The world’s largest drug field was formerly in the Bekaa Valley where the land is warm and moist. Reflecting the poor state of agriculture in the Muslim world, some of the most arable land in Lebanon where the Romans raised acres of wheat was turned over to cannabis and opium production. In the ‘90s the situation was so bad that 80 percent of the world’s cannabis came out of the valley. The valley helped finance the PLO, Hezbollah and the Syrian army which invaded Lebanon partly to get in on the drug trade.
The Clinton Administration cut deals with the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Syrian occupation of Lebanon to try and cut down on production. Officially production went down, unofficially the party never really stopped.
With the Syrians gone and the PLO living off American foreign aid on the West Bank of Israel, the lucrative Lebanese drug trade is in the hands of the Shiite Islamists of Hezbollah. Drugs have turned the Party of Allah into a global narcoterrorist ring with tentacles in Latin America and ties to Marxist narcoterrorists there and up to America and out across Europe and Asia.
There is no contradiction between the Islamic identity of Hezbollah and its drug trade financed wealth. The Mumbai terrorists of the Army of the Righteous, who during their killing spree murdered a rabbi and his pregnant wife, snorted cocaine. The Beslan terrorists of the Islamic Brigade of Martyrs who murdered hundreds of children were running on heroin. Forensic tests conducted on the bodies of suicide bombers have found that they were routinely given heroin before being sent off on their missions. And if we had been able to run forensic tests on the Al-Qaeda terrorists who carried out September 11 there would probably be a miniature pharmacy in their bodies.
The intimate connection between drugs and Islam began with the prohibition of alcohol. The ban on wine and other spirits made the need for alternatives more urgent. Coffee was the safer alternative to alcohol, and the Middle Eastern obsession with it reflected the outlawing of wine and beer. Religiously coffee was also useful as a stimulant and came in handy in some Muslim rites. But there were more efficacious stimulants that could do more than coffee and those were equally popular.
While there were at times attempts to similarly prohibit drugs, they never achieved the same status as the ban on liquor. Hashish in particular had useful religious and military effects. The right drugs could give the devout the illusion of a mystical experience, allow them to stay up all night memorizing verses from the Koran or make it easier for them to kill and for Muslim leaders to control their private armies.
The Order of Assassins, whose name “Hashishin” derives from the substance they were addicted to, consisted of young men given the drug and told that their visions were a foretaste of paradise. While the Hashishin achieved legendary status the same pattern has become commonplace among Muslim terrorist groups who ply their followers with drugs to addict them and direct them along the path of Islamic terror as the road to the paradise of the powder and the needle.
Culturally the use of drugs is far more widely accepted in the Muslim world than alcohol is. The Ayatollah Khomeini even ruled that, “Wine and all other intoxicating beverages are impure, but opium and hashish are not.” In some countries drug use is so widespread that it has practically become a national identity. That is the case with Qat in Yemen, a plant-based amphetamine whose use is so widespread that its cultivation consumes nearly half the country’s water supply.
While the Yemeni Qat addiction is fairly obvious, entire Muslim countries which do not have oil run on their drug trade. Pakistan’s largest real export is its off-the-books heroin trade and its economy runs on heroin. The ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, which backed the Taliban, also took a cut of Afghanistan’s highly profitable opium trade. Iranian and Pakistani interference in Afghanistan marry their Islamic initiatives with the drug trade as Sunnis and Shiites compete for the lucrative traffic in the world’s leading source of opium which is smuggled through Pakistan and Iran.
Speaking of Iran, the Islamic Republic has the world’s highest percentage of heroin addicts, and the traffic is run by the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution which acts as the religious thugs of the ayatollahs. One of their means of smuggling heroin out of Iran is piggybacking the trade on Shiite Muslim pilgrims visiting holy sites abroad.
The Muslim world doesn’t have much to export besides oil and drugs. Countries that don’t have oil export drugs. Countries that do have oil, export drugs anyway. Terrorist groups with their secret cells, forged documents and covert funding sources make perfect drug smuggling networks until it is impossible to tell whether they are Islamic terrorists who smuggle drugs to fund their operations or drug smugglers who kill people to religiously justify their drug smuggling. When the commanders and the foot soldiers have spent enough time in the drug trade and are sampling their own product then they stop knowing the difference.
The miserable state of agriculture in Muslim countries can be partly attributed to this toxic mix of drugs and jihadists. Subsidized food prices give farmers more incentive to cultivate opium than wheat. Islamic groups provide protection and drug smuggling routes to fund their activities. Food prices rise and the popular protests are hijacked by the Islamic groups who can hand out food backed by their real cash crops. From that angle the Arab Spring looks more like an Islamic Cartel Woodstock. FARC with a Koran instead of Das Kapital.
Drunks are not particularly dangerous. It’s hard to weaponsize them in the same way that Islamic groups have weaponized drug users. Islamic drug cartels are in the process of turning parts of Asia and the Middle East into theocracies overseen by the Koran and the needle. But while the cartels make much of their money selling their products to the infidels in America and Europe, most of their real users are at home.
The American and European drug trade brings big profits but requires long journeys that pass under the vigilant eyes of first world customs inspections. It’s much easier and simpler to sell the stuff at home in Iran and Pakistan. The godfathers of Islamic terrorism in Tehran and Islamabad are not only funding Islamic terror using drug money, they are addicting their own populations en masse. Countries cannot become major drug exporters without also creating a major domestic market for drugs along the way. While the ISI and the mullahs have tried to poison the West for profit, they have done a much more thorough job of poisoning themselves with their own wares.
While Islamists like to think of themselves as the moral alternative to the decadent West, they have thoroughly corrupted themselves and their own people. The heroin addicts of Iran and Pakistan are a grim reminder that Islam is not only brutal and violent; it is also a force of moral decay that justifies any crime in the name of its religious aspirations. The millions of Muslim heroin addicts who were made that way by heroin smuggled in the name of Islam are the true fruits of the Islamic Revolution.
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