Nearly seven years ago, Hoda Muthana left Alabama and became an ISIS bride. Now she is seeking to re-enter the U.S., but the Supreme Court announced Thursday it will not consider her lawsuit for re-entry.
Muthana was born in New Jersey and raised in Alabama. She was 20 years old and a college student when she left and traveled to Syria to join the terrorist group, as People reported.
She then married a succession of ISIS fighters (two of them were killed) and had a son with one of them. She openly celebrated on social media her terrorism and advocated violence. She burned her U.S. passport on social media and tweeted incendiary comments.
“America desrves (sic) everything it has coming to it, by Allah we will terrorise (sic) YOU! Until you submit to the Shariah” she tweeted.
“Spill all of their blood … or rent a big truck n drive over them. Kill them,” she also tweeted, according to People.
She has been trying to get back into the U.S. with her son, claiming citizenship since she was born in the states. Her legal team is the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, which said they will continue to fight for Muthana’s re-enty into the U.S. even now that the Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal they filed, according to the Washington Post.
While she was overseas, the government determined she was not a U.S. citizen, even though she had had a passport. The reason she is not a citizen is due to her father’s status as a diplomat for Yemen at the time of her birth, as Alabama News reported.
Her family then sued to try to enable Muthana’s return to the states.
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But in 2019, a federal judge confirmed the government’s assessment that Muthana was not a citizen. The judge ruled that children of diplomats are not entitled to birthright citizenship in the U.S., as the Associated Press reported.
Muthana expressed remorse in a documentary by filmmaker Alba Sotorra Clua called “The Return: Life After ISIS,” as People reported.
“When you are brainwashed, you don’t realize it until you snap out of it. I took everything too fast and too deep,” Muthana said.
She said in the documentary that her experience with ISIS was “this horrible way of life that I really regret for the rest of my life and that I wish I could just erase.”
She also said that she was never actually part of any jihad.
“I was not part of any type of jihad, never shot a gun, never used any weapons or anything,” Muthana said in 2019.
However, though Muthana said she regrets what she did, there are not many sympathetic to her plight.
“I’m not sympathetic. These women had agency. They’re not stupid,” Max Abrahms, a terrorism expert at Northeastern University, told People that same year. “They knew exactly what the Islamic State was all about. It was notorious for flaunting violence over social media.”
Yet despite all these setbacks and the overwhelmingly unsympathetic attitude toward Muthana, her lawyers have said they will continue to fight for her case.
“We intend to stand by Hoda and her son and their rights to citizenship. We do intend to keep working on her behalf,” her attorney Christina Jump said, as Alabama News reported.
While Muthana may be deeply regretful and may have even completely changed from the person she was when she went to become an ISIS bride, she is also responsible for her actions.
She was a 20-year-old, thinking, educated adult and she made a choice to get involved with ISIS. She was not kidnapped and forced into her circumstances; she chose them.
In addition, the law is the law. She is not a U.S. citizen, so she cannot claim a right to re-enter the states like a citizen. She now has to abide by the law and the consequences of her conscious choices.
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