Family of US Muslim 'clock boy' files suit
The family of a Muslim student arrested for taking a homemade clock to school, filed a lawsuit Monday against Texas state school officials on charges the teen’s civil rights were violated, according to media reports.
The suit, brought on behalf of Ahmed Mohamed, 14, by his father, claims the boy's right to equal protection under the law was breached and officers detained him without probably cause.
The suit goes on to say that Texas has a "history of discrimination against Muslims" in its curriculum and schools while citing that the Irving school district overseeing Ahmed's former school is under a Justice Department investigation "regarding its pattern of discrimination".
The case is an "opportunity to take a stand for equality and for justice, two things that should prevail above all else”, according to the lawsuit.
Ahmed was arrested at MacArthur High School last September and charged with possession of a bomb after he took the device to class to show one of his teachers.
The charges were dropped after the alleged bomb was discovered to be a digital clock Ahmed made from scraps he found in the garage.
He was nevertheless suspended by the school for three days.
The incident attracted global attention and was met with an outpouring of support for Ahmed and his family from political leaders, scientists and corporate executives.
The hashtag, #IStandWithAhmed, became a top trending topic on Twitter and President Barack Obama even weighed in on the micro-blogging platform telling Ahmed he is a model for children. “We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great,” Obama said.
In the aftermath of the incident, Ahmed's family sought an apology and $15 million compensation from the city of Irving and the school district.
The Mohameds subsequently decided to move to Qatar, citing death threats, harassment and a scholarship for Ahmed from the Gulf country.
The family made a social visit to the U.S. in late June but Ahmed is expected to return to Qatar to continue his education at a private school.