As of publication time, #IStandWithAhmed is perched on the global trending list on Twitter. The hashtag refers to Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old Muslim high school student from Irving, Texas, who was arrested after he brought his invention to class to show a teacher.
His invention was a digital clock he engineered out of pencil case. Authorities accused him of building a bomb and many attributed his arrest to Islamophobia, CNN reported.
Thousands have rallied behind Ahmed after a photo of him being led out his school in handcuffs while he wearing a NASA shirt went viral. One such supporter was President Barack Obama, who tweeted from the presidential Twitter account (@POTUS) “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.”
Obama’s tweet has been shared more than 182,000 times.
Obama has a long history of supporting young scientists. Over the course of his presidency, he’s invited innovative and curious young people to the White House several times.
“These young scientists and engineers teach us something beyond the specific topics that they're exploring. They teach us how to question assumptions, to wonder why something is the way it is, and how we can make it better. And they remind us that there's always something more to learn, and to try, and to discover, and to imagine,” Obama said at the White House Science Fair earlier this year, ABC News reported.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also tweeted her support for Ahmed. “Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe — they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building,” she wrote. So far, no other presidential candidates, Democrat or Republican, have publicly commented on Ahmed's story.
According to the Twitter account affiliated with Ahmed (@IStandWithAhmed), he is now seeking a lawyer.