A ticking time bomb of fear


Nebai Hernandez ’16

The future of our world depends on the educated, wise, innovative, and confident adolescents of our generation. Ahmed Mohamed is among these brilliant trailblazers, yet he was arrested because his ingenious creation of a digital alarm clock was mistaken for a bomb. His arrest foreshadows what will happen to this generation if people are not able to feel a sense of security and peace in their daily lives. Without these essential comforts, the world will curb the creative spirits of young individuals who are the building blocks of the future.
The underlying problem of this incident is the lack of trust people have in one another and the paranoid mindset that seems to have overtaken the majority of people in this world. We live in a time where people live in constant fear. Fear of violence. Fear of weapons. Fear of bullying. Fear of manipulation. Fear that a 14-year-old inventor brought a bomb to school.
Ahmed is a freshman in high school with a passion for engineering, creativity, innovation, and science. Ahmed is the face of the future.
Ahmed brought his invention to school September 14 seeking advice and praise from his teacher. His hopes were quickly diminished, however, as he soon found himself at the Irving, Texas police station. Whether or not his Muslim ethnicity played a role in the accusations made against him, the larger issue lies in the fact that his teacher viewed his creative invention as dangerous and threatening. This fear of violence is deeply rooted in the people of this day and age, and it seems to follow us around like a shadow. 
The fear that motivated Ahmed’s English teacher to report his suspicious creation is built on a strong foundation. The United States has experienced many tragic incidents of violence in the not so distant past, including the World Trade Center terrorist attack, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Boston Marathon Bombing, and the unlawful acts of ISIS against US citizens. It is tragedies such as these that have instilled an unshakable fear and worry in the citizens of our country. Consequently, if we continue to accuse innocent individuals of unspeakable actions, young boys and girls, including Ahmed, will carry this burden of fear as well.
The cautionary actions taken by Ahmed’s teacher were most likely in the best interest of the school community in an effort to keep everyone safe. Therefore, this predicament raises concern for the fact that we live in a world where people mistake revolutionary scientific and mathematical inventions for bombs.
People throughout the world are showing their support for Ahmed by posting on social media using hashtags such as #IStandWithAhmed and #EngineersForAhmed. Like myself, these supporters do not want Ahmed to shy away from his work simply because the world’s violence has negatively influenced his teacher. 
It is these supportive individuals who recognize this injustice and the necessity for young inventors like Ahmed to transform the future. Engineers of this generation must feel confident presenting their inventions. In turn, the world must feel secure accepting them.
The violence and injustice in the world must be controlled in order to increase the morale and security of our citizens. As a result, the inventors and engineers of this generation will have the freedom to create a prosperous future.
– Jade Cohen, Opinions Editor