Ahmed Mohamed is rapidly becoming America’s favorite geek. The 14-year-old ninth grader from Irving, Texas, is still out of school after making a clock and bringing it to class Sept. 14—then being arrested under suspicion of bomb-making in an incident many are attributing to Islamophobia.
From NASA scientists to MIT professors to the US president himself, America’s nerd community has stood up for the young inventor, and the hashtag #IstandwithAhmed is now trending in the US and worldwide.
Only a few hours after the news broke, there were already initiatives to help Mohamed. As a display of solidarity, some people brought clocks to work.
Some defended the actions of the Irving police and the school, including the mayor of Irving:
The police have since dropped the charges against Mohamed.
This won’t erase the demoralizing message that this episode sent to Mohamed, and to others like him—a message that some read into a letter the school sent (pdf) to parents, which a Twitter user annotated as follows:
Others have compared a picture of the 14-year-old, who is of Sudanese origin, with that of two white children holding weapons—who were not arrested for it:
Like president Barack Obama, many of those who reached out to Mohamed sought to encourage his inventive spirit and his passion for technology and science:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton shared her opinion on the matter, but to date none of the Republicans in the field have commented on Twitter.
Mohamed himself seemed overwhelmed by the attention: