US President Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg have publicly defended Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Muslim student who was arrested after bringing a homemade clock to school.
The clock that prompted the school’s call to the police – teachers thought it looked like a bomb – consisted of a circuit board and a power supply wired to a digital display inside a metal pencil case, according to The Dallas Morning News, which first reported the freshman’s arrest.
The police decided not to press charges against the high-school student, who had been proud to show off his engineering achievement to his teachers.
The hashtag #IStandWithAhmed has gone viral since the teen’s release from custody, and Obama even tweeted an invite to bring the clock to the White House:
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.
— President Obama (@POTUS44) September 16, 2015
Zuckerberg also invited Mohamed to come by Facebook’s headquarters:
When he was arrested, Mohamed was wearing a NASA T-shirt, prompting many astronauts to reach out to the teen and encourage him to continue pursuing science:
Hi @IStandWithAhmed ! I’d love you to join us for our science show Generator in Toronto on 28 Oct. There’s a ticket waiting for you.
— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) September 16, 2015
Meanwhile, Mohamed’s family is adjusting to his overnight popularity since the harrowing arrest, according to The Dallas Morning News. His older sisters set up a Twitter account for Mohamed, and the family may have a couple of places to visit if he decides to take Zuckerberg or Obama up on their offers.
Mohamed thanked his supporters – as most teens would – with a photo from Snapchat: