Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Check Your Religious Privilege - Christian Privilege & Ahmed Mohamed

Christian privilege - is the system of advantages bestowed upon Christians in some societies. This system arises out of the presumption that the belief in Christianity is a social norm, leading to the exclusion of the nonreligious and members of other religions through institutional religious discrimination. Christian privilege can also lead to the neglect of outsiders' cultural heritage and religious practices.

Houston Chronicle

Christian privilege is a very dangerous thing to have in America because it feeds into White supremacy and ultimately White privilege. In general there is an unfounded hatred toward Black and Brown bodies and things get worse when ethnicity and religion are intertwined into the scenario. Take the case of Ahmed Mohamed of Irving, Texas (pictured to the left), arrested for being intelligent while Muslim. He built a simple clock and he was taken into custody!!! The question that needs to be asked here are: would this have happened if he were White & Christian? The answer is no, it would not have happened, because if he were white, he would have White privilege to save him and a hoard of Christians crying foul.

We know this, whether it was on purpose or not, bad timing perhaps; A story came out about a boy by the name of Taylor Wilson who built a nuclear reactor five years ago via Raw Story today in order to contrast the issue of privilege based on race and religion. Here is an excerpt from that story: "A Muslim teenager built a simple clock out of electronic components and took it to show his engineering teacher at school — but he was arrested when another teacher thought it looked like a bomb and alerted administrators...Police in Irving, Texas, never suspected the device was an explosive device and did not alert the bomb squad, but they still arrested 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed because he could offer no “broader explanation” for his clock besides describing it as a device that measures time.

Taylor Wilson (TED)

When another 14-year-old boy built a nuclear reactor at his parents’ home he was invited to meet with officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Energy — who offered their expert assistance, equipment and encouragement to apply for a research grant.

Here is what Irving police had to say:

Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd

The letter sent home to Ahmed's parents:

The Ahmed and his family in their own words:

He just wants to invent good things for mankind...But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.” - Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed


Ahmed's POV:

- "When the principal and a police officer pulled Ahmed out of sixth period, he suspected he wouldn’t get it back. They led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.” -A reference to Ahmed's racial, ethnic and religious identities."

- "Ahmed felt suddenly conscious of his brown skin and his name — one of the most common in the Muslim religion. But the police kept him busy with questions."

- "The bell rang at least twice, he said, while the officers searched his belongings and questioned his intentions. The principal threatened to expel him if he didn’t make a written statement, he said.....

- “They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” Ahmed said.

- “I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.

- “He said, ‘It looks like a movie bomb to me."


Why were his parents or attorney not present?
Was there a consent to search?
Where is the written statement and why was he threatened in order to write it?
Police POV:

- "Ahmed never claimed his device was anything but a clock, said police spokesman James McLellan. And police have no reason to think it was dangerous. But officers still didn’t believe Ahmed was giving them the whole story."

- “We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” McLellan said. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.

- “It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. The concern was, what was this thing built for? Do we take him into custody?

For more information go here...


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