Six years ago, Hoda Muthana was a 20-year-old student in Alabama.
She lied to her family about a trip and joined the Islamic State in Syria. Once there, according to her, she was confined to a home of unwed women with only one way to escape: Marry a jihadist.
Muthana married two jihadists who died in action and gave birth to a son from one of them. She displayed disdain for the U.S. with social media messages calling for blood to be spilled and terrorist acts to be launched.
She even burned her passport on social media.
Four years later when the Islamic State was under assault, she and her son escaped to a refugee camp. She lives there today with some 1,500 such women and children from around the world.
And guess what?
She wants to come home to the U.S.
Muthana claims she was never involved in terrorist activity. Writer Amy Eskind noted in an article that terrorist expert Max Abrahms told People Magazine we would “probably never know her (Muthana’s) full range of activities.”
Muthana is claiming she was brainwashed and even accepts the fact that if returned to the U.S. she might have to spend some time in jail. She accepts this punishment because evidently time in the crossbar hotel here is better than a crowded refugee camp in Syria.
While Muthana has her claims, the U.S. has its own claims. Namely, because her father is a former Yemeni diplomat, she was never a U.S. citizen to begin with and her passport was issued in error.
With her family fighting legal battles for her return and appeals being exhausted, Muthana is hoping a documentary detailing her life and regrets will soften the U.S. stance.
I suppose everyone is sympathetic to the 4-year-old son she is trying to raise in a refugee camp. After all, we can’t pick our parents, terrorists of not. However, I doubt blaming mom and dad for being strict and claiming to be an introvert given your aggression in social media offers much credibility. Her sister was arrested with her husband a few months ago for allegedly attempting to board a cargo ship bound for the Middle East to join ISIS.
What Muthana is up against is an age-old theory: We must be held accountable for our actions. Life is about decisions. Sure, there is such thing as forgiveness. But forgiveness starts with self-reflection, an understanding of how your actions adversely affected others and genuine remorse.
If Muthana wants to ponder this while sitting in a refugee camp in Syria, perhaps she should consider the story of Le Ron Wilson. He was from Trinidad originally, but because of the love for his adopted country, he joined the U.S. army and served in Iraq. A roadside bomb killed him in 2007.
He was 18 years old.
Wilson paid the ultimate price for something he believed in. Muthana wants to make excuses for traveling around the world to disrupt a way of life she now wants to return to.
Le Ron Wilson made a life changing decision and died because of it.
Hoda Muthana made a life changing decision and must live with it.
Scott A. Wright is CEO and publisher of S.A.W. Advisors, LLC., dba Star Local Media.