ART BY TIFFANY CHAN
It is a country that has become almost synonymous to freedoms, whether they be of the press or of speech. It is a country to which citizens in countries across the world flee to seek limitless opportunities and achieve their dreams. But this melting pot of a country, with its newest threat to freedom, is in deep conflict over granting citizenship to an outright terrorist.
On Feb. 4, federal judge Reggie Walton declined to speed up a lawsuit filed on behalf of Hoda Muthana, an American-born woman who joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2014. Despite Muthana being born in Alabama, the government does not declare her a legal citizen due to her father being discharged from diplomacy shortly after her birth. Though the majority of her family lives in the U.S., the Trump administration has decided that she would not be allowed access into the country. On the other hand, Muthana reasons that she mainly wants to come back to the U.S. because of judge Walton’s views of encouragement to be allowed back in. The main factor still remains: should Muthana be granted access back into the country with a possibility of citizenship, or should her case be delayed further, causing a narrowing gap of opportunity for her to flee Syria, where she still remains in a detention center?
For the safety of our country and its people, the answer is obvious: Muthana should not be admitted back into the United States. For years after the infamous incident of 9/11, the American government has made various attempts in order to strengthen security through such ways as heightening airport security and possible warfare. By simply allowing Muthana to come back into the country, it can possibly hinder the high level of security that we in the U.S. are fortunate enough to have. Letting someone who is currently affiliated with ISIS into the country is already a sign for danger, as we do not know if she could be a spy or whether she has plans to threaten the country as a whole by using her connection with the notorious terrorist organization.
But these speculations about Muthana’s connections and motivations with ISIS are not the only troubling aspects of the court decision.
In fact, Muthana could be an immensely dangerous threat to the country, as shown through her questionable posts on social media, which act as war cries, are all the more reason for her to not be granted access. Even so, the posts are seen as both hateful and threatening, such as a post of hers that encourages Muslims living in America to go against their fellow citizens. With the constantly expressed hatred and anger for the U.S. and the entire world on a public platform, granting her access may cause outrage from citizens who have heard of the outrageous posts she has made in the past four years.
Considering the fact that she willingly joined an organization that is known for threatening and bestowing hatred upon a country of endless opportunities for many, Muthana’s declarations of wanting to return to the United States after a short-lived apology for her actions is nothing short of absurd. All actions, big or small, have their respectively intense consequences. Even if Muthana were to be admitted back from federal court resolving the case, she would face prosecution because of her support for ISIS. However, the possibility of even coming back into the country is illegal in her case, as her passport was canceled by the State Department in 2016.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Muthana was only for the purpose of her father wanting her to have the right of citizenship in order to send her money without violating the law. This reason alone is most definitely insufficient to make a case for her return. To make matters worse, her father also requested that judge Walton pass custody rights of Muthana and her son to the United States government in order to officially remove them from the detention center in which they are currently held. After all, only if Muthana is a recognized citizen of the United States will the Syrian detention camp agree to her release from camp.
If this second request does not sound absolutely unreasonable, then let’s put the proposed situation in perspective: a United States citizen who is a father to someone part of perhaps the greatest modern day threat to his country is asking for this country’s government to bring the threat closer into the country.
For judge Walton, a person representing the United States as a whole to allow such a blatantly disturbing case to pass would be completely and utterly damaging for both the country’s image as well as its citizens’ safety. As a country, we cannot allow such an unjust precedent to be set for the future case of similar leverage.
As a country, it is imperative to ensure the safety of our citizens. If this court case is to pass, it is indicative of a failing government system that may very well succumb to the threats of ex-citizens, one by one.