If you thought the family of Ahmed Mohamed – the infamous “clock boy” who made international headlines in September – was only interested in publicity, think again. Having already secured a scholarship, a media tour, and a trip to the White House, the family now wants satisfaction in the form of cold, hard cash. $15 million, to be exact.
“As American citizens, all of us – even the ones with ‘Muslim-sounding’ names like Ahmed Mohamed – are entitled to have public officials with whom we come in contact to respect our rights,” wrote Mohamed’s lawyers in a letter to the boy’s former school district in Irving, Texas.
The family wants the Irving Independent School District to pay them $5 million, supplemented by an additional $10 million from the City of Irving. They are also demanding written apologies from several top city officials. According to the letter, Mohamed, 14, suffered “severe psychological trauma” from the incident.
That incident, for those who may have forgotten, occurred when Mohamed brought a homemade clock to school. After showing it around, Mohamed was temporarily detained by Irving police because officials were concerned that it might be a bomb. This led to hysterical cries of Islamophobia and a media frenzy. Mohamed was invited to meet President Obama at the White House and quickly became a hero to idiots here and abroad.
“Let’s face it, if Ahmed’s clock were ‘Jennifer’s clock,’ and if the pencil case were ruby red bedazzled with a clear rhinestone skull and crossbones on the cover, this would never have happened,” Mohamed’s lawyers wrote in their extortion letter.
Well, that’s certainly true. Whether or not “Jennifer” was arrested or otherwise detained, she certainly would not have been able to ride the controversy all the way to Washington, D.C.
Is it obvious yet that this was a hoax from the word go? It’s doubtful that even Mohamed’s father could have foreseen how this all played out, but there’s no question that this was planned to get exactly the reaction that it did. Whether the hoax originated with the teenager or his parents, the clock was clearly intended to cause a disturbance. Maybe Mohamed just wanted to cause a little trouble for the fun of it. Maybe the family had a larger vision. Either way, there’s more to this story than “Islamophobia.”
But even if this was exactly what Mohamed claims it was – Muslim discrimination – what possible cause is there to pay him $15 million? Why should the city of Irving suffer financially for what was, at the very most, an extremely minor mistake? The taxpayers aren’t responsible for the media frenzy that followed. If Mohamed’s precious reputation was harmed, his family brought it on themselves. They didn’t have to make a federal case out of this. What’s next? Is Balloon Boy’s family going to sue?