Last week in Texas, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed built a clock and brought it to school to show his teacher, where he was promptly arrested because everyone thought it was a bomb. And the only reason that everyone thought it was a bomb is because Mohamed is a Muslim.

There’s no question that the student was racially profiled, and that’s the first and most important problem. But the second problem is that the student is still being attacked by both the left and the right.

Sarah Palin came out on Twitter and appeared to go after the student’s intelligence, saying that her kids’ pencil boxes weren’t “as cool” as Mohamed’s. Not quite sure what that means, but its Palin, so whatever.

The attacks from the left, coming from people like Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins, are similar. While both agree that the student is owed an apology, Maher believes that there’s no problem with racially profiling the student because Muslims build bombs and blow things up. Dawkins agrees that all religion is evil, but he also took a shot at the kid’s intelligence saying that he didn’t do anything other than put pieces of a clock back together.

Why is being smart a bad thing in America today? Even if all he did was reassemble a clock, can Richard Dawkins do that? Or Maher or Palin?

In last week’s GOP debate, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal said that the only people in the United States who are discriminated against are Christians, but this latest incident, and the entire practice of racially profiling Muslims, African Americans, and immigrants far outnumbers the incidences of Christian discrimination – which for all practical purposes does NOT exist – but that’s what Republicans believe.

Ahmed Mohamed is an extremely intelligent young man, and he was unfairly singled out because of his religion. Can’t we move beyond that in America, or are we so blinded by our hatred that we can’t tell the difference between a terrorist and an honor student?

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced