Social outcast dating
Even though she threatened my life in our first exchanges, and even though I never saw a social media post from her in four years where she expressed anything less than total allegiance to the so-called Islamic State, I can’t see Muthana as a one-dimensional monster.
Here was a sheltered young woman who was given her first cellphone upon graduation from high school in 2013 and with it her first chance to express herself on her own terms.
But Muthana’s current legal case is unique: The government argues she wasn’t a US citizen to begin with, and President Donald Trump named her in a tweet demanding she not be allowed back.
In the following weeks, Muthana began tweeting about her life and encouraged others to make the journey — which she, like many other ISIS members, referred to as a hijrah, meaning pilgrimage or immigration — and join the terror group themselves.A place to belong, and a greater purpose — though the one she ultimately found was utterly misguided.Her tweets were an extension of herself, performing what she perceived as the best version of herself, optimizing herself for the unforgiving seductions of social media. In a recent interview, Muthana said that seeing a Twitter friend make it to Syria was what drove her to join ISIS. Soon after her arrival, another young woman tweeted happily that she had finally joined the terror group — and there she met Muthana, her Twitter friend: After identifying Muthana through her tweets in 2015, what solidified my interest in her story was one particular photo of her and her siblings, a #tbt post on her brother’s Instagram account.She has become a symbol of a new debate about the young people — and, in particular, the women — who were radicalized by ISIS. And more broadly, in this age of online radicalization, who has traveled beyond redemption? I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I do know Muthana better than most of the reporters asking them.I have spent nearly four years tracking Muthana, who fled her Hoover, Alabama, home in 2014 to join ISIS in Syria, across various social media platforms and communicating with her in private messages while she was a member of the brutal terror group.
Search for social outcast dating:
And as I dove deeper into Muthana’s life, I saw her as a young woman caught between two worlds, a child of immigrants frustrated by the restrictions they placed on her and her sister while watching her brothers seemingly do whatever they pleased.