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Every Wednesday I anxiously await the arrival of this paper and immediately turn to the Opinion page to see what left-wing obfuscation Tom Zirpoli is purveying. I write regularly to refute it. Today is no different.

Zirpoli has continued the myth that Ahmed Mohamed was arrested solely because he is a Muslim. Poppycock! The young fellow was detained only because he brought a contraption to school that resembled a bomb and he would not cooperate. Ahmed insisted it was a new-fangled clock that he had invented. His teacher told him to put it away so as to not incite panic of the less enlightened. He refused. One thing led to another and the police were called. Ahmed stonewalled them, so he was detained. So where is the discrimination here? It's against the law to present a fake bomb, just as it is a crime to perpetrate a bomb hoax on an airplane. This is true for any offender, Muslim or not.

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Zirpoli is a member of academia. One would assume he respects other scholars in the field. Thomas Talbot who is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California and a medical technology and virtual reality expert said that Ahmed's "invention" is a fraud and nothing more than an old digital clock with its plastic case removed. A YouTube contributor demonstrated just how this fraud was pulled off by disassembling such a clock and putting it in a case similar to the one used by Ahmed. It took him all of 20 seconds!

For this innovative con, Ahmed was invited to the White House by another of my favorite charlatans, to the Facebook corporate offices by Mark Zuckerberg, who should not be so easily bamboozled, and even to NASA. Perhaps Ahmed can help them by fashioning a rocket to Mars from a dog food can. He has even received scholarship offers from colleges apparently charmed by his skills in the deception sciences. I think the young phenom might have been the lucky recipient of some convenient narrative-fulfilling preferential treatment ginned up by the confused progressive left.

The apparent gist of Zirpoli's column is that conservative haters, and somehow Texas in particular, discriminate against Muslims' religion. I invite Mr. Zirpoli to review his library of opinion pieces regarding Catholicism. As one who has refuted each of his assaults on my religion, I wonder about Zirpoli's selective definition of religious freedom.

Cal Pierce

Hampstead

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