Ahmed Mohamed has had an interesting year.
The 14-year-old boy from Irving, Texas, was arrested for bringing a clock to school that many — including liberal commentator Bill Maher — said looked like a bomb.
When it was, in fact, found to be a clock, he became the subject of a media frenzy with those on the left holding him up as a victim of Islamophobia. He was even invited to meet President Obama at the White House.
Meanwhile, those on the right criticized his behavior as being intentionally provocative.
Things didn’t get any easier when the Washington Post reported his family’s decision to move to Qatar due to a scholarship offer he received, though his family also conceded that it was partly out of fear from some of the backlash tossed his way.
Then last week, a bombshell. A letter from the attorney of Ahmed Mohamed called for an apology from the city of Irving and a $15 million settlement.
The move rattled far-right personalities like Allen B. West, who published a critical blog post of the decision on Wednesday (December 2).
It was only a matter of time before the backlash from Mohamed’s letter started to mobilize the right side of the Internet, and now many conservatives on social media and conservative blog comment sections are drawing connections to Ahmed Mohamed and the tragedy in San Bernardino.
One commenter carefully pointed out that it was “interesting” that the second deceased suspect in the San Bernardino shootings, Tashfeen Malik, was from the same place where Ahmed now lives.
Only instead of calling Ahmed by his name, the commenter referred to him as “that little fake bomb building s**thead.”
This comment occurred on a personal Facebook thread, but it echoed some of the same sentiments coming from sites like Mediaite and the Conservative Tribune.
Dept of Justice probes if Ahmed Mohamed’s civil rights were violated by Texas police https://t.co/UbSuiFsaxh pic.twitter.com/mF5XzKnKsz
— Independent US (@IndyUSA) December 4, 2015
It highlights an unfortunate reality about the state of the U.S., particularly that the country is now more divided — and more bitterly divided — than it ever has been.
Commenters on both sides of the political spectrum rushed to turn the discussion political as more news was released about Malik and fellow suspect Syed Farook, who were killed in a gun battle with police on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after allegedly murdering 14 people at the Inland Regional Center.
The right seemed to breathe a heavy sigh of relief that at least one of the suspects was described as a “very religious Muslim” by his father.
Meanwhile, discussion on the left reverted back to the still-fresh Planned Parenthood attack, which appeared to be the work of a white male pro-life suspect.
It’s as if both sides take turns celebrating tragedies now because it adds fuel to their talking points.
The majorly disturbing thing about the mental acrobatics involved in tying Ahmed Mohamed to the San Bernardino shootings, however, is that commenters appear to have nothing more to go on than a name and a location.
By all accounts, Ahmed Mohamed is a bright 14-year-old boy, who moved to Qatar based primarily on an educational opportunity.
There isn’t a shred of evidence beyond the commonality of place and the Middle Eastern-sounding name that he shares with Malik that would indicate a connection to these horrific crimes.
Ahmed Mohamed seeking $15 million in damages-the political left will kill Americans with the PC BS https://t.co/49k58Gd1oL
— AMERICAN ORTHODOX (@1787American) December 5, 2015
Yet some are actually “going there” in a rambling, directionless effort to connect some pretty dangerous dots.
Perhaps the saddest thing is that so many on the right and the left want these mass shootings to stop. They may have different ideas of how to make that happen, but their intentions are pure.
Rhetoric like that attempting to make a connection between San Bernardino and Ahmed Mohamed isn’t helping either side get there any sooner.
[Photo by Ben Torres/Getty Images]