In the last twelve hours, the hash tag ⌗IStandWithAhmed has gone viral. This hash tag is a result of a fourteen year old boy being arrested for bringing a home-made clock to school, a clock that a teacher falsely accused of being a bomb. Ahmed was arrested in school and released shortly after, when the police released that it was literally a clock he had made at home because he is a fourteen year old boy pursing mechanics.
The second thing in the news that has captured the world's attention in the last few weeks is the refugee crisis. When there are hundreds of thousands of human beings crying out in pain, living in conditions that are so far from anything we live in, and enduring the heart-wrenching experiences of fleeing a place that you and your family have called home for hundreds of years, I really ask my self why the world is doing next to nothing.
I question why countries are closing their borders, and turning away as families are torn apart, mothers are loosing their children and people are loosing their identities. I question why the acceptable response to these tragic events is to sigh and look apathetically at the news reports flooding in of the horrors these people are coming from, their harrowing journeys only to be met with hostility.
You are probably wondering what the two stories have to do with each other, so I will explain the link that I have made:
The world is focusing on the wrong facts and figures. Instead of stretching out our hands and opening our hearts, we are creating a society where it is acceptable to close our eyes and focus on the wrong things.
Ahmed Mohamed is a fourteen year old boy, an innocent fourteen year old boy, a talented fourteen year old boy.
Now tell me what part of that makes you think of a terrorist? Because there must have been something that provoked the teacher into calling the police.
Oh yes, I know what it is. Ahmed Mohamed was arrested today because he is a Muslim. So really what happened was, a grown adult, someone that should have known better, decided that it was their place to insight their own preconceived prejudices and get an innocent boy arrested because he was a Muslim boy, taking an interest in mechanics.
But it gets better. It gets better because effectively the world is turning their back on these refugees based on prejudices; based on stereotypes that have one purpose in society, which is to destroy any of the basic humanity that people have.
I am struggling to put into words how angry and disheartened I feel right now. The world is misplacing its concerns. Western superpowers should be worried about what is actually going on in these middle-eastern countries that is causing such an influx of refugees.
We should be focusing on trying to fix the root of the problem instead of misplacing our prejudices and stereotypes onto innocent people that need our help and support more than anyone.
The message Ahmed's school sent to him today is that they have a certain expectation that he will be a terrorist. They show him that they don't see Ahmed for a fourteen year old boy with skills that will change the world, instead they see him as a potential threat because his faith is not the same as theirs. And you know what that says to me? It says that we have not evolved at all. It shows me that white supremacy is just as prevalent now as it was one hundred years ago, and that destroys me, it really does.
As for the refugee crisis, I really do beg people to open their arms but to also look ahead, look ahead to fix the problem that is not going to stop until a superpower puts it to bed.
Whilst usually my posts are not this political, I feel so strongly about this, that I could not have passed an opportunity to write about it on this platform. I hope you will stand with us in standing with Ahmed and learn to open your hearts to the refugee crisis.
-LF, LR and MG xxx