"Take a zero-tolerance mindset, mix it with a bit of Islamophobia and you get what happened to Ahmed Mohamed, an inquisitive 14-year-old model student at MacArthur High School this week,"Jim Mitchell wrote Wednesday for the Dallas Morning News.
"The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and the Columbine massacre in 1999 were seminal events in how this country now reacts to perceived threats. Irrational fears often supplant common sense, as Ahmed's' treatment shows.
"Personally, I think Islamophobia fwas a key part of Ahmed's treatment, and I dare say that Irving Mayor's Beth Van Duyne anti-Islamic comments this past spring helped poison the water. Still, the handcuffing and detaining of Ahmed for proudly bringing a homemade clock to school is yet another example of a school administration that has taken zero-tolerance mindsets to absurd lengths. . . ."
The incident was also the subject of an Dallas Morning News editorial,"Overreaction in clock-bomb mix-up has chilling effect," and column by the Morning News' James Ragland, "News flash: Irving officials owe young Ahmed Mohamed a big apology."
- Abby Phillip, Washington Post: Why some Muslims don’t want Ahmed Mohamed’s blackness to be ignored
"The Committee to Protect Journalists will honor journalists from Ethiopia, Malaysia, Paraguay, and Syria with the 2015 International Press Freedom Awards," the committee announced on Tuesday. "The journalists have endured death threats, physical attacks, legal action, imprisonment, or exile in the course of their work.
"The 2015 awardees are:
- "Zone 9 bloggers of Ethiopia, a group of bloggers of which six were arrested, imprisoned, and charged with terrorism in retaliation for critical reporting;
- Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, 'Zunar,' of Malaysia, CPJ's first cartoonist awardee, who is charged with sedition and faces a potential 43-year jail term for drawings lampooning high-level abuse in the Malaysian government;
- "Cándido Figueredo Ruíz, a Paraguayan journalist who faces death threats and has lived under 24-hour police protection for the past decade because of his reporting on drug smuggling on the Brazil-Paraguay border; and
- "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a Syrian citizen journalist collective and one of the few independent news sources that continues to report from inside the Islamic State's self-proclaimed capital. . . ."