International Quranic Open University

Year Founded: 1980

Website: www.IQOU-MOA.org

Revenue: Unavailable

Address: 2732 Roods Creek Rd., Hancock, NY 13783

 International Quranic Open University (IQOU) is an entity of Muslims of the Americas, based at a 70-acre commune called Islamberg. These are all led by a radical cleric in Pakistan named Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani. IQOU says it “offers lectures in Holy Quran as well as lectures on Isamic Adab, the origin and purpose of man, Quranic Psychiatry and healing and Islamic history.”[1]

IQOU’s education is radical indoctrination designed to ensure loyalty to Gilani. One female student’s graduate thesis was about how a “Satanist-Zionist conspiracy” framed Muslims in the attacks on the World Trade Center.[2]

In 1991, federal agents seized IQOU-published texts as part of a criminal investigation, including one that told readers that their “foremost duty” is to “wage jihad” against the enemies of Islam. One poem by Gilani was titled, “We pray to the beat of a machine gun.” Another reads, “Come join my troops and army/Says our Sheikh Gilani/Prepare to sacrifice your head/A true believer is never dead/Say ‘Victory is in the Air’/The kafir’s blood will not be spared.”[3]

A secret tape made by Gilani’s followers in Pakistan in the 1980s shows that IQOU is used to facilitate guerilla warfare training. In the video, Gilani boasts 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 in several states in the U.S.

The film shows Gilani followers receiving the training and practicing the hijacking of vehicles, use of firearms, hand-to-hand combat, setting off explosives and other violent acts. In one scene, an instructor says, “Act like you are a friend, then kill him.”[4]


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

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

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