NBC News wants you to pity Hoda Muthana, and who are you, O mortal, to answer back to NBC News? Hoda is a simple, down-to-earth, hijab-wearing Alabama gal who decided one day to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State (ISIS). But hey, everyone makes mistakes, right? “I want to have my own car,” pines Hoda, and how could you possibly resist such an all-American appeal?
Only the most grudging “Islamophobe” would dare to note that Hoda’s desire to have her own car is downright chilling in light of her earlier call for Muslims in America to “go on drive-bys, and spill all of their blood” – that is, the blood of the unbelievers that Hoda can’t wait to return and live among now.
But surely Hoda Muthana herself wouldn’t take her brand new car and use it for one of those drive-bys she wanted, would she? Of course not: she says she “regrets every single thing” she said in those halcyon days of the Islamic State, and thinks it is only just to let her come back to her Sweet Home Alabama: “Anyone that believes in God believes that everyone deserves a second chance, no matter how harmful their sins were.”
NBC News certainly agrees. Hoda, NBC tells us, spoke to them from a “refugee camp in Syria where she and her 2-year-old son, Adam, live in a tent.” She “now claims to reject the extremist ideology that she once espoused so freely online,” but that isn’t good enough for “Islamophobic” American officials: she faces, says NBC, “an uphill battle to be allowed back into the U.S.”
Meanwhile, the poor girl is suffering:
And simply getting by day to day is a struggle, she says. She says she finds it “hard to get up in the morning” and, despite being moved from the larger al-Hawl refugee camp for her own safety, is scared of retribution from whom she calls the more radical women around her. She also claimed to be afraid of speaking out, saying it could result in her becoming a target. “I am risking my life doing these types of interviews,” she said.
Not only that: “I’m scared of my son being here. We can’t afford bottled water, so we have to drink the tank water and … it causes stomach aches.” And fumes from oil fields in the vicinity give her and Adam headaches “every day, every hour almost.”
According to NBC, Hoda Muthana’s plight, her fear, her difficulty getting out of bed, her stomach aches, her headaches, her day-to-day struggle, is the fault of – who else? – President Trump, who said several months ago that he had ordered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to allow Hoda to reenter the United States. The Trump administration contends that Hoda is not an American citizen, for while she was born in New Jersey, she is the daughter of a Yemeni government official who was only here temporarily, and so is not entitled to birthright citizenship. Pompeo also bluntly stated the core of the problem with her returning to Alabama: “She’s a terrorist.”
Hoda frames herself differently. She wants us to believe she is just an American girl who wants an American life: “I want my son to be around my family, I want to go to school, I want to have a job and I want to have my own car.”
Aww, who could refuse such a deft tugging at the heartstrings? Well, maybe those who are aware of what Hoda Muthana said before she was beset by all her aches and pains. Among the things she wrote on social media were “Terrorize the kuffar [non-Muslims] at home.” And: “Men and women altogether. You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping! Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriot, Memorial etc Day parades Kill them.” And: “We have men (and women!) who love death as ardently as you love your lives! I was watching an American documentary on a battle in Afghanistan and the Americans are such cowards. Crying and shaking on the battlefield and saying, ‘our aim is to get everyone home where they belong.’ While our men’s aim on the battlefield is to reunite with our Lord. Our honor is in jihad, either victory or shahadah [Islamic martyrdom]. These men cry for their lives while we cry for our death (shahadah)!”
What assurance can Hoda Muthana give us that she is sincere when she says that she doesn’t believe those things anymore, and will pose no danger to Americans if she is tooling around the streets of Hoover, Ala., in her shiny new car? None. And that’s the main reason why she should never be allowed to return.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.