A Special Request From CAIR-Chicago Executive Director, Ahmed Rehab:
How does the creativity, hard work and ambition of a young Muslim inventor get repaid in an atmosphere governed by prejudice, fear and folly? The 14 year old gets suspended from his school, handcuffed and taken away by police, suspected of being – not a little inventor – but a little terrorist!
Ahmed Mohamed maintained all along that his newest invention, which he proudly brought to school, was a digital clock. The police admitted, “he never said it was a bomb or a hoax bomb at any point, he kept saying it was his clock.” Still, he was suspended for 3 days, arrested. and taken into a harrowing juvenile detention ordeal, where he was left to wonder what he did wrong, other than #InventingWhileMuslim.
Make no mistake about it.: Had it not been for Ahmed’s name, brown skin, Muslim faith, it is hard to see how a school project – which was not this young prodigy’s first – could have been received so cynically, despite his insistence and pleas to the contrary.
Ahmed is a hero. A Son of humble immigrants, he made an inventor’s corner out of his family’s dinky apartment to etch out his space for the American dream.
This is not the America I know. An America that punishes the entrepreneurial inventive spirit based on faith, color or ethnicity rather than applauds and awards it.
I’ve joined forces with a few good men and women and the excellent team at Launchgood.com to set up a crowd sourcing page, for Ahmed (approved by his family), to raise a scholarship fund that can one day help him realize his ambitions at MIT or a reputable school of his choosing.
Donate here: LaunchGood.com/istandwithahmed
If you feel outraged by this episode, then I ask you to not stop there; please leverage your outrage into a positive channel, – into resolve to support and re-inspire this little guy, his family and all the wrongly/harshlydone, good folks like them, who continue to challenge the odds with high dreams, despite paying the price of wanton prejudice.
Also, show your solidarity with Ahmed by tweeting and Facebooking a photo of you, your kids, your family, your friends, with clocks and the hashtag #IstandWithAhmed as the CAIR-Chicago team and I have started doing.
Don’t sulk… empower!… Donate. Snap. Tweet. FB!. Yala. And pass this on.