Month: December 2020

Muslim Teen’s Arrest In Texas Over Homemade Clock Sparks Outrage

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The arrest of a 14-year-old Muslim high school student in Texas for bringing a homemade clock to class has sparked a national uproar about Islamophobia.Mohamed Ahmed, an eighth grader at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, has an affinity for building electronic gadgets in his bedroom. He rose to fame overnight as social media erupted over his controversial arrest on Monday. By Wednesday afternoon, he’d been invited to meet President Obama at the White House–with the clock in hand.Ahmed’s whirlwind ordeal began when he decided to bring it to school to impress his teachers. One science teacher complimented Ahmed but warned him not to show it to anyone else. Acting on his teacher’s advice, Ahmed left it in his schoolbag. But the clock’s alarm sounded during his sixth-period English class, prompting that teacher to notify the principal and confiscate the clock, which Ahmed had built at his home in 20 minutes.“It looks like a bomb,” the teacher purportedly told Ahmed, according to the Dallas Morning News.“I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me,’” Ahmed replied.Ahmed was eventually led into the principal’s office with a police escort. He was handcuffed despite vehemently explaining that the presumed “bomb” was indeed a working clock, according to news reports.“We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” said Irving Police spokesperson James McLellan, according to the Dallas Morning News. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”Following his arrest, a photo of Ahmed in handcuffs surfaced on social media. The hashtag #IStandWithAhmed became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter Wednesday morning, featuring a bevy of support and Tweets lampooning police and school officials for what many considered an overreaction and an example of blatant American Islamophobia. President Obama showed his support by inviting Ahmed—and his clock—to the White House. Dr. Hussein Rashid, an adjunct assistant professor of religion at Hofstra University and founder of the consultancy group islamicate, L3C, which focuses on religious literacy and cultural competency, began laughing when he was asked about Ahmed’s arrest.“I’m utterly flabbergasted,” said Rashid. “You got to think about the multiple failures that had to happen here, right? A student who wants to prove he’s good in science goes to his teacher and says, ‘I am a good student.’”Rashid criticized the teacher and school administration in Texas for involving law enforcement.“It’s a perfect storm of social factors,” continued Rashid. “There’s a culture of Islamophobia, where your first thought anytime you see a brown person acting smart is that they must be a terrorist because we’ve got this long history of racism where people of color are inherently stupid. And then, so a brown, smart person is a terrorist.”When it was first revealed that the NYPD was spying on Muslim communities on Long Island, the five boroughs and in New Jersey, Muslim groups said such tactics would discourage members of the community to speak their mind, and in some cases pray at their mosque, out of fear that something they say or do could make them a target of law enforcement.“This has a real impact beyond getting eighth graders arrested for trying to impress the teacher,” Rashid added. “This has a very casual [message]: we’re all being surveyed right now.”Dr. Isma Chaudhry, president of Westbury’s Islamic Center of Long Island, was mystified when a Press reporter informed her of Ahmed’s arrest in Texas.“For how long will ethnic minorities walk on eggshells?” she asked. “That is not right. It’s counterproductive to everything, every belief, that we as Americans have. It doesn’t have to be a religious belief, but a belief in freedom of an individual living a peaceful life. Ethnic minorities have to constantly prove themselves because of a certain name or because of a skin color or because of hair color or eye color.”MacArthur High School in Irving released a statement following Ahmed’s arrest, noting that the Irving Police Department had responded to a “suspicious looking item on campus.”“We are pleased to report that after the police department’s assessment, the item discovered at school did not pose a threat to your child’s safety,” said the statement.Irving police said Wednesday that Ahmed would not face criminal charges.Ahmed, who has been bombarded with interview requests, thanked his supporters on Twitter.last_img read more

What ‘Master of None’ Has Taught Me

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York They say this is the Golden Age of television but despite the deluge of quality programming waiting to be devoured like a digital buffet, I’ve been hard-pressed to find a show that’s actually relatable.As much as I wish, I won’t be reborn as a Stark, nor will I ever be a true detective, whatever that means.But thanks to Aziz Ansari, there appears to be a show that thousands of children of immigrants can identify with, even if they are from different ethnic groups.Last Friday, Ansari debuted his genius comedy on Netflix in a new series called Master of None, in which he explores different societal and cultural issues with each passing episode (I didn’t finish the 10-episode season yet because I want to enjoy it at a decent pace).Ansari’s character Dev is speaking for a lot of young people—and even adults—who are proud of their families’ hard work and dedication but have never truly inquired about what life was like in the Old Country, whether it’s India, China, or anywhere else.The one scene that did it for me was when Dev’s father, played by his real-life dad, had a question about modern technology. A whiny Dev couldn’t help his dad, he said, because he was meeting up with a friend to see the latest X-Men film. Dev’s popz nodded his head, but he struggled to hide his disappointment.While walking down a New York City street with his friend Brian, it dawned on Dev that he knew absolutely nothing about his parents’ past, and earnestly set up a dinner date with his parents, Brian, and his father, so both immigrant families could talk about how they arrived in America.I’ve yet to have that dinner with my father, who came from Pakistan. When? I don’t know—I’d have to ask him.The scene at the Chinese restaurant is both heartwarming and funny. The conversation begins as you’d think it would, with Brian’s father being uncomfortable about sharing his story.When Dev asked his parents what they did for fun, his father looked perturbed. He said “fun” is a new concept, one that Dev’s generation and those yet to come are blessed to enjoy. His father didn’t bemoan the fact that he didn’t enjoy the comforts of life—seeing movies, grabbing drinks with friends. For him—and his wife—that was life.I’m sure if I ask my father about “fun” times in Pakistan, he’d react the same way. Fun? C’mon.We all take for granted the opportunities we now enjoy. It’s not that we’re callous or insensitive; it’s that we’ve grown accustomed to feeling like we have it all, even though we don’t. It’s because of our parents that we get to spend time with friends instead of working in a sweltering factory making zippers, like Dev’s dad did growing up in India.Thanks to Ansari, maybe immigrant children will soon sit down with their parents, ask these same questions, and learn the all-important tales of their ancestors.While Masters of None has drawn widespread acclaim, it’s not the acting or the comedy that impresses me. It’s that I see myself in Dev.Unfortunately, I’m not as funny.Photo credit: Master of None/Netflixlast_img read more

