Ahmed Mohamed, Muslim Teen Arrested for Homemade Clock, Gets Outpouring of Internet Support

Ahmed Mohamed
A homemade clock made by Ahmed Mohamed, 14, is seen in an undated picture released by the Irving Texas Police Department September 16, 2015. Mohamed was taken away from school in handcuffs after he brought the clock to his Dallas-area school this week and the staff mistook it for a bomb, police said on Wednesday. Irving Texas Police Department/Reuters

Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old Irving, Texas, student, brought a homemade digital clock to school on Monday in the hopes of impressing his teacher. Instead, the story of what happened to him next made an impression on hundreds of people online, including U.S. President Barack Obama.

Shortly after presenting the clock to his engineering teacher at MacArthur High School on Monday morning, Mohamed was arrested and questioned for making a "hoax bomb." Even the arresting officers confirmed Mohamed never implied it was a bomb: "We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb. He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation," a police spokesman said. Nonetheless, Mohamed was questioned, cuffed and fingerprinted. His school suspended him for three days. Charges against him were later dropped and the case was closed.

After the Dallas Morning News broke the story, Mohamed's story took the Internet by storm. His story was branded with the hashtag #IStandwithMohamed and a Twitter account, @IStandWithAhmed, got over 35,000 followers in one day.

Big names in media, technology and politics reached out to Mohamed, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg, NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowsi and standup-comedian and star of HBO's Silicon Valley, Kumail Nanjiani.

I just chatted briefly with Ahmed's father & sister. They are very appreciative of everyone's support.

— Anil Dash 🗳 Election is the start, not the end 📢 (@anildash) September 16, 2015

You've probably seen the story about Ahmed, the 14 year old student in Texas who built a clock and was arrested when he...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hey Ahmed- we're saving a seat for you at this weekend's Google Science Fair...want to come? Bring your clock! #IStandwithAhmed

— Google Science Fair (@googlescifair) September 16, 2015

I can't imagine if be working @nasa today if anything like this had ever happened to me. http://t.co/OajWwPXchB #IStandWithAhmed

— Bobak Ferdowsi (@tweetsoutloud) September 16, 2015

#IStandWithAhmed definitely

— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) September 16, 2015

Nothing should stand in the way of a child getting an education. Not prejudice. Not violence. Not crisis. Stand #withMalala #IStandwithAhmed

— Malala Fund (@MalalaFund) September 16, 2015

Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe—they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building. https://t.co/ywrlHUw3g1

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 16, 2015

Even President Obama heard Mohamed's story:

Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.

— President Obama (@POTUS44) September 16, 2015

Others brought clocks to work and school with them in support of Mohamed's creation:

Brought my clock to work today. #IStandWithAhmed #Solidarity pic.twitter.com/h4Jr0siF1A

— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) September 16, 2015

Watch out, it's a brown guy with a clock! #IStandWithAhmed @IStandWithAhmed pic.twitter.com/8lzzrEakoi

— Tariq Khokhar (@tkb) September 16, 2015

Join us in standing with Ahmed. Take a photo of yourself with your clock to show solidarity. #IStandWithAhmed pic.twitter.com/MCB9NidQSS

— CAIR-Chicago (@cairchicago) September 16, 2015

Though Mohamed was arrested for his invention, he's now one of the most famous 14-year-old inventors around.