The #IStandWithAhmed events hit close to home for me because when I heard about this boy’s arrest, I immediately thought about my eldest son, Muhammad. We had a lot of family turmoil over deciding what to name our child when he was born 3 years ago. My wife and I wanted “Muhammad” but many of our family members said that this was an imprudent choice for a name. He would be discriminated against, bullied, mocked, and otherwise mistreated because of being identifiably Muslim, they told us. We would be doing our son a major disservice by choosing to name him “Muhammad.”
My wife and I stuck with our choice because obviously the blessings of this name and the potential benefit it could have for our son in this life and the next outweigh these negatives. Also, we recognized that we are Americans living in the US, and while there is a strong faction of bigots, there are also many people of understanding and compassion.
What has happened to this 14 year old boy Ahmed Mohamed has perfectly demonstrated this dynamic. Yes, he did face discrimination and I am sure that caused him and his family pain and worry. But now, look at the outpouring of support from the public at large. That means something.