How Islam’s Drug Trade is Destroying Cities and Countries

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Iran has a serious drug problem. Afghanistan is a serious drug problem. What happens when they overlap? Hell on earth.

The number of drug users in Afghanistan is estimated to be as high as 1.6 million, or about 5.3 percent of the population, among the highest rates in the world. Nationwide, one in 10 urban households has at least one drug user, according to a recent report from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. In the city of Herat, it is one in five.

From 2005 to 2009, the use of opiates doubled, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, putting Afghanistan on par with Russia and Iran, and the number of heroin users jumped more than 140 percent. Most drug experts think the rate of drug use has only increased since then.

“This is a tsunami for our country,” said Dr. Ahmad Fawad Osmani, the director of drug demand reduction for the Ministry of Public Health. “The only thing our drug production has brought us is one million drug users.”

In rural areas, the problem is expected to be worse. In some villages, the rate of drug use is as high as 30 percent of the population, based on hair, urine and saliva samples taken by the authors of the urban study. And drugs not traditionally in wide use here, including crystal methamphetamine, are now figuring in the problem as well.

The head of the counternarcotics ministry in Herat says there are 60,000 to 70,000 addicts in the province, though some health officials figure the number is closer to 100,000. In the capital, roughly 8 percent of the population uses drugs, the new international report found.

Long a staging area for men who work as day laborers in Iran, Islam Qala is now also a frequent waypoint for addicts returning to Herat. Most of the men say they picked up their habits while in Iran. The authorities there, struggling to deal with a widespread drug crisis of their own, are quick to banish Afghan addicts back across the border by the thousands, and the deported people stream back into Islam Qala six days a week.

In Herat’s capital, addicts fill the streets and parks, begging from pedestrians and motorists with relentless persistence. Pockets of the city have been transformed into junkie ghettos, like Kamar Kulagh, a roadside slum of sandbags, rocks and rags.

On a recent day, the faint outline of figures crawled through the bleached landscape, situated to the side of a highway on the northern edge of the city. Broken glass covered the hillside leading down to the encampment.

Azim Niazi, 30, shuffled through the village clutching two bags bulging with empty bottles, recycling them to pay for a drug habit that he said he had picked up as a laborer in Iran.

Wahid Ahmad, 27, who said he had been living there since he was deported from Iran two years ago, joined him.

Though many of the addicts in Herat came by way of Iran and Islam Qala, others decided to stay nearer the border — or are simply unable to make their own way anymore.

“His friend will die tomorrow,” said Mr. Niazi, pointing to a man, a skeleton cloaked in skin, lying in a sliver of shade nearby.

Left unmentioned in the New York Times story is that Afghanistan was an Islamic country and Iran is an Islamic country and their rulers found the drug trade convenient.

The drug trade helps fund Islamic terrorism and spreads its dealers/agents around the world. But it also backfires, spreading around at home and making a mockery of Islamic values.

Islamic terrorist groups need easy drug money, but dealers are often the first to get addicted to their own product and even when the fighters don’t come down with addictions, the production leads to local sales.

The Soviet Union dreamed of using drugs to subvert Western societies. It had some success, but Russian drug use rates are horrifying. Drug use has been traditionally widespread in Muslim societies anyway as a consequence of banning alcohol, but their role in the international drug trade has made things that much worse.

Factor in Islamic terrorist groups whom it’s sometimes hard to tell if they’re drug dealers occasionally playing terrorists or terrorists playing drug dealers, and things get truly nasty.

”The entire region is addicted, whole villages,” Islam Qala elder Arbah Shahabuddin says.

At one home, a woman answers the door and runs to get her husband, Dad Mohammad, who was getting high. Mr Mohammad, 35, says he has been using heroin for seven years.

His wife, Bibi Gul, complains that her husband beats her every day and takes money from their children to feed his addiction.

Mr Mohammad just stares into the distance, smiling.

This is your country. This is your country on Islam.

  • rogerinflorida

    There may be another side to this awful situation, it may be that the CIA and probably Israeli intelligence services are using Afghanistan as a base to flood Iran with drugs, in the hope of debilitating Iran.

    • motherofbeaver

      Whatever works.

