people who follow Islam that use its venomous scripture to carry out acts of suicidal murder. As it stands, its track record when it comes to Ismamist extremists, isn't pretty. And those particularly unpleasant parts of Islam aren't going away. Nor does it seem like anyone, other than a select few, are pushing for reformation. That being said, the approach of the school and the police was a bit much. By all means, confirm that Ahmed didn't build a bomb but don't arrest or suspend the poor kid. The image of him standing there in cuffs goes to show you what an overreaction looks like. And people of Islamic faith who speak out against such an overreaction have a valid point. One of the reasons people resort to Islamist extremism is xenophobia. Maajid Nawaz' own experiences in the radicalization process shows just how detrimental singling out Ahmed could be.
Luckily, the social media's response hopefully gave Ahmed a feeling of inclusiveness as a fellow human being. One where a budding electrical engineer could offer solutions to tomorrow's problems. And boy do we have a lot of work to do on that front. The President, Google and myriad other institutes reached out and offered support, which is the correct response to an already complicated situation.
People have reported that the clock is some sort of a fraud and that Ahmed might have had an ulterior motive such as getting the reaction he did. To that, I say so fucking what. If someone is bright enough to social engineer a scenario that gets them to meet the President and tour Google, my hat's off to them. It shouldn't be a major point of interest.
All in all I think things worked out for the best. Nobody died and the only casualties were a few bruised egos. This won't be the last challenge of its kind as we try to move forward in solidarity. I only hope that the pillars of society respond in the same fashion and those in authority avoid extremes like arrest and suspension.