Hoda Muthana: The Mistake Of A Lifetime

Victorianna Beels, Business Manager

At the young age of 19, a woman from Hoover, Alabama flew to Syria with the intentions to join ISIS, the “Islamic State”. Hoda Muthana is this woman. Now, five years, three husbands, and a child later, she begs to come back to the U.S.

Now that this has become a popular topic among Americans, many begin to ask the question: Should Hoda Muthana be allowed to come back into the United States?

I took this question to the L’Anse Creuse High School- North Diversity Club, sponsored by Mrs. Esshaki.

One of the common themes of the discussion was the fact of it being her decision. Muthana made the decision to fly to Syria to join a terrorist group, thus putting herself in danger. You would think that people would know that it is dangerous to fly half way across the globe to join a terrorist group…right? A lot of times, this is not the case. So then if that is not the case, then why do they join these terrorist groups? Bhuvan Mathur ‘19 shared, “Not to become a terrorist, to try to find brothers and sisters. Most propaganda over there is saying that the U.S is bad, so they should believe the propaganda. The propaganda preaches that they are a beautiful thing that can set you free, and people believe it.” When Muthana left in 2014 to join this radicalistic group, she did not really know what she was getting herself into. Muthana wrote, “I was a naïve, angry, and arrogant young woman… seeing blood shed up close changed me.”

Another really good topic brought up at the meeting was the publicity that her action is bringing to America and ISIS. JoAnna Alexander ‘21 asked, “Won’t this being on the news bring, you know, drama?” What happens if the Islamic State sees all this publicity around her escaping their group and her trying to come back to the U.S? This brings up a safety concern for not only Muthana and her son; but, it also brings about a safety concern for the United States as a whole. There is always the possibility of her return creating a breach in our safety. “She may not be telling the truth. It makes me very concerned about my safety,” Nina Goodwin ’20 says. This is a very common theme with this story as well. Many people who have heard about this topic feel the same way. We have no proof that she is indeed telling the government the truth and genuinely wants to come back. As for if ISIS could possibly see this news, they could potentially harm her, her son, and America.

So, should Hoda Muthana be able to come back into the United States? The opinion amongst the Diversity Club members was pretty split. For those who decided that Muthana and her son should be able to come back in, there should be consequences for her actions. Sarah Ip ‘19 states, “If she is willing to take up her actions and go through due process for what she has done wrong, she should be allowed to be let back in.” As for those who believe she should not be allowed to come back, many of them believe that she made her own decisions and in the process, broke the United States’ trust and betrayed the country. Kiersten Tabacchini ‘21 expresses, “She shouldn’t because she betrayed the country. Others from dangerous countries who did not put themselves in danger who seek refuge aren’t being let back in.”

In the end, not all Muslim people are members of these radical groups. Actually it is a very, very small fraction of people who actually are followers to these groups. It is wrong to subject an entire group of people just because a super small percentage of them made bad decisions.