Friday 15 January 2010
The Tajik Culture Ministry is preparing tighter controls for allowing Tajiks to study at Islamic universities and madrasahs (“Islamic schools”) abroad.
Idibek Ziyoev, the head of the ministry’s religion department, told that hundreds of young Tajiks go unregistered to such foreign schools because the country doesn’t sign bilateral agreements to coordinate the flow of Tajiks who attend Islamic schools.
Ziyoev said there are no reliable statistics on the number of Tajiks who are studying at Islamic schools abroad and officials fear a lack of control over the process could lead to some students joining hard-line Islamic groups.
Tajik officials are reported to be especially concerned by students who study Islam in unofficial or semi-official madrasahs in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Some such schools are blamed for spreading extremism that then gets re-imported to students’ home countries.