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Because his name is Ahmed

Exactly a week ago, this column commemorated 9/11 the same way it has been marking the day for the last 13 years – by reminding…

Exactly a week ago, this column commemorated 9/11 the same way it has been marking the day for the last 13 years – by reminding the world that it was a stage-managed hoax. The three articles excerpted here were written by respected members of the 9/11 Truth Movement and all contained the assertion that innocent people around the world have paid with their lives and limbs because the world has chosen to condone the lie that was 9/11.
Professor James F Tracy, one of the writers featured last week, called the American aggression that followed 9/11 a ‘war OF terror’ rather than the deceptive ‘war on terror’ that the US government claims it is waging. But another far-reaching outcome of the 9/11`Lie is not waged with blood and weapons in foreign lands, it is waged on American soil through intimidation and negative profiling.
One does not need any opinion poll to know that Islamophobia has been on a steep rise since the manufactured terrorism of September 11th 2001. The fact that the Al-Qaida myth has grown stale, over the years, led to the creation of ISIS, Al-Shabaab and the likes, to further fuel anti-Muslim sentiments in the Western world and beyond.
Several informed writers have written about the Western origins of ISIS. They all say that the most dreaded terror group today, is actually the product of American, British and Israeli intelligence.
Today we know for a fact that Al-Bagdadi, the leader of ISIS is not a Muslim jihadist but an Israeli actor whose name is Elliot Shemon (Read more on this in the current edition of Muslim Worldview newspaper). So how far will this grand deception go?
In spite of this, the stereotyping and islamophobia continues. The latest victim of this unfortunate victimization is US teenager Ahmed Mohammed. Ironically, he was born fourteen years ago, some months before or after 9/11. It is obvious that he will have no recollection of the incident beyond what he sees on the broadcast media. But there he was, paying for a sin he could never commit.
A boy-genius by all standards, (his father Mohammed El-Hassan, 54, of Sudanese origin, told journalists that his son had fixed his car, his phone, his electricity and his computer). Young Ahmed had made a clock from home and presented to his engineering class teacher, at his suburban high school in Irving, Texas. But she told him to keep it and show no one else. When the clock beeped in his English class, the teacher got totally rattled and reported him to the principal who in turned reported Ahmed to the police.Handcuffed at fourteen with no previous criminal record, last Monday must have been a nightmare beyond the Muslim teenager’s imagination.
In his own words ‘“I built a clock to impress my teacher but when I showed it to her, she thought it was a threat to her. It was really sad that she took the wrong impression of it.” When he was interrogated by the police Ahmed could tell them nothing but the truth – it was a home-made clock.
But this did not stop the school from suspending the aspiring young engineer nor did it stop the police from treating him like an adult crime suspect. All this enforces the belief that if the teenage American wasn’t named Ahmed, his fate that school-day would have been a lot different. For instance, though he was a minor, his parents were not informed before his arrest and he was not allowed access to an attorney while he was being interrogated.
This incident brings to mind the theme explored in Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s movie, ‘My name is Khan’, which was about the stereotyping and negative profiling of Muslims, post 9/11.
Unfortunately for this teenager, because his name is Ahmed, he found himself at the receiving end of the phenomenon Khan highlighted. “They arrested me and they told me that I committed the crime of a hoax bomb, a fake bomb,” the young man later explained after authorities released him.
The latest is that Ahmed is considering leaving Macarthur High School for another. He obviously doesn’t feel quite safe where he can easily be treated like a terrorist. And though the school is yet to apologise and the police is yet to return his home-made clock, it’s not all bad news for Ahmed, whose plight has been championed diligently by the social media.
We have all heard how he has been invited to the White House for an event known as Astronomy Night on October 19th by President Obama.
Earlier on the American President had tweeted “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.”
Presidential aspirant and former First Lady, Hilary Clinton also expressed her support for the teenager in the following words ‘Keep building’ after observing that ‘Assumptions don’t keep us safe.’ Mark Zukerberg, one of the founders of Facebook also threw his weight behind Ahmed Mohammed’s engineering ambitions by saying “Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’d love to meet you. Keep building.”
Then there are the really angry folks like one Kevin McKinney who posted, “How did a bunch of complete idiots end up accidentally running a school? Were you all yanked out of a zoo and given paychecks? Learning centers are for teaching … not for ruining innocent people’s lives with your racism and pathetic stupidity! …
“This kid is destined to be something great if the dimwits of Irving don’t ruin him first.”
Then from the Texas wing of the Democratic Party came this supportive reaction “Ahmed’s arrest is a logical conclusion to Islamophobia in Irving and it’s deplorable,” the chairwoman of the Dallas County Democratic Party, Carol Donovan, said in a statement.
All these comments are laudable and encouraging but they will not stop such discriminatory treatment of Muslims and other ethnic or racial minorities until the American authorities deal headlong with the triggers of these negative profiling. As far as Muslims are concerned, it is the refusal to debunk the September 11th hoax. As the current Custodian of the 9/11 Lie, Barack Obama can do the world a lot of good by ordering genuine and sincere investigation into the events of that day.
He will write his name in gold or even platinum if he ends the lie that has cost so much pain and bloodshed around the world. Until he does so, no amount of invitations to victims of discrimination will end the kind of painful experience that people like Ahmed will continue to suffer. Even now, in spite of all the support and world-wide attention, Ahmed will surely not forget the trauma of those hours in handcuffs, when he was made to feel like a terrorist.

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