‘brjimc’ Biography

James grew up in a small town outside of Chicago. As a troubled teen raised in a single parent family, he moved to southern Illinois with his mother and joined a group that turned out to be a violent Christian cult. Fearing for his life, two years later he fled the group and moved back to the Chicago area, finished school and enrolled in college. He attended Bible college for a year and decided it wasn’t for him.  He settled down and began working as a carpenter. He continued to practice and study Christianity.

A few years later, he began working in the United Kingdom as a civilian with the USAF and began an intense personal study of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. After returning to the US in 1993, he started a new job in retail management for a national office supply firm.

On New Years Eve 1996, disillusioned with his life and seeking enlightenment, in an effort towards self-improvement he converted to Islam.

James’ spare time was spent volunteering on political campaign activities designed to help local politicians connect with Arab and Asian cultures. He worked with a native American Indian Tribe and raised funds to support education for their kids.  He created and implemented a highly successful accredited hate crimes and diversity program for law enforcement agencies. He soon became a well known Islamic community activist and media representative for two major Islamic organizations. His is best known by his online tag ‘brjimc’ which originated from his many friends who called him ‘brother’ Jim.  He was also one of the directors in charge of a national campaign to market public access to the Muslim community through television, radio and newspaper media, telephone, public advertisements and the internet.  He has held many press conferences on behalf of Islamic organizations involving local newspapers and television stations.  He has also given interviews and appeared in local news articles, radio, television, a national Islamic magazine and an international magazine representing his Islamic community.  He has spoken at various events held in colleges, political rallies and private events.  He also worked with local a local Islamic relief organization with fundraising and promoting local area food relief programs for poor communities.

In 2003, James discovered an Al-Qaida inspired plot among his peers who also had leadership roles in the Islamic organization he represented.  Towards protecting Americans and to prevent a terrorist incident that would have grave consequences for the Islamic organizations he represented and his Islamic work, he began working undercover as an informant with the FBI to expose and disrupt the plot.

In early 2006, James resigned all his positions in the Islamic community to further the effort to protect his community from significant public backlash due to his connections with the investigation.  Later that year, the plot was exposed and arrests made. It began to be circulated in the Muslim community that he had co-operated with the FBI in bringing to light the plot.  Contrary to his agreement with the FBI, his personal information was eventually carried into the public by the Justice Department and reported on FOX News during the court hearings which officially exposed him to increase public backlash.  He began to receive death threats via social media and subsequently went into hiding.

In response to his cooperation with the FBI resulting arrests of four of their members, the organization he devoted considerable time and effort supporting and promoting has since expelled him from membership in the organization citing ‘moral grounds’ and banned him for life from all services even to include his web forum account on their website. The true story of this event can be read at this link: The Houston Event.

In 2007, he launched a five year campaign project to, make a statement against Islamic extremism, counter negative perceptions of Islam and promote interfaith tolerance by starting his own website forum. The forum campaign ended in 2012.

He has not abandoned his faith and is continuing to work hard towards forging relationships based on mutual understanding and respect between Muslims and the societies they live in.

He currently devotes most of his time to travel and and the great outdoors.


Houston Police Academy Program designed by James Coates

Islamic Work Highlights

  • Liaised with the Jewish community associated with the Jewish Holocaust Museum in Houston, Texas regarding community hate crimes.
  • October 2001, designed and implemented, a highly successful hate crimes and sensitivity course on Islam for the Houston Police Department. All Star Retired NBA Basketball player and a Muslim, Hakeem Olajuwan, attended and has publicly spoken in support of this program. He has been the guest speaker on two occasions.
  • Diversity training Programs for Harris County Sheriff Precinct 1 on behalf of the Islamic Dawah Center (IDC) in Houston.
  • Featured articles in “The Message International” magazine, an Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) publication on the Police training program.
  • Profiled in April 2004 in special edition of Channel 11 News representing the Houston Muslim community in general.
  • Special interview with the National Public Broadcasting Service in April 2004 on behalf of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
  • Profiled and featured in the February 2001 edition of Saudi Aramco World Magazine.
    Profiled and featured on Channel 11 “Up Close” News Edition in November 2002 detailing my conversion to Islam.
  • Featured in other special interviews with channel 2, 13 and 39 on behalf of Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH), and Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
  • Offered consultative services to handle countless television, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews on behalf the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) and Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
  • Appointed by national Islamic organization Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) to oversee Islamic educational outreach efforts (WhyIslam Campaign) and programs in Texas and the City of Houston more specifically.
  • Appointed to represent in an official capacity the Islamic Circle of North America’s Houston Chapter in all public and media events in 2001.
  • Appointed as one of three official media representatives for Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) National.
  • Appointed to officially represent the largest Islamic organization in Houston (Islamic Society of Greater Houston) in all public and media events 2001-2002.
  • Appointed as the Media Relations representative for the 3rd Annual Texas Dawah Conference 2003 and 4th Annual in 2004.
  • Oversee food for the homeless and halfway house for former inmates programs for Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
  • Spoken to audiences at the University of Houston (Oct. 2001), the University of Nacogdoches (Feb. 2004) and other events and Fort Bend Independent School District (Oct. 2004) on behalf of the Muslim Students Association.
  • Participated as a central figure in 2003 to the founding of the Charles Freeman Center for the needy in Houston’s 3rd Ward community for the benefit of Houston’s poor.
  • Conducted many presentations to support fundraising events for the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).
  • Appointed to officially represent the largest Islamic organization in Houston (Islamic Society of Greater Houston) in all public and media events 2001-2002.
  • Represented the Islamic Circle of North America on the 9/11 special of Arab Voice, KPFT radio Houston
  • Organized Justice for All Rally protest in support for justice for innocent Palestinians held at Congressman John Culberson’s office.
  • Special interview with KPFT radio Houston representing Justice for All Rally 2003.• Lobbied Congressional leaders on behalf of the Jumano Apache native American Indian tribe in West Texas 2005.
  • Held special fundraisers and purchased a school bus for Jumano Apache Indian school children donated on behalf of the Muslim community in the greater Houston area.
  • Designed an inclusive multifaith Islamic website forum called Islamfactor, which was a 5 year campaign in 2007, devoted to interfaith dialogue and countering extremism in the Muslim community.

News media publicity can be seen in in my Accomplishments category.