The Corner

Culture

Clock Boy — Not a Bombmaker, Just a Blackmailer

In case there was any doubt that the Ahmed “Clock Boy” Mohamed-episode was an extended exercise in fraud and extortion, the family has now made it explicit. Via Fox 4 News:

Give us $15 million – or else.

That’s the demand from the family of the world’s most famous clockmaker, Ahmed Mohamed, to the City of Irving and Irving ISD. The city and district were each sent letters on Monday demanding money or else a lawsuit would be filed.

The family wants $10 million from the City of Irving and $5 million from Irving ISD for damages it claims Ahmed and the family suffered after the teen was arrested. The family also wants an apology from the two entities. . . .

What, precisely, did Ahmed and his family “suffer”?: Twitter shout-outs from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill de Blasio, and Jimmy Fallon band-leader Questlove; Facebook messages from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and actor George Takei; an invitation to intern with Twitter; a visit to Google, where he met with U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith; a trip to the United Nations, where he took a selfie with the prime minister of Turkey; a red-carpet photo-op with Sudanese dictator (and mass murderer) Omar al-Bashir; a visit to the White House, where he chatted with the president; a Muslim of the Year award from the Council on American–Islamic Relations; and, finally, a fully funded secondary education at the Doha Academy in Qatar, where the family is now living.

Being pulled out of class for his “clock” was the best thing that ever happened to Ahmed. He will benefit from his victimhood for the rest of his days.

Now, I understand, of course, that happy consequences don’t pardon an original sin, and that if the city and/or the school district broke the law, they should be held accountable. But it’s far from obvious that they did. It was clear immediately after the initial incident that this was no case of “Islamophobia,” and further investigation has raised several serious questions about the family’s credibility.

But in an age of false victimhood, con artists do well. Liberals on the political and cultural heights were thrilled to find a martyr for their fantasy of American “Islamophobia” — and not just a martyr, but a cute one with a love of Science! The facts were of no importance. Thus opportunists met with an opportunity.

The available evidence suggests that (1) Ahmed didn’t build a clock; that (2) the family has a curious habit of specious claims to victimhood; and that (3) however Ahmed’s detention came about, his family was ready and eager to exploit it. And if there was any doubt about the last, this latest ploy is unmistakable evidence. Having decamped overseas, the Mohameds know their traveling circus has nearly run its course, and they’re aiming for one last payday.

The City of Irving and Irving ISD should refuse them a single red cent. If the Mohameds want reparations, then they ought to have to make their case — not before a gaggle of cameras, but in a court of law.

Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute.

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