Muslim Critical Race Theorist Weighs in on Student’s Arrest
Law professor and critical race theorist Khaled Bey provides valuable insight on the incident involving the arrest of Black Muslim student Ahmed Mohamed. Bey outlines the way the society’s surging Islamophobia, racism, and bullying culture jeopardize the safety Muslim youth.
Donning his NASA T-shirt, young Ahmed Mohamed walked into his ninth grade class Monday morning, proudly holding the clock he had meticulously assembled at home. The 14-year-old Muslim American student, with a zeal for assembling, disassembling and fixing radios, computers and go-karts, hoped to draw the praise of his teacher. Instead, Dallas police were called in, Ahmed’s hands were cuffed, and the stunned high school student was removed from the premises.
Schools routinely reward innovation, creativity and hard work. However, Mohamed was Muslim, which drove his teacher and school administrators to first, view the homemade digital clock as a bomb; and second, relate his electronic handiness to terrorist activity.
Head to Head – Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: Old fears, new threats?
More than merely a case of individual bigotry or institutional negligence, Mohamed’s case manifests the spread of anti-Muslim bigotry, or “Islamophobia”, into the most formative and vulnerable spaces of American society – schools.
Layla Abdullah-Poulos is an alumna of SUNY Empire State College with a Bachelor of Arts in Historical Studies and Literature and is presently a student in the School for Graduate Studies. She expects to complete her studies and receive a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies and Advance Certificates in Women and Gender Studies and American Studies by 2016. An aspiring academic, Abdullah-Poulos uses her knowledge not only to develop her own scholarship but also that of other SUNY Empire State College students. A proponent for the enrichment of higher education through diversity, she plans to continue her work as an educator who conveys to students an ethnically diverse historical awareness and furnish them with the skills necessary to acquire political proficiency and constructively affect societal change.