Hoda Muthana: Trump should study the legal system

CBS’s Face the Nation ran an interview with American born ISIS convert Hoda Muthana and it sure seems like the intention is to make Muthana into a sympathetic character in light of an upcoming court decision on her immediate future expected Monday. Muthana, 24 years old, and her 18-month-old son are still in Syria awaiting permission to return to the United States. Her father filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C. against President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo and Attorney General Barr to make that happen after Trump’s initial refusal to allow her return entry. The father, Ahmed Ali Muthana claims the decision is unconstitutional.

Muthana is described as an ISIS bride. She left Alabama five years ago to travel to Syria in order to join the terrorists’ fight against America. Before leaving the country, she participated in distributing ISIS propaganda online through several social media accounts. She now claims she was brainwashed by the age of 19 and that is why she left in the first place. She lied to her parents as she told them in 2014 that she was going to Atlanta on a field trip in connection with her business class studies at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Her tuition reimbursement money when she withdrew from college was used instead to purchase her fare for her new life. Her first stop was Turkey before entering Syria.

Once she made it into Syria she married her first husband, then when he was killed, her second husband.

Here’s the thing, though. Hoda Muthana is not at all a sympathetic person. During her interview with CBS’s international reporter Charlie D’Agata she came off smug and defiant. When D’Agata asked her what she would say to President Trump about his declaration that she is no longer to be allowed into our country, as her actual American citizenship is in question, she replied, “I would tell him to study the legal system”, with a smirk on her face. It seems to me if a person is trying to ingratiate herself to the president and other administration officials who hold her fate in their hands, the last thing to do would be to come off as a smart-ass punk. Holding a toddler in her lap didn’t soften the effect of her remark.

Muthana’s American status as a citizen is questioned because though she was born in New Jersey and raised in Alabama, her father was in America as a Yemeni diplomat, not making her automatically a citizen at birth. Her father claims she was born after he left the diplomatic service. When she went to Syria, she gave up her American passport to ISIS but retained her American citizenship. Thus, she now claims full citizenship and all the rights that entails.

However, the Trump administration has determined, apparently unilaterally without taking any action in courts or formally moving to revoke Muthana’s citizenship, according to her father’s lawsuit, that New Jersey-born Muthana never qualified for U.S. citizenship because at the time of her birth her father was a diplomat.

A person born in the U.S. to a foreign diplomat is not subject to U.S. law and is also not automatically a U.S. citizen at birth, according to the Immigration and Nationality Act. But Ahmed Ali Muthana’s lawyers for the suit, the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, a Texas-based group, argue that Trump, Pompeo, and Barr are misinformed and that Muthana was in fact born after her father left diplomatic service.

Shibly, the family’s Florida-based legal representative, shared with USA TODAY an official U.N. document apparently substantiating this claim. The plaintiffs also argue that the U.S. immigration authorities previously accepted this document from the UN as the basis from which to issue Muthana a U.S. passport in 2005 and then renew it in 2014.

The plaintiffs argue further, citing the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside” – that only the courts can decide whether a diplomat and/or family members are immune from this jurisdiction, not a “unilateral determination by the government.”

She knows she has ruined her life and expects to serve time in prison once she returns to America. She regrets falling prey to ISIS but doesn’t regret that her decision to move to Syria also resulted in the birth of her son. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but I just don’t feel any warm and fuzzy feelings for her and her situation. While in Syria she used her social media accounts to call for the death of Americans.

“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..go on drive by’s + spill all of their blood or rent a big truck n drive all over them. Kill them,” Muthana wrote in a now-suspended Twitter account, according to a 2015 profile of her by BuzzFeed News.

She now says “I prefer America to anywhere else,” and even has the nerve to say she can help de-radicalize others if she’s allowed to do so after she’s back in America. See, she’s not so bad.

Muthana and her son are currently in a Kurd-run refugee camp in northern Syria. She’s been there since January. She assumed she wouldn’t have any trouble re-entering the U.S. (Again, the arrogance of this woman is mind-boggling.) The CBS reporter said Muthana didn’t realize that her case in court was to be decided Monday until he told her. Interesting. Nonetheless, if she is found to be eligible to return to America with her son under Constitutional provision, she should immediately be taken into federal custody.

What I didn’t hear from her was remorse. She says she ruined her life and ruined the future of her child. She never once said she was sorry for her actions or felt any remorse for wishing death to Americans. She never said she felt remorse for using social media against Americans by calling for acts of terrorism. It sounds as though she expected to sashay back into America and maybe serve a little jail time but that’s it. She should be tossed in jail and not let out. She deserves no sympathy. Dont’ fall for media outlets trying to act as though maybe she does.

You can watch a clip from the interview for yourself. She voices “regrets” but that’s as far as she goes. Her attorneys have told her not to talk about her terrorist activity. She smiles as she speaks.

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