The two pictures that perfectly highlight America's problem with prejudice

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Wednesday 16 September 2015 17:40
news
Picture: Twitter/ShehrOze

Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old boy from Irving, Texas, was arrested after bringing his science project into school on Monday.

Ahmed, who likes to make radios, fix his own go-kart and is a member of his school robotics club, made a simple electronic clock using a switchboard, put it in his pencil case, and took it to school.

His teachers thought it was a bomb and called the police. Ahmed was hauled out of class, arrested, interrogated for five hours and threatened with being expelled if he didn't make a written statement to explain himself.

The fact that Ahmed is a Muslim boy and that his teachers and police were so quick to jump to conclusions about what he had in his pencil case has been held up as symptomatic of America's attitudes to race and religion, arguing that had he been white or Christian he would probably have been treated completely differently.

Ahmed's father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, told the Dallas Morning News that his son "just wants to invent good things for mankind. But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept 11, I think my son got mistreated."

Indeed, as the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed began to trend Stateside, two images tweeted by a Pakistani blogger began to be shared widely. One showed how a young Muslim boy in Texas with a homemade clock was treated, the other how a young white boy and girl in Texas were allowed to happily stand in public and pose with rifles at an "open carry" protest in 2014.

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