It could be a whole new trend, drug dealers against blasphemy: Jason Brown, according to the Associated Press, is the “37-year-old leader of the AHK gang,” and “could be heard on secret FBI recordings speaking admiringly about beheadings by the Islamic State group.” Brown, also known as Abdul Ja’Me, said that if anyone insulted Muhammad, “his head gotta go.”
The illustrious Brown’s AHK represents a convergence between drug trafficking and Islam. According to prosecutors, AHK deals drugs all over Chicago, and is “comprised of former members of the Black P-Stone, Gangster Disciples and Four Corner Hustlers who converted to Islam, the court filings say. The gang requires all new members to convert.”
The new Muslims of AHK display the zeal that is common to converts in general. Brown “handed over $500 on three occasions this year to someone he believed would wire it to an Islamic State fighter.” He also talked about traveling to the Islamic State’s domains himself.
Above all, he and his comrades picked up on the fact that jihadists have used drugs to fund their efforts for years. Years ago, in his study of the Taliban, journalist Ahmed Rashid reported: “Abdul Rashid, the head of the Taliban’s anti-drugs control force in Kandahar, spelt out the nature of his unique job. He is authorized to impose a strict ban on the growing of hashish, ‘because it is consumed by Afghans and Muslims.’ But, Rashid tells me without a hint of sarcasm, ‘Opium is permissible because it is consumed by kafirs [unbelievers] in the West and not by Muslims or Afghans.’ This seems to have been a common view among the Taliban. Another Taliban named Khaled asked, ‘Who cares if heroin is wreaking havoc in the West? It doesn’t matter; they aren’t Muslims.’”
And in December 2017, Politico revealed that “in its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States.”
Now Jason Brown/Abdul Ja’Me show the other side of the equation: drug dealers becoming Muslims. They may be motivated in part to convert by the same sharp dichotomy between believers and unbelievers that led Taliban member Khaled to dismiss concerns about the human damage that the heroin he was selling was causing in the West. “Muhammad is the apostle of Allah,” says the Qur’an, and “those who follow him are merciful to one another, ruthless to unbelievers” (48:29). What better way to manifest that ruthlessness than by getting those unbelievers hooked on deadly drugs that would drain their wealth and destroy their health?
The AP explains how Abdul Ja’Me got started on this path: “while in prison in Georgia on a gun conviction, Brown became an ardent follower of an Islamic scholar who called for Muslims to fight nonbelievers….After his release in 2018, he sought to persuade gang recruits to also back the Islamic State group.”
The AP doesn’t see fit to tell us whether this “Islamic scholar who called for Muslims to fight nonbelievers” was a fellow inmate or a visiting Muslim cleric; he could have been either one. The Qur’an contains numerous exhortations to fight unbelievers (see, for example, 2:191, 4:89, 9:5, 9:29), so it isn’t hard to find some Muslims who, away from media cameras and microphones, readily avow this obligation, contrary to the soothing propaganda about “the religion of peace” with which we are inundated on a regular basis.
These teachings lead to the recurring phenomenon of converts to Islam like Jason Brown getting the idea that their new religion commands them to carry out acts of violence against non-Muslims. Last summer in Ohio, a convert to Islam plotted a jihad massacre at an Independence Day parade and scouted other targets. In France in October, a convert to Islam murdered four people after exchanging texts with his wife, exhorting her to “follow our beloved prophet Mohamed and reflect on Qur’an.” In September in Missouri, a Muslim U.S. Army veteran targeted military bases, federal buildings, and Wall Street for jihad massacres. And so on and on and on.
Yet authorities in the U.S. and Europe remain resolutely incurious about this recurring phenomenon. There have been absolutely no studies whatsoever of why so many converts to Islam turn to jihad violence when Islam is, according to official dogma, a religion of peace. And so, since authorities are so determined to ignore the root cause of this, there will be many more Jason Browns.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.