Iran’s Educational Diplomacy in the Muslim World: Activities of Al-Mustafa International University in Malaysia and Afghanistan
January 1, 2018
Ayatollah Khomeini after the 1979 Revolution contemplated the promotion of Shia core doctrinal values in the Muslim world. A strategy to instill these values in young minds and academic community in the largely Sunni majority Muslim states was needed. Khomeini used ‘exporting revolution’ instead of ‘exporting Shia core values’ to avoid resistance in the Sunni dominant communities. The Islamic Republic of Iran founded al-Mustafa International University (MIU) with branches across the Muslim world. The MIU’s strategy and activities in Malaysia and Afghanistan suggest that it is engaged in proselytizing followers of Sunni theology and recruiting Sunni academia as propagandists and sympathizers of Shiism. In Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic also aims to penetrate policy-making circles.