      • rogerinflorida

        If Iran lights one off in NY harbor it will be because of the attitude you display.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          And because of people publishing fake grievances.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Sure. That’s it. I did see that in a movie more than once so you’re probably right.

      • rogerinflorida

        You like movies do you?
        Here is one of my favorite lines:
        “The US isn’t a country, it’s a business, so give me my fucking money”.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          That’s profound. If you live by stereotypes.

    • defcon 4

      Translation: I’m a muslime and since muslimes are such pure and innocent creatures the only explanation is that it is the Great Satan or Little Satan that is behind it. After all, the Jews control everything.

    • ex-squid

      Blame da JJJJJJJJJJJJJOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Idiot.

    • A Z

      A more straight forward explanation was this was just bound to happen. It happened in Columbia also.

      Businessmen, honest or shady, always try to expand their markets.

      Also consider governments or regimes that steal (ski so much) from the people and dictate what they can or cannot do are effectively taking away all executive functions from them.

      Well the brain has a part of it just for forward thinking (planning) and executive control. Take control away from people except for trivial decisions and drug use is just bound to happen.

      The Ayatollahs and their cronies do skim a lot.

      One Ayatollah is called “Mr Sugar”, because controls sugar imports and has gotten filthy rich as a result. The people are poorer as a result so how can they plan for the future and get ahead?

  • http://fdnyretiree.com/ Ed FDNYRetiree

    It’s not the Islamic “drug trade.”

    It is ISLAM!

  • Veracious_one

    But it also backfires, spreading around at home and making a mockery of Islamic values.

    Islam has values?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      it claims to

  • Jakareh

    Well, goes to show. For all the West’s present ills, there is not one way in which Islam is morally superior, and actually Islam is morally inferior in just about every aspect.

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    And Hezbollah is reported to have a presence in Mexico, training Mexican guerillas to build bombs. Wouldn’t surprise me if they smuggle drugs into the southwest U.S.

  • A Z

    The same thing is happening to Iran and Afghanistan as happened to Columbia. the drug traffickers thought it was okay to export to Europe and America and that it would not ruin “their” communities.

    They are now reaping the whirlwind.

  • Karim

    This Article is so biased not surprised coming from a magazine like frontmag

    Anything can be labeled Islamic these days What about all the drug infested christian Western Cities that I currently am dealing with on a daily basis as a Social worker

    This is factual Information That even the American Administration will not deny

    In July 2000, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, collaborating with
    the United Nations to eradicate heroin production in Afghanistan,
    declared that growing poppies was un-Islamic, resulting in one of the
    world’s most successful anti-drug campaigns. The Taliban enforced a ban
    on poppy farming via threats, forced eradication, and public punishment
    of transgressors. The result was a 99% reduction in the area of opium
    poppy farming in Taliban-controlled areas, roughly three quarters of the
    world’s supply of heroin at the time.[14] The ban was effective only briefly due to the deposition of the Taliban in 2002.

    • MJS

      The Taliban did this through horribly violent methods. Sure they got rid of a lot of the opium production… by going through destroying farms and exacting violence against anyone they found cultivating poppies. You can’t possibly be saying this is a good thing.

    • Biff Henderson

      If one takes a look at Syria we see that Hezbollah has a drug crop that has an estimated revenue steam of $6 billion (US) that if relies on for day to day operations. It is said they went into Syria to protect the fields from falling into rebel hands. On the Sunni rebel front a group that administer’s a given area issued an edict that the farmers had to abandon food crops for drug cultivation. “You infidel guys” have a problem does not dismiss the moral corruption that is inherent in Islam. You do not get to pick to up a blue ribbon for effort, go straight to flawed argument jail.

    • pupsncats

      Yes, let’s bring the Taliban to every country in the world and through threats, forced eradication, and public punishment, rid the world of all drug manufacturers and users. Let’s make the Taliban the ruler of the whole world and regress to the wonderful barbaric times of the past.

    • SamWayneSmith

      And now the CIA is big dog in the business, eh? Like back in the day when it was the golden Triangle….

  • Alison

    Yes, How Christian Sex trade is destroying Western streets?

  • Hard Little Machine

    And the bad news is….?