Ahmed Mohamed Is Heading to the White House: 'We Are Hopeful That He Will Feel Right at Home'
Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was detained on Monday after a teacher mistook a clock that he had made for a bomb
Hello, Mr. President: Ahmed Mohamed is officially heading to the White House!
The ninth grader is set to attend Astronomy Night in Washington, D.C., next month. “We are hopeful that Ahmed will feel right at home here,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.
Ahmed, 14, gained national attention earlier this week when he was detained by police in Irving, Texas, after a teacher mistook a clock that he had made for a bomb. The teacher called authorities to report the “suspicious” device, despite the fact that Ahmed repeatedly insisted it was only a clock.
The teen ended up being led out of his school in handcuffs, taken to a juvenile detention center and fingerprinted, before his parents picked him up. Irving police ultimately decided not to file charges against him.
But his arrest ignited a social media storm that peaked with President Barack Obama tweeting: “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.” Looks like the President is making good on his offer.
When asked whether President Obama believes that Ahmed’s religion – he is Muslim – may have played a factor in his arrest, Earnest said it’s too early to tell.
“I think there are some difficult and penetrating questions that do need to be asked,” he said.
Earnest added that he didn’t want to speculate on whether the Secret Service would have made a similar mistake had they seen this device.
“This was a device that was brought to a school and shown to a science teacher, so I wouldn’t at this point speculate about what anybody’s hypothetical reaction to it would be,” he said. “What is clear is that the local police department took a look at it and promptly closed the case.”
He also appeared on Good Morning America on Thursday.
Of his arrest, he said, “I was scared at that moment but now I feel really happy that I’m getting all this support from all over the world.”
He added, “And the support isn’t just for me: It’s for everyone who’s been through this, that we’ll fight for you if you can’t stand up for yourself.”
He added that his clock is still with the police, and that he wants it back.
“This isn’t my first invention and it won’t be my last,” he said.