The 21st Century Phenomenon


Comoro  Islands is a group of five islands between Madagascar and Mozambique in East Africa which stretches on 2,236 km and has a population of about 1 million people. Three of the islands are incorporated as an independent state since 1997. The two other islands are under French administration. Since 2006 the president of the state of Comoro  Islands is Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi, nick name Ayatollah, a Sunnite Muslim who converted to Shiaa. He was educated in Islamic studies in Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Iran. His title of ‘Ayatollah’ comes from his studies in Iran in the 70s’.

Originally almost all the people of Comoro  Islands were Shiite Muslims. Under the French administration, since the early 19th century, the islands prospered and African immigration changed the religious demography of the Islands and today (08/2008) Sunnite Muslims are the majority.   

According to an investigative report, published in the Egyptian daily newspaper ‘Al-Aharam’ on 05/01/2008, despite his moderate approach, the president Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi is leading a direction of growing Iranian intervention in the state affairs and religious education in order to increase an strengthen the Shiite influence on the Comorian society.

According to the report the Iranians are operating in four domains: the presidency institute and the personal protection of the president, which is fully controlled by Iranian experts, medical care, social welfare and education.

Comoro  Islands is not strategically important and the ties with Iran have only a little impact on the regional political balance  but the religious radicalization of the traditionally moderate society in the Comoro  Islands, especially infiltration of Radical Islamic school into the education system, has a potential of growing sympathy to the ideas of Global Jihad in the next generation of Comorians and for the emerging  of devoted terrorists like Fazul Abdullah Mohammed .


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