Every step of the way, the media has attacked popular Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne, accusing her of being an Islamophobe following the “Clock Boy” Ahmed Mohamed incident that unfolded in the Dallas surburb. While news outlets glorify the teen’s every move, they trash the conservative mayor incessantly.
Mohamed is the 14-year-old student arrested for bringing to class what school officials and police believed was a “hoax bomb.” No charges were filed once the situation sorted itself out, but the high schooler served three days of suspension before his family withdrew him from Irving ISD and subsequently jetted off to the Middle East.
News organizations characterized Ahmed as the severely traumatized yet “self-assured kid with thick framed glasses” with “a talent for tinkering,” a victim of racism and bigotry. They gleefully portrayed his meetings with Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Sudan’s Islamic autocratic leader Bashir, accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. Mainstream media celebrated the teen’s Saudi government funded Mecca pilgrimmage and delighted in his tour of Education City, a gift from the Muslim Brotherhood-associated Qatar Foundation.
No one flinched when Ahmed’s father, failed Sudanese Presidential candidate Mohamed Elhassen Mohamed, shared 9/11 truther posts on his Facebook wall, which he since shut down. No one winced over the Mohamed family’s affiliation with the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization charged as an unindicated co-conspirator in the largest terrorism-financing case in U.S. history, the Dallas-held Holy Land Foundation trial. No one questioned Ahmed’s promotional video with CAIR’s co-founder, Hamas supporter Nihad Awad, who denies Israel’s right to exist.
Conversely, the very same media pushed a hard Islamophobia narrative when covering Van Duyne, Irving’s conservative mayor. Nevermind she balanced the city’s budget, increased property values and delivered AAA ratings from Moody’s and Standard & Poors during one of the weakest American economies, progressives meant to malign her as an “anti-Muslim Republican,” marginalize her for supporting law enforcement, and mock her patriotism.
Hyperlinks in “Clock Boy” pick up stories often route back to the Dallas Morning News, the apparent mouthpiece of the progressive narrative. The outlet pounced on Van Duyne for backing Irving school officials and the police department following Mohamed’s Sept. 14 arrest. The Dallas newspaper has been pretty free range in knocking Van Duyne, although the mere mention of Ahmed’s previous school discipline issues or his alleged uncooperativeness while under arrested get treated like sacrilege.
The newspaper slammed Van Duyne over anything, even an edited Facebook post on Sept. 16. She added a hopeful “we can all learn from this week’s events and the student, who has obvious gifts, will not feel at all discouraged from pursuing his talent in electronics and engineering.” The news sleuths found this suspect.
This hogwash against Van Duyne started earlier this year over an Islamic Tribunal using Sharia law that emerged in Dallas. Van Duyne questioned the non-profit organization claiming to be voluntary and for “non-binding dispute resolution” in family, workplace and business disputes. Islamic and media critics branded Van Duyne Islamophobic over her support for proposed state legislation, American Laws for American Courts (ALAC). As a symbolic gesture to uphold U.S. and Texas-based laws, the City of Irving passed an ALAC resolution only by 5-to-4 votes. The Dallas newspaper then attacked the mayor as a “hero among a fringe movement” because she supported the laws of the land.
On Sept. 15, Irving ISD superintendent Jose Parra and/or MacArthur High School Principal Daniel Cummings sent a parental letter in response to Mohamed’s arrest. Cummings wrote: “we want you to be aware that the Irving Police Department responded to a suspicious-looking item on campus yesterday,” reporting the item did not post any danger. The principal emphasized that the high school was cooperating fully with the ongoing police investigation “in accordance with the Irving ISD Student Code of Conduct and applicable laws.”
Cummings recommended that families talk to their children about the Student Code of Conduct and not bring “prohibited items” to school, also touching on the importance of “see something, in cases of perceived suspicious behavior.”
No one skewered these these gentlemen for their official public positions but Van Duyne received vile, misogynist, and sexually violent email and social media threats.
Breitbart Texas reported zero tolerance policies, not Islamophobia or racism, were behind the clockmeister’s arrest and subsequent suspension. Even the Associated Press agreed. Still, CAIR Dallas spokeswoman Alia Salem insisted this never would happen to a teen named “Jimmy,” even though the Texas Monthly reported Irving ISD sent more students into the juvenile justice system than all but four other districts in the 2013-14 year, punishing 1,463 students for making a perceived “terroristic threat” that school year. Actually, Ahmed Mohamed met the same fate as his peers for violating a stringent Chapter 37 of the Texas Education Code, 1995 Safe Schools Act, and Student Code of Conduct.
On Sept. 16, CAIR hosted a press conference on the front lawn of the Mohamed’s Irving residence where they told their version of the story. Federal privacy regulations for minors muzzled the Irving school and police from disclosing their side. On Sept. 23, Van Duyne said the Irving teen’s family should let the school release all information about the incident. “This is one side of the story,” she said, “but the other side of the story is not coming out.”
This remains true. The family has not signed a release waiver to make this possible.
Despite the vitriol against her, Van Duyne pondered: “Why people think this is hatred or bigotry is beyond me. We live in the most diverse zip code in America.”
Irving, ranks as the fifth safest U.S. city with a population of over 200,000 in 2013. It is the 14th largest U.S. city of its size nationwide. The demographic breakdown reflects 71.7% of its residents as Hispanic, 12.8% Black, 9.6% White, 3.3% Asian, 1.3% American-Indian, an 1.4% other. In 2013, the North Dallas Gazette reported 30,000-40,000 of those residents were Muslim. Irving is a profile in diversity, not bigotry.
Texas state Rep. Kenneth Sheets (R-Dallas) told Breitbart Texas, especially in light of such media bashing, “Mayor Van Duyne has shown immense courage, conviction, and I’m proud to call her a friend.” So is grassroots favorite Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving), who called her a fearless leader and a fighter. Both elected state officials pointed to her unwavering commitment in defending Constitutional rights and conservative principles.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.