The detention and arrest of 14-year-old Mohammad Ahmed sparked a national debate regarding Islamophobia. But there might be more to this story than meets the eye when you begin to actually look at the unique background of Mohammad’s family.
On an episode of HBO’s “Real Time” with Bill Maher, a renowned entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, spoke of his personal phone conversation with the Mohammad following the event. Mark said that when he asked about technology Mohammad was absolutely engaged, but when he inquired about what had transpired at the school he overheard Mohammad Ahmed’s sister telling him what to say. If this wasn’t weird enough, Mark also commented that when the teachers at the school were asked about the arrest, they mentioned that for the first 5 class periods the instructors generally thought the clock was cool when Mohammad shared it with them, but he actively ignored their advice that not only could it possibly be misconstrued as a bomb, but that he should put it away, as to not inadvertently scare unsuspecting faculty and students in his other classes.
Shifting to his father, it turns out that Mohamed Elhassan is more than a simple hot dog salesman from New York, and is actually none other than the outspoken man who made the news for defending Islam in a mock trial against Florida Pastor Terry Jones, who burned a Quran at his church back in 2011. Here is some more background from OkayAfrica.com discussing Mohamed Elhassan’s questionable background:
Muslim leaders in Texas, meanwhile, doubted his claims to religious and scholarly leadership. “This so-called leader, we have never heard of this person,” Imam Zia ul Haque Sheikh, head of the Islamic Center of Irving, told the Seattle Times. “I believe the whole thing is made up.” In that same interview, Mohamed, who refers to himself as a sheikh, elaborated on his motivations for getting involved with Jones. “He said he agreed to serve as the defense attorney at Jones’ mock trial because the Quran teaches that Muslims should engage in peaceful dialogue with Christians,” the Seattle Times’ Annie Gowen wrote. “But there was also a more pragmatic reason. It was spring break and he wanted to take his wife and five kids to Disney World: to ‘kill two birds with one stone,’ as he put it.” He also claims he didn’t know the trial– in which the Quran was “found guilty” of “crimes against humanity”– would result in the Quran actually being set on fire. According to the Seattle Times, some of Mohamed’s small group of followers asked that he no longer lead prayers, while others refused to drive for his taxi company.
He told the Dallas Observer that he appreciated Jones for giving him the opportunity to defend the Quran on Sufi terms. “I admire Terry Jones for doing that,” he said. “From my heart, I feel very OK. But I have some people who don’t like that from my Muslim brothers. I see their faces, they don’t want me to go and talk. But this is my opinion. I’m not living in Sudan, or Saudi Arabia. I’m living in a free land.”
With the European immigration crisis fueling, Islamic extremism spreading, and the power of political correctness growing in our country, it surely begs the question, could he be using his experience in media exposure to manipulate this crisis into an global anti-Islamophobia campaign?