Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Iran Continues Islamic Outreach in Africa

Radio Free Europe is reporting that Iran is also meddling in Nigeria.
"There are growing concerns about the rise of radical Islam in Nigeria -- home of Africa's largest Muslim population," according to the U.S. State Department's "Country Reports on Terrorism 2004". Fifty percent of Nigeria's 137 million people are Muslims, 40 percent are Christians, and the remainder practice indigenous beliefs. The Iranian government is working in Nigeria to gain new converts to Islam.
Another allegedly pro-Iranian Islamic organization in Nigeria is the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), headed by Sheikh Ibrahim Yaqoub Zakzaky, a Shi'a cleric born in 1953. The IMN was founded in the 1980s, after Zakzaky and others traveled to Iran. The organization calls for creation of an Iranian-style Islamic state in Nigeria (see It is not clear if there is a formal relationship between Tehran and the IMN, or if the IMN and the JNI are connected.