Yesterday, Hoda Muthana, found out that stupidity and arrogance can be painful and, quite possibly, fatal.
Muthana is the 25-year-old Alabama woman who decided to drop out of college in November 2014 and use her tuition money to buy a one-way ticket to Syria to link up with ISIS. She isn’t the first. Apparently, there are a lot of women who think being a member of the harem of an ISIS fighter is the stuff of a Harlequin novel. She soon found out otherwise. She “married” a jihadi shortly after her arrival and was a widow by March 2015 thanks to the diligence of the Royal Jordanian Air Force. As ISIS collapsed she found time to marry two more jihadis, one of whom was killed in combat and the third she divorced, and give birth to a child. In January 2019, she surrendered to US troops in Syria and was turned over to local forces for imprisonment. It was about this time that she suddenly discovered that she really truly loved America. That would be a shock if you’d read her social media commentary before heading off to join the caliphate:
“Terrorize the kuffar [non-Muslims] at home.” And: “Men and women altogether. You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping! Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriot, Memorial etc Day parades Kill them.” And: “We have men (and women!) who love death as ardently as you love your lives! I was watching an American documentary on a battle in Afghanistan and the Americans are such cowards. Crying and shaking on the battlefield and saying, ‘our aim is to get everyone home where they belong.’ While our men’s aim on the battlefield is to reunite with our Lord. Our honor is in jihad, either victory or shahadah [Islamic martyrdom]. These men cry for their lives while we cry for our death (shahadah)!”
But even the Great Satan looks pretty attractive when you’re stuck in a prison camp in a Third World Sh** Hole and are keenly aware that any day you could be taken out and executed. So Muthana, despite having burned her US passport, claimed to be a US citizen and demanded to be repatriated. And the media, wants us to feel sorry for her:
Neither President Trump nor Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was keen on the idea.
I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019
Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States. We continue to strongly advise all U.S. citizens not to travel to Syria.
This is where the case gets interesting. Muthana was born in New Jersey. Her parents were Yemeni. So birthright citizenship, no? But her father was a Yemeni diplomat grifting at the UN. So no birthright citizenship, right? But her father was fired from his job and applied for and received political asylum before she was born. So birthright citizenship? And she had a US passport. So, naturally, the case went to court in the District of Columbia:
The woman who left the U.S. to join up with the Islamic State in 2014 is not an American citizen, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
Because Hoda Muthana, 25, is not a citizen, the U.S. has no obligation to let her return to America, Judge Reggie Walton ruled.
However, Ms. Muthana argued, her father’s diplomatic status had expired at the time of her birth, making her automatically a citizen.
Judge Walton rejected that claim, which lacked contemporaneous proof that Ahmed Ali Muthana had abandoned his diplomatic status or had it revoked by Yemen.
The judge also ruled that her father can’t send her money without violating the federal law on supporting terrorism.
There may be an appeal on this, but given the finding of fact by Judge Walton, Muthana would be well advised to get comfortable in her new surroundings.
When I was a kid, back when there were four networks available on your television set (three if your antenna couldn’t handle UHF) and Saturday morning cartoons were a thing, one of my favorites was Tooter Turtle. It was a morality tale set to animation. Each episode was basically the same. Tooter Turtle would be unhappy with his lot in life and wish to be something else (a cowboy–this was before we rightfully realized that cowboys are patriarchal, genocidal maniacs totally subservient to the worst instincts of toxic masculinity–a police officer, whatever). His foil, Mr. Wizard, would always reluctantly grant his wish. Inevitably, Tooter Turtle finds himself in a life-threatening situation and about to be deceased and he yells, “Mr. Wizard, I don’t want to be a [fill in the blank] anymore.” And poof! he’s back safe at home and gets a stern lecture about the folly of wishing to be something you’re not. As an aside, a friend of mine gained some measure of fame as he was breaking ice in the “Worm Pit” during Ranger School’s City Phase at 3 a.m. of a February morning by shouting “Mr. Wizard, I don’t want to be a Ranger anymore.” There wasn’t a set of dry underwear to be found in the entire camp.
This is Muthana’s problem in a nutshell. She wanted to be something more exciting than a girl going to college. She thought it would be fun and glamorous and the only people getting killed would be the kaffirs. Unfortunately for her in this scenario, there is no Mr. Wizard. The good news is that President Trump and Secretary Pompeo are doing the right thing in making her an object lesson in what happens when you turn your back on your country, carry out war against its interests, and then get in a tight spot.