For a period of about 24 hours Ahmed Mohamed was a genuine feel-good story, the story of the Internet coming together to help a 14-year-old black Muslim kid who’d been wrongfully arrested for a homemade clock that supposedly looked like a bomb.
But it’s the Internet and the news cycle moves fast–I predicted at the time that the success of Ahmed’s viral story would have its own built-in backlash, as all viral stories do, and that reactionaries trying to discredit him wouldn’t be far away.
And sure enough, within a few days the Internet delivered.
I’m not that concerned by the genuinely deranged people out to make Ahmed into a monster or a terrorist, to claim that all Islamophobia is ultimately justified. Their narrative isn’t going to get much traction.