Fox and Friends hosts have decided, based on a lengthy Dallas Morning News investigation into 14-year-old schoolboy Ahmed Mohamed’s brief past as a middle school student in the United States, that he “may not be as innocent as he seems.”
The Morning News piece notes that the child, who had newly immigrated to the United States from Sudan, had been disciplined at Sam Houston Middle School. Fox host Anna Kooiman reported Mohamed’s former seventh grade teacher, Ralph Kubiak, called Mohamed a “weird little kid” who “could either be CEO of a company or head of a gang,” Media Matters reports.
Kubiak claims Mohammed was suspended for several weeks during the sixth grade. A family friend says it came from blowing soap bubbles in the bathroom.
“It’s unknown if President Obama is aware of his past disciplinary problems in school,” Kooiman said, noting the president’s invitation for Ahmed to join him at the White House. The invitation came after controversy erupted over Ahmed’s arrest for bringing a home-made clock to school, which his teacher called a “hoax bomb,” leading many to come to Ahmed’s defense and call the incident Islamophobic.
Fox and Friends neglected to report other details of the story, including the troubling fact that Ahmed was apparently bullied and said he was “terrorized” by school officials who were unfairly punishing him and forbidden from praying at school.
According to family friend Anthony Bond, Ahmed was choked by a larger boy and called “ISIS boy” and “Bacon boy” by other students because Islamic custom forbids eating pork. Bond also wrote Ahmed had been punished for defending himself.
In regards to his discipline at Sam Houston, Bond told the Morning News, “Kids are kids. He was a little boy in a new environment, and they were acting out.”
Ahmed also, rather impressively for a kid who had just learned English, recited from memory the First Amendment in the principal’s office in an effort to get out of detention.
The profile on Ahmed points to an extremely bright and tech-savvy child who was adjusting to life in the United States, and doesn’t indicate any malfeasance on his part, despite what Fox and Friends said.
The Morning News reports Ahmed pranked a teacher when he brought a home-made remote to class and took control of a classroom projector during a lecture. He also created an impromptu cell phone charger on the fly to help a tutor whose phone had gone dead. But he had never been in trouble for creating gadgets until he got to MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas.
Kubiak said Ahmed learned English so quickly that he was able to hold philosophical discussions and participate in debates on complicated topics during his Texas history class. This lead to the odd accusation that he was “overusing” the language. According to the Morning News:
It didn’t take Ahmed long to learn fluent English. Once he did, he had a habit of overusing it — trying to impress classmates with a nonstop stream of chatter, teachers said, and often annoying them instead.
“I love him dearly, but sometimes it got to be a little much,” Kubiak agreed. “He just went on and on.”
Kubiak, who had inserted himself into the situation by granting an interview to the Morning News, recalls telling his students “to keep the adults out of it. The adults have an agenda. The adults are using you.”
The statements recall conservative media’s campaign to dig up dirt on black Florida high school student Trayvon Martin, who was killed in 2012 by George Zimmerman. The case had raised awareness of racial bias in the criminal justice system and is seen as the beginning of what would become the Black Lives Matter movement.
Watch the clip, via Media Matters, here: