Last week, Muslim 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed made national news after being detained by police for bringing a deconstructed clock to his Texas school. The clock, to inexpert eyes, looked like a bomb. Ahmed's English teacher thought so and called the police; when they questioned Mohamed, he reportedly stonewalled them. They released him after realizing that the device posed no threat and was not meant as a hoax explosive.
But this being Barack Obama's America, that didn't end the story.
The boy's father, a self-proclaimed anti-Islamophobia activist, decided to make a federal case out of his kid's detainment. He called his son's brief detention in an air conditioned room "torture." He called in the terrorism-linked Council on American Islamic Relations to protest Ahmed's treatment. When he reached the police station, he insisted that the police leave handcuffs on his son so that the boy's sister could take pictures. Then, when Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban called up Ahmed to deliver his sympathies and began asking questions about the situation, Ahmed's sister fed him the answers.
None of those details made the press, however. The media simply played the story as a pure case of Islamophobia, a targeted attack on an innocent young Muslim genius who "invented" a clock. Never mind that Ahmed no more "invented" the clock than my daughter "invented" my keyboard by dismantling it. Never mind that children across America have been suspended or even prosecuted for far less than bringing a device with bomblike appearance to school. Form your fingers into a gun, and go home with the threat of prosecution looming. Chew a pop tart into the shape of a firearm, and you can guarantee it'll go on your permanent record.
But build a device that looks awfully like an IED, and so long as you're Muslim, the world will respond with outrage.
We have now come 180 degrees since Sept. 11. In the aftermath of that attack, we vowed we would not be hit again. To prevent that from happening, we told ourselves that if we saw something, we would say something; we also vowed to put political correctness to the side when it came to protecting safety. Now, we'll say something if we see something, unless that something is a suspicious act with regard to a possible explosive held by a young Muslim male.
When a 16-year-old black girl brought a science experiment to school several years back in Florida, she was arrested; Barack Obama didn't say a word, because she wasn't Muslim. But Ahmed now looks forward to a trip to the White House for breaking down an old clock and then getting testy with the police. This is America, post-frontal lobotomy. While we can all recognize and celebrate that Ahmed won't be going to jail, the treatment of Ahmed's case by the president and the press ensure that next time a young Muslim student brings a suspicious object to school, administrators will ignore it for fear of career-ending consequences.
And next time, that suspicious object may not be a disassembled clock.