Clockmaker Ahmed Mohamed: ‘Judge A Person By Their Heart’

WASHINGTON — America’s favorite teenage clockmaker is taking on a new role: civil rights activist.

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, is a Sudanese-American student who was arrested in September for bringing a homemade clock to school in Texas. On a chilly morning outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Ahmed discussed the incident to draw attention to racial and ethnic profiling in the United States.

“I’m glad that this happened to me, because I get to spread my word out to the people,” he said.

The boy looked a little nervous when he saw all the cameras, but he smiled to his family.

“It’s not by the color of your skin or by your religion, it’s by their heart. You always judge a person by their heart,” he said.

Later, when Ahmed was asked whether he had faced discrimination in other parts of his life, he said “sometimes.”

Ahmed stood at the podium with Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), at one point putting his arm around the congressman. Honda, who has asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Ahmed’s detention and arrest, said that the boy had shown “true character” in taking a negative experience and using it to raise awareness.

Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, also spoke about the need to make sure that innocent people are not punished before proven guilty. “He was just seeking help from his teacher,” he said of his son. “He just want[s] to be out in this world.”

The controversy began after Ahmed’s English teacher noticed a homemade clock the boy had brought to school to show an engineering teacher. The school contacted police, who came and handcuffed Ahmed and took him to a juvenile detention center for fingerprints and a mug shot. He was suspended from school for three days. In a letter to parents, Ahmed’s school —> Read More