Ahmed Mohamed

$15 million lawsuit threat: Muslim 'clock boy' Ahmed Mohamed looking to strike it rich?

$15 million lawsuit threat: Muslim 'clock boy' Ahmed Mohamed looking to strike it rich?

Muslim "clock boy" Ahmed Mohamed is back in the news.

You may recall that we first highlighted media coverage of the Texas teen after his disputed arrest back in September.

The 14-year-old made headlines again in October after his family decided to move to Qatar.

The latest news has dollar signs (15 million of 'em) written all over it.

For an editorialized spin on this new development, Fox News (as always) is happy to oblige:

Ahmed Mohamed is looking to strike it rich before the clock strikes midnight on the “clock kid” story.
Attorneys for Mohamed, 14, and his family want $15 million in damages and apologies from several officials stemming from Mohamed’s September 14 arrest, when he brought to school a homemade clock that a teacher flagged as a possible bomb.

CNN provides a less tilted lede:

(CNN) Fifteen million dollars and apologies from the mayor and police chief.
That's what an attorney says the family of Ahmed Mohamed is demanding from city and school officials in Irving, Texas, or they say they'll file a civil suit.

And The Associated Press goes old-school inverted pyramid (not a bad approach at all on a story such as this):

 

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Associated Press goes overboard on Muslims 'under siege' headline

Associated Press goes overboard on Muslims 'under siege' headline

I must say, the headline stood out: 

Muslim spokesman: As boy departs, Muslims feel ‘under siege'

Too bad the story had little to do with it. First, I read this Associated Press story about how the family of Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old boy who was wrong accused of bringing a bomb — which turned out to be a clock — to school has decided they’d do better in Qatar. We critiqued some of the press coverage here.

The AP story got some intriguing quotes from two Muslim sources who disagreed with the family’s move:

Yaser Birjas, imam of the Valley Ranch Islamic Center in Irving, said he wishes the 14-year-old well but worries about the stress that can come with celebrity.
"I hope that he does not get overwhelmed and consumed with that because now the expectation of him is so high," Birjas said. "And he's just a kid."
Birjas cautioned that people who move from America to Muslim countries are often disappointed when they discover restrictions they never experienced in the U.S.
"Here in America, you have much more freedom practicing the faith," he said.
For others, the family move to the Middle East sends an unfortunate message.
Yousuf Fahimuddin, a Muslim journalist in the San Francisco Bay area, believes the family's departure will only perpetuate the idea that Muslims are not loyal to the U.S.
"I don't think moving to Qatar, a country with its own share of problems, constructively helps fight prejudice," Fahimuddin said in an email.
Instead, he said, "Muslims should try to share their common humanity with others to demonstrate that they are regular people."
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the U.S. has seen a significant rise in the level of anti-Muslim sentiment — feelings he said were reflected by the political attacks of GOP presidential candidates such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
"The Muslim-American community feels under siege by all this," Hooper said.

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From Washington Post story on #IStandWithAhmed, three words that don't belong in a news story

From Washington Post story on #IStandWithAhmed, three words that don't belong in a news story

The arrest of a Muslim student in Texas for, um, bringing a clock to school has made headlines this week.

The Dallas Morning News has this overview:

On Monday afternoon, Ahmed Mohamed was the 14-year-old with a homemade clock, wearing a NASA T-shirt and a scowl as the police snapped handcuffs on his skinny wrists and led him from his high school.
By Tuesday, Ahmed was the kid stuck home from school, told not to return until police decided whether to charge him for what they called a hoax bomb. He wandered barefoot through his house then, garnering barely a glance from the three generations of Sudanese immigrants who are his family.
But Ahmed woke up Wednesday as #IStandWithAhmed — a viral symbol of government authoritarianism or out-of-control Islamophobia, depending which of his tens of thousands of Twitter followers you ask.
By the end of the day, in reports across the world, Ahmed was a hero and the officials who called his clock a fake bomb were a joke. President Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg were among the world’s most powerful people lined up to know Ahmed better. And police said they wouldn’t pursue charges.
The joke to his big sisters, Ayisha and Eyman, is that Ahmed was invisible on social media before an outcry over his arrest made him an online sensation. Their tech whiz of a brother had no Twitter account, no Facebook, no Instagram or Snapchat.
So the sisters set him up on Twitter as @IStandWithAhmed — a slogan that the world had given the boy as his story spread overnight. The young women stared at their phones Wednesday morning, stunned as the phrase became one of the most popular memes of the day.

Over at the Washington Post, journalists went Googling and produced a story — aggregation mostly — on what the click-bait headline describes as "The history of anti-Islam controversy in Ahmed Mohamed’s Texas city."

In this age of aggregation too often posing as journalism, of course, it's all about the clicks. Still, I found myself wondering if any of the Post journalists actually picked up a telephone and talked to anyone for this story.

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