Hempstead Man Shot Dead

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 23-year-old man was shot and killed in his hometown of Hempstead over the Fourth of July weekend, Nassau County police said.Hempstead Police Officers responded to Laurel Street for a report of a man lying on the sidewalk and upon arrival, they found LaDaniel McCloud suffering from multiple gunshot wounds at 5:41 a.m. Saturday, police said.The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information regarding this case to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.last_img

Owego Police Department alerts individuals of multiple bicycle larcenies

first_imgThe department says they will take information such as serial numbers model, color and markings. OWEGO (WBNG) — The Owego Police Department is alerting residents about several bicycle thefts that have occurred in the area. The police department asks individuals to register all bicycles. Individuals may register their bicycle at the Owego Police Department at 90 Temple St. Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.center_img Those with questions are asked to call the Owego Police Department at 607-687-2234.last_img

REDC: Southern Tier awarded $88.9 million, considered ‘top performer’

first_imgThe money will be used for various projects around the Southern Tier. Tyoga Container — $5.2 millionBinghamton University — $5 millionUHS Chenango Memorial Hospital — $1.5 millionCity of Hornell — $1 millionUpstate Farm Cheese, LLC — $1.55 millionVillage of South Corning — $1 millionTown of Owego –$2.148 millionCornell University — $1.2 millionTompkins County Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. — $4.5 million Some organizations that were awarded the most money include: For the full list of awards, click here. The announcement came as part of the 2019 Annual Regional Economic Development Council Awards in Albany Thursday afternoon. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that parts of the state will receive a total of $761 million to be used for economic and community development resources. (WBNG) — The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) has awarded $88.9 million to the Southern Tier to be spread across various municipalities, schools and businesses.last_img read more

BFD will wear red balloon pin to bring awareness to congenital heart disease

first_imgBINGHAMTON (WBNG) — This week, members of the Binghamton Fire Department will have a new pin added to their uniform. The pin depicts a red balloon. Its purpose is to raise awareness of congenital heart defects. Although congenital heart defects last a lifetime and do not have any known cure, research is helping those with the disease live a longer and happier life. As part of the initiative, Binghamton Fire is also focusing on education and advocating for the CHD community. Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defects and kill more children each year than all pediatric cancers combined.last_img

Broome County sees 4th death by coronavirus

first_imgBroome County April 1 coronavirus update Garnar also demanded that more people follow social-distancing guidelines and stay home. For more coronavirus coverage, click here. Equipment can be dropped off at the old Macy’s building in the Oakdale Mall Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The person who died was a man in his 70’s, Garnar says. There are 141 people in mandatory quarantine and 42 people in precautionary quarantine. 26 cases are pending lab results.center_img A map detailing where all cases are located in the county can be found by clicking here. Additionally, there are 41 confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Broome County. Garnar says 12 of these patients are in the hospital and 19 are home. Six people have recovered from the virus in Broome County. The county executive says they are are still looking for more personal-protective equipment. (WBNG) — Broome County Executive Jason Garnar announced the fourth death from COVID19 in the county.last_img read more

Whitney Point School District wants to know if your child needs a bus

first_imgWHITNEY POINT (WBNG) — The Whitney Point School District says it needs help identifying students who will need a bus for the upcoming school year. The responses are non-binding. The district says due to COVID-19 health and safety precautions put in place by the New York State Department of Health, the number of students who can ride a bus will be limited in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. The state health department is also requesting students wear mask and maintain social distance on the bus. Parents are asked to take this survey regarding how they expect their children will get to school before July 17.last_img

Despite cold spring weather, apples are overflowing for fall season

first_imgHowever, months later, something finally went right in 2020. With a lot of hard work and monitoring the apples, Johnson is now celebrating his returns. In May, low temperatures hit the Southern Tier, putting this year’s apple crop at risk. “You have to wear a mask to get into the field. We want you to sample the apples, so it’s hard to eat with a mask on,” said Johnson. “Once you get in the orchard, you can space yourselves out and act normal, but you do have to have a mask to get into the orchard.” “This is a super year, I am really surprised. Generally, you would like to have your apples four to six inches apart. They’re right together, I mean there’s a lot of apples, a lot of apples,” said Johnson. Apple picking this year isn’t just about New York’s favorite fruit. Johnson wants his farm to feel like an escape during all the craziness going on. With 13 varieties, apple picking season has started at the farm. This year, due to the pandemic, the fall activity will look a little different. center_img “People just want to get away. I know it’s a challenge when you have kids this year and no one knows what the school situation is, but just come on up to the farm and think about nothing for awhile,” said Johnson. “All the expert says, ‘with the cold weather, you’re going to have some damage to your trees, so don’t expect to have too many apples on your trees,'” said Apple Hills Owner Dave Johnson. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — New York’s best time of the year has arrived, apple picking season! New apples will be ready to pick every week over the next couple of months. Right now, Ginger Golds and Paula Reds are ready to be picked at Apple Hills.last_img read more