SHAFAQNA – The “clock kid” is now the award kid.
On Monday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the country’s biggest Muslim civil liberties organization, awarded the American Muslim of the Year award to Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old boy who was handcuffed in school after school officials believed the homemade clock he brought to class was actually a bomb.
Mohammed, his parents and some commentators said he was arrested because of racial profiling — specifically because he was Muslim. This is something he hopes to change after winning the award Sunday night.
“I just want to stop discrimination for everyone, not just for religious, but for all races as well,” Mohamed said when he received the award, which was designed in the shape of a clock, according to The Washington Examiner.
And Mohamed’s time in the spotlight won’t end with the award. After being honored Sunday night, President Barack Obama invited the boy over to the White House Monday for “Astronomy Night,” according to USA Today. Mohamed plans on asking the president for a White House pen, USA Today reported.
Mohamed has garnered plenty of support around the nation since he was taken away in handcuffs back in September. As Deseret News National reported, the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed inspired many comments and posts from supporters across the country.
Though he’s garnered support from the president and others, not everyone is happy the 15-year-old won CAIR’s award for multiple reasons.
For one, some have found it problematic that Mohamed celebrated with Sudan’s leader earlier this week, according to Breitbart News’ Neil Munro.
“The award also came four days after the boy hugged Sudan’s Islamic, theocratic and genocidal dictator, who has been charged with war-crimes,” Munro wrote. “The boy was escorted to the dictator by his Sudan-born father, who is trying to promote himself in Sudanese politics.”
And some say there have been other notable Muslims who deserved the award over Mohamed. Monroe wrote that CAIR ignored Aziz Sancar, who just recently won the Nobel Prize for science. Sancar’s victory is especially important since it means Muslims have won just as many Nobel prizes as Irish people, Monroe wrote.
This is not a thought lost among Facebook users who commented on CAIR’s award post.
“What he went through was horrid, but you do realize that there are hundreds of actually deserving American Muslims out there who are making a difference, right?” commented Huma N. Awan on Facebook. “Take Peace House, for example and their pitch to get Salahadin on Netflix. Come on, CAIR.”
Other commenters suggested there are other American Muslims who deserved the award.
“Let’s not forget that there’s a lot of other kids in the world who are suffering and enduring a lot more than what Ahmed did. I think they deserve to be Muslims of the year,” Ahlam Alhaj wrote on Facebook.
Maryam Mohammed, a Facebook user, suggested she deserved the award over Mohamed.
“The excruciating pain I go through every day running and circuit training, in order to get through the police academy, to be the first hijabi police officer in Tennessee is way more worthy, but that’s just me,” she wrote.
Some commenters also criticized Mohamed’s victory because of speculation that’s been raised about the clock he brought to school, which school officials believed to be a bomb.
Electronic experts contested in the days following Mohamed’s arrest that the bomb wasn’t real, according to The Daily Beast. In fact, Anthony DiPasquale, a webmaster for Artvoice.com, told The Daily Beast that the clock wasn’t even built by Mohamed, but rather one that could be purchased online.
“Anyone with even a basic hobby-level understanding could see it was a commercially available mass-produced product that was just taken out of its enclosure, and placed in a pencil box,” DiPasquale told The Daily Beast.
Similarly, Bryan Bergeron, who’s written on electronics and is the editor for Nuts & Volts magazine, told The Daily Beast that the clock isn’t all that impressive for a 14-year-old, and would be more impressive if done by someone half his age.
Bergeron said Mohamed got more attention for the handcuffs than his innovation, which has done a disservice to all Muslim children across the nation.
“This treatment does a big disservice to the tens of thousands of pre-teens out there doing REAL innovative things with electronics and technology,” he said.
Read more at http://national.deseretnews.com/article/6446/Ahmed-Mohamed-was-just-named-Muslim-of-the-Year-but-not-without-controversy.html#WsHdxqkrVzRgKwt9.99