POLITICS

President Obama, Hillary Clinton Rally Around Muslim Teen Arrested For Homemade Clock

"Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe -- they hold us back."

Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old high school student in Texas who was arrested Monday after he brought a homemade clock to school, has gained a whole lot of admirers since then -- including a former secretary of state, a rocket scientist and even President Barack Obama himself.

On Wednesday, Obama shouted out to the young inventor on Twitter, inviting him to stop by the White House with his "cool clock."

The support didn't end there. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed in on the incident -- in which critics say Islamophobia played a major role -- telling Ahmed to "stay curious and keep building." And U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said on Twitter that we need to encourage young engineers, not arrest them and suspend them from school.

Ahmed, a ninth-grader at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, made headlines this week after he built a digital clock into a pencil case -- complete with circuit boards, a power supply and everything else a digital clock usually entails -- and took it to school Monday to show his teachers. Later that day, Ahmed, who is Muslim, was brought to the principal's office and asked whether he'd tried to "make a bomb." He was then arrested and led through the halls in handcuffs. The incident was originally reported by The Dallas Morning News.

Since then, a lot of people -- including Bobak Ferdowsi, a systems engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory whose haircut became the toast of the Internet a few years ago -- have come out in full support of Ahmed's work.

Others who voiced their support for the teenage tinkerer include Tumblr founder David Karp and former "MythBusters" cast member Grant Imahara.

A Twitter account possibly associated with Ahmed -- Anil Dash, a tech entrepreneur and writer, said this week that he'd spoken with the teen's family and that the handle was "official" -- thanked people for their support after the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed began trending nationwide.