American-Born ‘ISIS Bride’ Denied US Citizenship by Federal Judge
A US District Court Judge has turned down the request of the woman known as the “ISIS bride” and declared that she is not a US citizen.
As reported by BuzzFeed News, her specific request was to return to the US from a Syrian refugee camp.
Further, according to the court, Hoda Muthana, 25, and her 2-year-old son (born in ISIS territory) are not eligible for financial support from her father, a former Yemeni diplomat living in the US. Should he try to aid her, he will become subject to charges of material support for a terrorist.
Specifically, District Court Judge Reggie Walton ruled that despite Muthana’s 1994 birth in New Jersey as the daughter of a dismissed foreign diplomat who at the time of her birth still had diplomatic status, US regulations do not guarantee her birthright citizenship status. That is because she was born under the jurisdiction of another country.
Query:The Constitution says that any person born or naturalized within the territorial boundaries of the US is a citizen of the US. Now, if Muthana was born within another nation’s embassy or consul located within US territory — technically their not US “sovereign territory” — then wouldn’t she be a US citizen? Again, the plots of land upon which foreign embassies and consuls sit inside the US are considered and treated as “belonging” not to the US but to the nation-states they represent. On the other hand, what does her father’s status as a diplomat matter if she was born outside the embassy and on US soil? Wouldn’t she be considered as having been “born” in the US?
As for the US State Department’s position in this matter, acting on orders from Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State said this back in February:
“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 US passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States. We continue to strongly advise all US citizens not to travel to Syria.”
(Muthana had burned her US passport upon arrival in ISIS territory in 2014).
Muthana’s attorney, Christina Jump, told BuzzFeed News that she will likely appeal Judge Walton’s decision and “pursue any additional options which may be available solely to [her] child.”
Muthana left Alabama in November of 2014 and settled in territory under ISIS control. After three marriages (two of which ended with the battlefield deaths of her husband-jihad fighters, and the third in divorce), she “escaped” to a Kurdish refugee camp with her 2-year-old son in late 2018, per the report.
On Twitter, she became one of the most vocal and militant members of so-called “ISIS Twitter.” She regularly exhorted American Muslims to do drive-by shootings, vehicle attacks, and otherwise terrorize Americans throughout the US, according to BuzzFeed News.
Now, she blames her past bad behavior on basically the old infamous “youthful indiscretion” syndrome, and hopes that America, the land of her birth, will forgive her and allow her to come back “home.”
“I was really young and ignorant,” Muthana told The Guardian last February.
“I believe that America gives second chances. I want to return, and I’ll never come back to the Middle East. America can take my passport and I wouldn’t mind.”
The “young and dumb” defense does not fly especially when one is credibly accused of encouraging drive-by shootings, bombings, and similarly violent acts of mass destruction — and particularly when the evidence against you is in your own publicly disseminated writings.
No matter how “patriotic” you may think you are or claim to be, one’s “American-ness,” does not really hit home until you step outside the borders of “America.” I’ve traveled the world, including all over Western Pacific Ocean, West Asia, the South Pacific, Australia, South America — all courtesy of the US Navy. I have also traveled to West Africa several times on my own dime. The first thing I learn in whatever country I find myself is that I am an “American” — whether I want to be or not. Why? How? Because I am not anything else.
Had this young woman not become enamored with ISIS, she probably could have lived out her life within the US as an American citizen. But again, being young and dumb does not excuse renunciation of your birthplace, encouraging mass violence against your once fellow citizens, “escaping” to enemy territory, and burning your passport.
She now is a woman without a country.
Thus, I have no real sympathy for her. But her two-year-old son is innocent in all of this; and I do blame her for ruining his life before it’s really even begun.