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Reps Honda, Ellison and Carson Lead Letter to the Department of Justice Calling for Investigation into the Arrest of Ahmed Mohamed

Congressman Mike Honda
Congressman Keith Ellison
Congressman Andre Carson

Reps Honda, Ellison and Carson Lead Letter to the Department of Justice Calling for Investigation into the Arrest of Ahmed Mohamed


Reps Honda, Ellison and Carson Lead Letter to the Department of Justice Calling for Investigation into the Arrest of Ahmed Mohamed

United States House of Representatives

September 23, 2015


Reps Honda, Ellison and Carson Lead Letter to the Department of Justice Calling for Investigation into the Arrest of Ahmed Mohamed:

September 23, 2015

Reps Honda, Ellison and Carson Lead Letter to the Department of Justice Calling for Investigation into the Arrest of Ahmed Mohamed

REPS. HONDA, ELLISON & CARSON LEAD LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CALLING FOR INVESTIGATION INTO THE ARREST OF AHMED MOHAMED

Sep 23, 2015 Press Release

Honda: “As the President said, ‘Cool clock, Ahmed Mohamed.’ It’s high time we end discriminatory practices in this country”

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley), joined by his colleagues Reps. Andre Carson (D-IN07) and Keith Ellison (D-MN05), led a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the detention and arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old high school student. Ahmed Mohamed was arrested after he brought a homemade clock to school to show his teachers and was later accused of having a “hoax bomb.”

“As the President said, ‘Cool clock, Ahmed.’ It’s high time we end discriminatory practices in this country. Profiling and mistreatment of an individual based on presumed or actual faith or ethnicity has no place in the world, let alone in the United States of America. From presidential candidates to teachers and police officers, we all must take a strong unified stand against this seemingly growing trend of fear mongering and bigotry being wrongly perpetuated in our society. People shouldn’t fear mistreatment or persecution simply for being who they are. As a world leader, America should be setting the bar for tolerance and equality – principles that speak to the foundation of this great nation,” said Congressman Honda.

In the letter, Honda, Carson, Ellison, and 26 of their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives expressed their concern that “Ahmed was denied his civil rights… and refused the right to speak to his father.” The representatives went on to call attention to “reports surrounding the incident that strongly suggest that Ahmed Mohamed was systematically profiled based on his faith and ethnicity.” The full text of the letter is available here.

“Ahmed's story is heartbreaking. His experience reminds us what minority communities experience every day: while America strives for justice for all, we often fall short. As the Muslim American community faces bigoted attacks from those seeking our highest office, it is clear that discrimination persists and we aren’t doing enough to protect our citizens. The Department of Justice should conduct a thorough investigation into Ahmed’s case and hold those who violated the law accountable,” said Rep. Keith Ellison.

“We should be instilling in our kids a passion to learn, explore, and create. This is just what we saw from 14 year-old Ahmed Mohamed. Unfortunately, school officials allowed their misguided fear and prejudice to take hold. His arrest should serve as a wake-up call for everyone to step back and reflect on our fears and our rushes to judgment. No matter what their background, our children do not deserve to face the suspicion that so many of us have faced,” said Rep. André Carson.

The letter led by Reps. Honda, Carson, and Ellison was also cosigned by Reps. Hastings, Chu, Jackson Lee, Watson Coleman, Lee, Tim Ryan, Van Hollen, McDermott, Farr, McCollum, Lieu, Lewis, Lofgren, Pascrell, Loretta Sanchez ,Vesasey, Dingell, Bass, Conyers, Meng, Rangel, Grijalva, Pallone, Edwards, Bobby Scott, and Waters.

“The Council on American-Islamic Relations stands with Representative Honda and the members of Congress that have joined in calling on the Department of Justice for a thorough investigation of the civil rights violations endured by 14 year old Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade electronic clock to school. It is disturbing that Ahmed was suspended by the school and arrested by the police after officials “followed protocol” and determined that he had merely brought a clock to school and that there was no actual threat,” said CAIR National Civil Rights Litigation Director Jenifer Wicks.

"Ahmed’s story is important because it did not happen in a vacuum," said Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates. "Bigotry directed at American Muslims has become all too commonplace. It is critical for our nation's chief law enforcement agency to send a strong message that acts of discrimination against our children will not be tolerated and those who violate the law will be held accountable."

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).