Justice

Family of Ahmed Mohamed Seeks $15 Million in Damages

November 23rd 2015

By:
Alex Mierjeski

The family of Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving, Texas teenager who was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school in September, is seeking an apology and $15 million in damages from the city and its school district, a family attorney announced Monday.

The Mohamed family also threatened to file a civil rights suit, saying not only was 14-year-old Ahmed illegally interrogated by police, but he was also the subject of a top-down smear campaign that made the boy an icon of anti-Muslim backlash, the Dallas Morning News reported.

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"Ahmed's reputation in the global community is permanently scarred," read letters sent to Texas officials Monday. "Mayor Beth Van Duyne lied about Ahmed and his family, and she idd it to an audience that is on the absolute fringe of American life," a family attorney wrote. "Van Duyne irreparably endangered the safety of the Ahmed Family."

ahmed-mohamed-showing-a-peace-sign

According to the Morning News, the letters detail new dimensions to the boy's story after his arrest over what police initially believed was a bomb, and according to the boy's lawyers, the 14-year-old was defamed by the city's mayor in an interview with the conservative pundit Glenn Beck. Since the story went viral, the Mohameds moved to Qatar, where Ahmed's education would be paid for through college. They say that the decision also had to do with fears over personal safety after the anti-Muslim rhetoric that characterized the backlash to the story on the web.

"Ahmed fears for his personal safety after receiving many threatening emails," one letter says. "When they feel safe again, all of them want more than anything to come home, to Irving, Texas."

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According to the letters, the family is seeking $10 million from the city of Irving, and $5 million from the school district. You can read both letters, posted below.

2015.11.23 City of Irving Demand Letter by Avi Selk

2018.11.23 Irving ISD Demand Letter by Avi Selk

In an unrelated incident in Irving, Texas, on Saturday, about a dozen Islamophobic protestors carrying guns and signs stood outside of a mosque to "stop" what they call the “Islamization” of America, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The group of protestors, who refer to themselves as "Anti-CAIR" (Council on American-Islamic Relations) believe that Irving's mosque established an Islamic court earlier this year, according to the Dallas Morning News. This false rumor was intensified after Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne seized on a chain letter containing the rumor, and then used it for reference in speeches to Tea Party groups about the Muslim effort to apparently destroy the U.S. “from within."