You probably recall the story of 25-year-old “ISIS bride” Hoda Muthana. She left her home in Alabama back when ISIS was building their caliphate in Syria and Iraq, traveling overseas to eventually marry three ISIS fighters. One of the three eventually fathered a daughter with Muthana before leaving her a widow in a Syrian refugee camp. She and her family have been suing to allow her to come back home since early this year, though she lost her first round in court. Now she’s making her pitch to the media for some mercy. (NBC News)
An American-born woman who once urged jihadists in America to “go on drivebys, and spill all of their blood,” says she “regrets every single thing” and believes she should be given the option to return to the United States with her young son.
“Anyone that believes in God believes that everyone deserves a second chance, no matter how harmful their sins were,” Hoda Muthana, 25, said in a wide-ranging interview with NBC News from a refugee camp in Syria where she and her 2-year-old son, Adam, live in a tent.
While I would normally feel some empathy for a young, single mother caught up in a war-torn region, Muthana is something of a special case. She is appealing to all of the God-fearing people in America to understand that she’s made some mistakes, but the charitable thing to do would be to offer her a second chance as God would intend. Pardon me if I find these arguments unpersuasive.
First of all, I’m not sure what sort of god you’re talking about if you run off to join one of the arguably most evil institutions in the history of our species. I’m also unclear what god you think endorses calls for your like-minded terrorists to “spill all of our blood.” Is that the sort of god we’re supposed to be listening to for guidance on this subject?
Also, it remains unclear whether or not Muthana is even our problem. Having been born in the United States as the child of a foreign diplomat, she’s probably not even a citizen, to begin with. That’s certainly the position that the Trump administration has been taking. And if we don’t have a legal obligation to her on those grounds, it’s tempting to say that she should stay with her new friends in Syria and see how that works out for her.
But even with all of that said, we should probably consider allowing her to fly back here anyway. But the deal would need to come with several caveats. First of all, she should be prepared to be met by law enforcement officials as soon as she lands on American soil and be taken into custody. She has family members here who could be on hand to take custody of her child.
As Ed Morrissey pointed out when this story first broke in February, legal scholars have already made a strong case that Muthana could be credibly charged with “attempted material support of terrorism, material support of terrorism, and a conspiracy count.”
That could add up to a tidy sixty years or so behind bars. Or, failing that, we could just toss her in Gitmo for a similar period. And then, after paying her debt to society for her crimes, we can talk about second chances. Sound like a fair deal, young lady?