Ahmed Mohamed Happy In Qatar

25 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Clock boy’ seeks $21m from US city and school.

Richard Dawkins has sparked a wave of criticism after appearing to draw a tenuous link between Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas Muslim teenager whose homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb, and a child forced by Islamic State militants to behead his victim. The 14-year-old Texas schoolboy who was arrested on suspicion of building a hoax bomb that turned out to be a homemade clock has sued the city of Irving and the school district for $15 million. Reacting to the news, notoriously controversial scientist Dawkins tweeted a video of a child soldier beheading a man on behalf of ISIS, in an apparent bid to show that kids do not deserve special treatment. His sister tweeted a photo of the aspiring inventor in handcuffs while wearing a T-shirt with the US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s logo. In the tweet he linked to an International Business Times report on a video posted to YouTube that appears to show a child of about ten being forced by Isis fighters to decapitate a Syrian regime army officer.

Earlier this year, at the height of controversy about Ahmed’s arrest, Dawkins took to Twitter to slam the little boy for claiming the clock was his ‘invention’ and hit out at tech firms that rushed to offer him invitations and freebies. President Barack Obama joined a surge of public support by congratulating the teen on his skills and inviting him to bring the clock to the White House. The tweet was met with a swift response which forced Dawkins to deny comparing – in the words of another Twitter user – a “child trained to kill people to the kid that made the shitty clock”. In subsequent responses, he clarified that the two were “comparable in NO other respect than that they are both young”, and that he “[didn’t] hate Muslims”. In the meantime, The Dallas Morning News asked the opinion of attorney Laura Peterson, who chaired the State Bar of Texas’s juvenile law section last year and routinely defends children in court.

Dawkins has expressed scepticism about Mohamed’s “motives” before, tweeting in September that his questioning of “a boy’s alleged ‘invention’” was part and parcel of his “passion for truth”. But his lawyer insisted on Monday there was a dark side to his fame, which caused “severe psychological trauma”, according to a letter notifying the city and school district of his demands. Ahmed’s lawyers claim authorities broke the law on Sept. 14 by questioning the boy without his parents present — first at school, in a room full of police officers, and again at the police station before his mother and father arrived. “Ahmed asked nearly immediately if he could contact his parents — which as you know, is his right under the Texas Juvenile Justice Code,” attorney Kelly Hollingsworth wrote to officials. “His request was refused.” “There there is no right for the child to call their parents,” she said. “The only magic words are ‘I want to talk to my lawyer.’ He didn’t say that.” The law requires police to promptly notify Ahmed’s parents after taking him into custody. It’s what makes America great.’ Facebook and Google have invited him to their respective headquarters; MIT said they would ‘love’ to have him as a student when he reaches college age. And STILL fall for it even after his $15M demand!” Dawkins appeared to grow frustrated by the repeated requests for clarification, likening it to the time his remarks about Mein Kampf were misinterpreted by “numpties”.

Sarah Palin posted her controversial opinion on her Facebook page and slammed Obama and the ‘reactionary-slash-biased media’ for defending Ahmed’s clock. ‘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,’ Palin wrote in the Facebook post in which she shared pictures of her kids’ pencil boxes. Ahmed’s roughly 3-hour detention didn’t come close to those to that. “If he’s in custody, a whole series of things go into place: a checklist for police,” he said. “The parent has a right to communicate privately with a child in a reasonable time. At time of publication, Dawkins was still tweeting, reiterating that he “was NOT comparing the clock hoax to cutting someone’s head off” and retweeting others’ praise of his book. She brought up an example of a student being suspended for bringing a squirt gun to school or for accidentally having ammo on school property because he’d recently gone deer hunting with his dad. ‘Friends, consider the kids disciplined and/or kicked out of school for bringing squirt guns to school or taking bites out of a pop tart until it resembled (to some politically correct yahoo) a gun. He recalled reciting them himself as police were leading him down the hall in handcuffs. “He should have been Mirandized before the on-campus interrogation — which he obviously was not free to end — even commenced,” Ahmed’s lawyer wrote to City Hall. “Police don’t Mirandize juveniles,” she said.

The Texan ninth-grader has received invitations from Google, Facebook, Space Camp, and his dream school MIT amid widespread concerns he was singled out for being Muslim. The principal “was threatening that if Ahmed did not sign the confession, he would be expelled,” the lawyer wrote. “That is a huge threat for a kid like Ahmed.” Ahmed’s family is threatening two lawsuits — one against the city based largely on police treatment of the boy, and the other against Irving ISD, based in part on the decision to suspend him for three days after the clock incident.

The local community of Irving, Texas, has also rallied round Ahmed, staging a prayer vigil on Thursday in front of MacArthur High School, where he was arrested. Adding to the growing voices of support, Wozniak said Ahmed’s story reminded him of when he was at school and – far more mischievously than Ahmed – deliberately built a pretend bomb to prank his teacher. The prank landed him in juvenile detention for a night where he taught his fellow detainees ‘how they could remove the electric wires from an overhead fan and attach them to the metal bars [to] shock the guards,’ he wrote on Facebook. And Irving ISD “took the lowest level of punishment — a three-day suspension.” If the family would have trouble successfully suing City Hall over police actions, Peterson said, extracting damages from the school system would be even harder.

While Ahmed’s attorneys quibbled with parts of Peterson’s analysis, they emphasized that a lawsuit would go beyond juvenile law issues, or any mistakes made on the day of his arrest. By police and family accounts, the boy was called out of class, led to a police station and released to his parents within about three hours. “I get that question all the time: ‘Police pulled my kid out of class and they didn’t notify me’” immediately, she said. “Well, they don’t have to.” A day after his arrest, Ahmed complained to reporters that police didn’t read him rights, before or after cuffing him. Their lawyer also accused officials of waging a smear campaign against Ahmed after he became famous and discriminating against the boy based on his ethnicity and religion.

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