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Government Concern About Islamic Courses Abroad

Tajikistan’s culture ministry plans to regulate the flow of students going abroad to study at Islamic colleges.
By IWPR Central Asia
Khalil Qoimzoda reports that the culture ministry is worried that some Tajik students may be getting involved with extremist groups at foreign religious colleges and could bring radical Islamist views home with them.



The ministry is likely to introduce a registration scheme starting next September to give the authorities a clearer picture of where students are going and the nature of their studies.



Official records show that over 3,000 Tajiks are studying at Islamic colleges in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India. But there may well be more than that, as some students go independently and the authorities have no way of keeping track of them.



Muhiddin Kabiri, who heads the Islamic Rebirth Party, says he supports greater controls, which should not be seen as restrictive.