Ahmed the clockmaker: Challenging America's 'anti-Muslim bigotry’
Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was questioned by police after bringing a homemade clock to his Texas high school on September, 16. The arrest trigged charges of Islamophobia.
RT: At first this looked like clear-cut case of racial profiling but serious doubts have emerged. Does the White House regret inviting Ahmed?
TJ Walker: No, I think you are being spun by conservative critics of the White House. Fox News is the one pushing this idea that somehow it is all a hoax and Obama is going to regret it. They wake up every single day saying “no matter what Obama does it is a scandal.” That’s just not the case with this situation.
RT: A White House invitation is a big deal some have asked why others aren't receiving the same treatment, for example, the families of slain police officers, or Muslims who have been discriminated against. Should the White House be more open?
TW: The White House invites an awful lot of people. The President can’t invite every single sports team that wins every single event or international championship. They have to use the power of the spotlight selectively. And I think that President Obama is rightly concerned by the rhetoric coming out of the Republican Party, especially by one of their leading presidential candidates who said flat out earlier this week that he didn’t think a Muslim should ever be allowed essentially to serve as president of the US.
And many observers from the moderate, liberal and even into some conservative circles are worried that there is growing anti-Muslim bigotry and hatred fomenting in this country. And I think the president wants to use his pulpit to say “No! America is better than that. And America is not going to stand for that.” So, this is a subtle way of essentially attacking conservatives and xenophobes around the country.
RT: Ahmed’s just a kid. Is that what lead to the media storm surrounding him?
TW: Of course, what makes this an interesting story is this is a kid, and when you see him on TV, he looks like an innocent little lamb. He is a little kid who did this for a science project; he looks as innocent as any cartoon character you can imagine. So that is something that makes it a bigger story. It is cute to have a kid like this on the major TV networks. He has been everywhere. And mark my words: he is going to get book deals from this, he is going to get speaking engagements, he has already got job offers from huge tech companies and the ability to meet with the heads of Google, Facebook and Twitter. This could end up being the best thing that ever happened to Ahmed. And if he is smart, this is America, you can cash in on your notoriety, he could get rich from this.
If this is true, what was his motive? Whether or not he wanted the police to arrest him, they shouldn’t have done so https://t.co/LtOFAAmVxK— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 20, 2015
RT: How much do you think this whole story is influenced by the climate of political correctness?
TW: Political correctness is in the eye of the beholder. Liberals, and I am actually a liberal, would say that the biggest problem of political correctness is that conservatives say “if you don’t always uncritically worship big business, capitalism, Christian church than you should be condemned and vilified.” In this particular case, I think it’s people who just don’t like Muslims who are wanting to use the phrase “political correctness” to attack Obama, Facebook, Google or anyone who is trying to be reach out to this kid. So, there are a lot of different types of political correctness but sometimes it is just a catch-all phrase that conservatives use when they hate something the liberals have done that shows tolerance.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.