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Just Say No

Two related news stories this week offer a glimmer of hope that, at long last, the Western democracies are finally putting their foot down regarding Muslim terrorists who want to return to their "home" countries after fighting for the Islamic State. In both cases, they are women. And in both cases, they've been told to enjoy the Middle East, because that's where they'll be staying for a while.

The first is a charming "British teenager" named Shamima Begum, seen at 15 in the photo above, who:

moved from London to Syria four years ago to join ISIS, has said she was "a bit shocked" to learn that the UK plans to strip her of her British citizenship to prevent her from returning home. Speaking from a refugee camp in Syria, the 19-year-old told  CNN affiliate ITV that it was "kind of heartbreaking to read" a copy of the Home Office letter sent to her parents informing them of its decision. Begum, who gave birth over the weekend and is seeking a return to Britain, called the move "hard to swallow" and described it as "a bit unjust on me and my son."

The decision has sparked a debate about the legality behind it. A spokesman for the Home Office told CNN that the Home Secretary can deprive someone of their British citizenship "where it would not render the individual stateless."

Begum's family is of Bangladeshi origin, according to former chief superintendent for the Metropolitan Police, Dal Bab, who has been in contact with the family. However the Bangladesh foreign ministry said in a statement that Begum is not a Bangladeshi citizen, nor has she ever visited the country.

As I like to say on Twitter: Gee, that's too damn bad.

Hashi Mohamed -- a lawyer who helped write a report into deprivation of nationality with the UK's previous reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson -- told CNN that the attempt to revoke Begum's citizenship was an "unprecedented" reworking of British immigration law. Mohamed said [Home Secretary Sajid] Javid seemed to be relying on a section in the  2014 Immigration Act, which states that nationality can be revoked if there are "reasonable grounds for believing that the person is able, under the law of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom, to become a national of such a country or territory."

Case No. 2 concerns an "American" woman from Alabama with the typical Deep South name of  Hoda Muthana:

President Trump said Wednesday the United States would not re-admit an American-born woman who traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State and now wants to come home. The woman, Hoda Muthana, does not qualify for citizenship and has no legal basis to return to the country, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

In 2014, Ms. Muthana, then a 20-year-old student in Alabama, traveled to Turkey, hiding her plans from her family. She told them she was heading to a university event. In fact she was smuggled into Syria, where she met up with the Islamic State and began urging attacks in the West. Now, with the militant group driven out of Syria, Ms. Muthana says she is deeply sorry, but American officials appeared intent on closing the door to her return.

All together now: gee, that's too damn bad. Although apologists for Muthana, such as NPR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the New York Times refer to her as if she were a real American, in fact -- as the child of a diplomat who just so happened to have been born here -- she's not.

Mr. Pompeo issued a statement declaring that she “is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States.” Mr. Pompeo said Ms. Muthana did not have “any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States.”

Mr. Pompeo’s statement did not offer a rationale for why the State Department does not consider Ms. Muthana a citizen. But American officials seem to be hinging their argument against allowing her back in on an exception in the law. Ms. Muthana’s father was a Yemeni diplomat, and children born in the United States to active diplomats are not bestowed birthright citizenship, since diplomats are under the jurisdiction of their home countries.

On the other hand, he said, if her father was an accredited diplomat at the time of her birth, then Ms. Muthana would have been a permanent resident — not a citizen. In that case, he said, the government could have grounds to bar her from re-entry, though she could be eligible for a hearing.

There are circumstances, Mr. Leopold said, in which the government can revoke citizenship, such as a conviction for an act of treason. But taking an oath of allegiance to a terrorist group or committing a crime like providing one with material support would not be enough.

Hassan Shibly, attorney for Hoda Muthana, the Alabama woman who left home to join the Islamic State group in Syria. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Unreal. Since 2001 the United States has been at war with various Muslim terrorists drawn from around the globe, including some born here in the U.S. (Obama even killed one of them without due process.) But so far down the road to cultural relativism have we traveled that there is a sizable contingent on the hate-America-first domestic Left who would have us regard actions like Muthana's as a kind of charming youthful hijinks, and one that we should quickly forgive and forget -- after all, these are women with small children!

Add to this the characteristically Muslim sense of offended entitlement -- they seem to believe they not only have a "religious" duty to destroy America but that it is also unsporting of us not to give them free rein to do so. I've long characterized the modern Left as a suicide cult, embracing the death cult of Islam in a classic sado-masochistic relationship. The problem is, they want to take us with them before we go, and thus have weaponized terms like "racism," "diversity" and "tolerance."

Saying no to these two women may seem cruel (although not as cruel as ISIS fighters sawing off heads and burning captives alive). But there are times when it's even crueler to be kind, and this is one of them. Until Islam learns it is not entitled to its stealth takeover of the West through a combination of terror and lawfare -- and that it's not "jingoistic" for us to fight back by any means necessary (to use one of the Left's favorite phrases) -- we're going to have cases like these. The time to draw the line is now.