Hoda Muthana, 24, of Birmingham, Alabama, has had three jihadist husbands since she left the U.S. to join the now virtually defeated ISIS in 2015. Two were killed in battle, one of them leaving her with an 18-month-old son. She was recruited by the Islamist scum over the Internet. Now, she tells The Guardian, she wants to be forgiven and returned to America.
She currently resides in a refugee camp in Syria. At first glance, especially after she in 2015 encouraged Americans to kill other Americans, as in “Go on drivebys, and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive over all of them…”, the proper response would seem to be Piss off, witch!
But, she was nineteen years old at the time and not a lot can be said for the wisdom of any nineteen-year-old. At nineteen I thought a proper breakfast consisted of bourbon and a bong hit and thought Atlas Shrugged was the Bible. She also seems not to have participated in any terrorist acts or combat herself. Does she get a second chance?
Her lame explanation of her recruitment because of parental strictness notwithstanding, I think the correct decision is, yes. Let her come back home.
If a generation ago we could forgive Vietnam draft dodgers who ran away from their duty, we can forgive one dumb young mother who fell prey to religious extremism. Yes, some would say, it was wrong to forgive those who ran to Canada and it’s wrong to forgive her now.
But to prove F. Scott Fitzgerald right, in his often misquoted line, “there are no second acts in American lives,” we can accurately look to the real quote from his 1932 work My Lost City. It is, “I once thought that there were no second acts in American lives, but there certainly was to be a second act to New York’s boom days.” He was referencing pre-depression Manhattan and the city in the midst of the turndown. Fitzgerald himself had quite a second act. Another reason he is our greatest writer.
So let it be with her. Let not one very stupid mistake define her life and the life of her infant son. In victory, as Churchill said, “Magnanimity“. Such befits a great people.