International Qur’anic Open University (IQOU)

bookThe International Qur’anic Open University (IQOU) was founded by El Sheikh Syed Mubarak Ali Shah Gilani in 1980 in Lahore, Pakistan. The school is the “premier institute for the study of Islamic traditions, Sufic Sciences and the Holy Quran.”  Guerrilla warfare appears to be taught here as well, and Gilani himself boasts in a video of having “one of the most advanced training courses in Islamic military warfare” and invites interested Muslims to contact “IQOU and Muslims of the Americas offices” in Pakistan or one of their United States offices. Students learn hand-to-hand combat, how to hijack vehicles, and how to use explosives among other “lessons.”  Jaamat Ul-Fuqra (MOA) uses the university as a religious and charitable institution dedicated to the studying of the Quran.

There is a campus in Mali, West Africa that Deputy Director Muhammad Ahmad Qadri is believed to be connected to. Hakima Fatimah Ash Shakur (known also as Umm Tabari) is involved in the medical facilities that were established in Mali.  Mahmoudo Sidibe and his family moved from Canada and he has been working to produce an African edition of the Islamic Post.  Aminah (Sidibe’s wife) is a nurse at the facility.  Dr. Hamadoun Sidibe (Mahmoudo’s father) is a well-known and respected figure in the Malian community in Canada.

In January 2010 Ibrahim Smith and Ibrahim Caba were sent to Japan from IQOU to help spread understanding about Muslims and the unity of mankind.  The Toronto, Canada location was mentioned in a 1989 letter from Gilani to a Philadelphia doctor.

In 2001 the Colorado Attorney General’s office warned of unlawful ties between a particular “Qur’anic Open University” and charter schools in New York, Philadelphia, or Los Angeles.  On three separate occasions during the Presidency of George H.W. Bush, the IQOU was mentioned in a letter the former president in regards to their locations in South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee.

By: Megan L.


Crowley, Zachary. “Jamaat al-Fuqra Dossier,” Center for Policing Terrorism, March 16, 2005.

Boland, Mira L. “Sheikh Gilani’s American Disciples,” The Weekly Standard, March 18, 2002.

The video was originally obtained by PRB Films and clips were shown in the Clarion Project’s documentary, The Third Jihad.

International Quranic Open University Offers Dars ul Azam: Islamic Scholar Program



QOU – welcome letter


in Fuqra Front Organizations