Washington/Nagpur: US President Barack Obama on Wednesday invited a Muslim schoolboy to the White House after he was arrested and dragged off in handcuffs for bringing a homemade clock to class.
Obama congratulated 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed on his skills and issued a presidential invitation, in what amounts to a pointed rebuke to school and police officials who precipitated his arrest.
“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,” the president tweeted.
The teen was led out of his Texas school after a teacher mistook his homemade digital clock for a bomb, prompting accusations of Islamophobia and an online backlash.
A photo of Ahmed standing in handcuffs while wearing a t-shirt with the US space agency NASA’s logo was retweeted thousands of times in a matter of hours and “#IStandWithAhmed” was the top trending hashtag on Twitter.
Along with Obama, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also complimented the boy and invited him to the Facebook office.
“Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed. Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’d love to meet you. Keep building,” he said.