Brother Amir Junaid Muhadith, born 20 June, 1975 in Harlem, New York as Chauncey Lamont Hawkins, was formerly a hip-hop and rap performer who worked under the stage name of ‘Loon.’ He earned his fame as a part of Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records, where he not only released a self-titled debut album, Loon, but also performed with many of the industry’s notable R&B and hip-hop celebrities.
In 2004, Loon left Bad Boy to start his own label, Boss Up Entertainment. Having started his music career as a member of Mase’s rap collective Harlem World, Loon branched out into acting and was featured in two movies directed by Damon Dash, State Property 2 and Death of a Dynasty.
Born to a Christian family, Chauncey Lamont Hawkins changed his name to Amir Junaid Muhadith after Allah guided him to Al-Islam in 2008. Following a life-changing visit to the city of Abu Dhabi along with prolonged exposure to the Muslim lifestyle, Amir explained his attraction to Islam in an interview:
‘I visited Abu Dhabi, Emirate’s capital, and there I found the real happiness and tranquility which my wealth and fame failed to give me all over my life as a singer. I was affected with the Arab Muslim’s culture; and I admired their refined morals, their kind treatment with people, and especially their regular going to pray in the mosque five times every day. Consequently, I began to ask about the reality of this religion, and whether it was only exclusive for Arabs, and I realized that Islam includes all human beings without any consideration to their nationalities. Then, I announced my conversion to Islam after a profound thinking, and I prayed for the first time after my return to my home in Harlem, New York.’
Shortly after having become Muslim, Allah blessed brother Amir by guiding his family to Islam: ‘My relief increased a lot when my wife and my son accepted Islam.’ Allah continued to shower His bounty upon Amir by facilitating the ability for him to perform Umrah, an incredibly moving experience for him:
‘…When I was performing Umrah, a few days ago, I lived a very poignant moment when I saw the holy Kaaba for the first time in my life. I could not bear this affecting situation, so I could not stand on my feet, and I began to cry thanking Allah who allowed me to perform this magnificent ritual, and to visit the Prophet’s honorable mosque.’
May Allah accept him, his family and their deeds, and may He keep them all steadfast, Ameen. Amir has since ended his rap career, and has instead chosen to spend his wealth, time and life seeking knowledge and giving Da’wah; educating Muslims and non-Muslims alike about Islam, and calling people of all faiths and backgrounds to the Religion of Truth. Having found peace in Islam which his previous wealth and lifestyle could not provide, Amir embraced his new life and mission with a renewed enthusiasm:
‘Islam turned my life upside down since I renounced the profession which I practiced from seventeen years old; however, now I feel the serenity and peace of mind which I longed for all my life. …I became very enthusiastic to know more about Islam when I joined a Canadian Organization calling for Islam, and now I work on attracting the popular singers and artists to understand Islam’s tolerant principles.’
In 2011, Iqraa International had scheduled to launch a new Da’wah programme titled The Insight and, having previously worked with him, brother Amir was naturally slated to be a presenter. The premise of the show was to share with the Muslim world relevant and common topics from an Islamic perspective in a familiar western format without completely submerging the conversation into the realm of secularism. As host, Amir was to bring the global variety of Muslim cultures and traditions to viewers, all the while, maintaining the standards of professional media presentation which viewers around the globe are accustomed to and enjoy.
However, on 22 November of 2011, while engaged in a lecture tour in Belgium, brother Amir was suddenly arrested. America invoked the notorious “Patriot Act” and ordered him to be extradited back to the United States to be tried for ambiguous allegations of drug trafficking that “may have occurred between the years of 2006 and 2008,” before becoming Muslim.
The nature of the charges, the curious circumstance of charges being applied so long after the actual crime aledgedly occurred, the invocation of the “Patriot Act,” and a seemingly deliberate effort to arrest him abroad, all point toward an unusually agressive and suspicious application of law for brother Amir, a known personality who has proven to be a vocal and effective Da’ii.
The US government has used the fact that the charges originated on the federal level to freeze all of his monetary assets, thus leaving him and his family without any means to hire a dedicated legal team to effectively dismiss these spurious and dubious allegations.
Brother Amir has been incarcerated in Belgium’s Vorst Prison for the past five months and is being held in isolated lockdown 23 hours a day while he awaits extradition to America (Update!). After the help of Allah, his Muslim brothers and sisters are his last resort. His family is reaching out to the Ummah as a last resort in hopes to raise enough money to assit Amir, who sacrificed a life of luxury and wealth for the sake of Islam, in his fight for justice.
If you are interested in helping, please donate through paypal to the following account: email@example.com or click the Give Button to the right. Brother Amir and his family have expressed their sincere gratitude to those who have donated to this cause thus far. There is still a considerable amount needed, so please continue to support the cause by sharing the news about brother Amir and donating to his legal fund.
Alternately you may send your donation to the following P.O Box. Cheques & Money Orders should be made out to Nona Crowd (Amir’s family who are handling the funds):
Nona Crowd P.O.Box 1167 Hackensack NJ, 07602-1167
If you have further questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; also keep updated with the campaign and the satus of Brother Amir and his family, as well as the case, by following the twitter account Amir Junaid Hawkins (@Loon2Amir) and by frequenting his Facebook page and official website: loon2amir.com.
You can also show your support by writing to Amir and letting him know that you are aware of his situation an that he and his family remain in your du’a and concern.
Chauncey Lamont Hawkins [Loon Has Been Extradited to United States We will post his current address as soon as Possible...]