Letters to the Editor for March 16, 2019
March 16, 2019
Denying forgiveness to Muthana is rejecting Christian values
American ISIS bride Hoda Muthana wants to return from Syria. Guy Farmer agrees with Trump that she shouldn't be allowed to come home because on the day of her birth her father was a U.N. diplomat exempt from U.S. citizenship laws. Farmer believes "we should slam our golden door right in Ms. Muthana's photogenic face."
Here are the facts. Hoda was born in Hackensack, N.J., on Oct. 28, 1994. Her father, Ahmed Ali Muthana, left the Yemeni diplomatic service on Sept. 1, 1994. According to the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations, diplomatic immunity ends when the diplomatic position ends.
But in 2016, Obama's State Department changed the rules retroactively. It found that since the U.S. wasn't notified of Ahmed's status change until February 1995, he hadn't been "within the jurisdiction of the United States" at the time of Hoda's birth, notwithstanding the fact that she'd been issued U.S. passports in 2005 and 2014. The government, revoking natural born citizenship by changing the rules 22 years after the fact, is breaking new legal ground, especially as it's based on a technicality that had never been an issue before.
ISIS was founded on a particularly violent and revenge-oriented interpretation of Islam. Christianity, by contrast, is devoted to forgiveness and redemption. Hoda Muthana accepts responsibility for her teenage mistakes, is willing to face justice and is asking us for forgiveness and redemption. If our response is to slam the golden door in her face, whose values have we embraced, theirs or ours?
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