In today’s highly political and divisive climate, it is odd to see both sides of the aisle agree on any issue. In a weird twist, a certain level of unity has been formed between both conservatives and liberals on one important issue: the ISIS mom, Hoda Muthana.
Muthana is a 24-year-old woman from Alabama who fled to join ISIS five years ago, but now she wishes to re-enter the U.S. and surrender to police custody. As one would guess, the initial response to her plea has been negative with President Donald Trump tweeting Muthana "is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States," according to Kate Sullivan of CNN.
In a rare move, even hardcore Democrats and liberals have come to agree with Trump. It seems like America is more or less united in their refusal to accept Muthana back onto American soil.
This is where I join the party in a somewhat awkward position. My gut reaction was in line with everyone else in America, but the more I think about this case, the more I find myself disagreeing. I hate to say it, but I think we have to allow Muthana back into America.
Let me first say that I am not defending her actions or her decision to join ISIS. I shed no sympathy or understanding for anyone who could join such a barbaric group for any reason. Nor am I saying she should be welcomed back into the U.S. with open arms.
The minute she lands on American soil, a pair of handcuffs should await her. What I am saying, though, is no matter what she has done or said, she is still an American citizen. She has a right to a free and fair trial.
While our emotions want her to lie in the bed she made for herself, the constitution rises above our emotions and wants. According to constitutioncenter.org, the 14th amendment of the Constitution clearly states, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States… are citizens… No state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
In Muthana case, she was born into the rights of all American citizens by being born in New Jersey and raised in Alabama. As such, her citizenship and her ability to freely travel to and from her home country cannot be revoked without her day in court.
As the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, which is representing Muthana in her lawsuit to reenter the United States, stated "citizenship is a core right under the Constitution, and once recognized should not be able to be unilaterally revoked by tweet," according to Kate Sullivan of CNN.
The only reason I make this argument is not because she has a child, or because she was young or because she is remorseful. I believe those facts are irrelevant to this case. She could have 99 children, had joined ISIS as a toddler and could single handedly defeat ISIS herself in an anger-filled rage.
None of those facts change the cold truth that she assisted a terrorist organization in killing millions. I only argue she should be allowed back in the country so she can be tried in a court of law.
Muthana understands she will not be able to live happily ever after in America as, according to Dugald McConnell of CNN, "Her family understands that she may be prosecuted, believes in the legal system, and only asks for due process."
If Muthana truly is willing to surrender immediately after entering the U.S., then as a citizen, she has the right to do so and face the judgment of the legal system. If we are able to try her fairly, then it would be a small step to bring justice to all those she has hurt. I know it goes against your instincts, but the Constitution reigns supreme.