Saturday, 19 September 2015

Arrest of Ahmed Mohamed

The recent story of Ahmed Mohamed, the bright youngster who took a home made electronic clock to school to show and got arrested on charges of making a hoax bomb, has been widely reported in the media.

To summarise what happened:
i) Ahmed made an electronic clock to impress his engineering teacher
ii) The Engineering teacher told him not to show it to anyone else. Ahmed put the clock in his bag.
iii) Later in the day, the clock beeped in English class and, after the class, Ahmed showed the clock to the English teacher.
iv) The English teacher thought it looked like a bomb and soon Ahmed was in a room with the principle and some Police officers.
v) He was cuffed, arrested and taken into custody - all without being allowed any access to parents or representation.
vi) Ahmed was later released by the Police but was given a three day suspension by the school.

This post aims to highlight a few of the reports that particularly caught BFTF's notice.

What the Local Police Chief said.
The local Police Chief, Larry Boyd, commented in an interview that

"I think it’s hard for folks watching this from the outside, seeing this all link up, seeing this kid — who seems like a tremendously poised, bright, genuine kid — be put through this. To not hear from anyone in officialdom down there that ‘Yeah, we didn’t get this one right.'”

In response to questions asking why Ahmed had been arrested once it was clear that he did not have a bomb, Boyd commented :

“I get that. I understand the concern... the officers pretty quickly determined that they weren’t investigating an explosive device. What their investigation centered around is the law violation of bringing a device into a facility like that that is intended to create a level of alarm. In other words, a hoax bomb — something that is not really a bomb, but is designed and presented in a way that it creates people to be afraid.”

What Sarah Palin said.
A Facebook post by Palin commented that :

"...Ahmed Muhammad, an evidently obstinate-answering student bringing in a homemade "clock" that obviously could be seen by conscientious teachers as a dangerous wired-up bomb-looking contraption (teachers who are told "if you see something, say something!") gets invited to the White House."

"...Yep, believing that's a clock in a school pencil box is like believing Barack Obama is ruling over the most transparent administration in history. Right. That's a clock, and I'm the Queen of England."

Palin also referenced an article on Breibart.com which stated that "...the whole story smells. It stinks of leftist exploitation."

The article also asserts that Ahmed was "passive aggressive", based on a NY Times piece that states:
"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,” said James McLellan, Irving Police."

The Breibart article also suggests that Ahmed's father was particularly media-savvy, having tried to get elected as President of Sudan and also debated Pastor Terry Jones.

What Pamela Geller said.
The first thing that BFTF noticed about about Pamela Geller's article impressive search for a (Australian) report that allowed Geller to claim that the device was "ticking"

And also the statement "When questioned about what the device was, Mohamed wouldn’t answer" [not true, he told everyone it was a clock]

Also that the Vaultz pencil case the clock was in "is the size of a briefcase" [it isn't, in fact it's much closer to the size of a DVD box Set)

And lastly, how Geller's article then drifts off into talking about ISIS, Honor Killings and "Jihad Killing Sprees" - which, to BFTF, seems like an argument that the answer to "Was Ahmed arrested because he was Muslim?" is "Hell, yes!"

What the Wall Street Journal said.
The WSJ article, interestingly, give a lot of examples from 2001 of ridiculous "zero-tolerance" policies that were being enacted at schools with outcomes such as an 8yr old being put on "in-school suspension" for drawing a picture of a soldier holding a knife. The policies, which are still in place in many areas were borne out of a desperate wish by school officials to make schools safer.

But not safer from the threat of Islamic terrorism, instead they wanted to make schools safe from another Columbine.

What an electronics enthusiast said.
An electronics enthusiast called Anthony argued, quite persuasively, that the clock had not been "made" or "invented" but was instead a 1980's commercial clock that had been disassembled and put in a new case. Not bad for a 14yr old, but not made up from components either.

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