Dear partners, researchers, journalists, students and all who are interested in CIR's activities!
This year, Christmas has a particular significance for CIR. It is CIR's last Christmas! This year, the end of December will also be the end of CIR!
On this very special occasion, I should like to express my deep gratitude to you for your cooperation and your support. I also wish to thank those who were readers of CIR's publications and those who participated at our conferences and seminars.
CIR owes its existence to the Danish parliament and to the Ministry of Defense. CIR has been housed by the Department of Political Science and Government (Aarhus University). I thank them all for their guidance and their permanent support.
CIR was inaugurated in April 2008 and started its activities in the following summer.
To fulfill its mission which was stipulated in the Centre's statutes, CIR chose a new approach dubbed the Denmark School. The idea was to remedy the fragmentation between different fields of research in Islamism, to explore the phenomena of ’Islamism’ in its different manifestations and to highlight the mechanisms of radicalization processes among Muslim youths in Europe with particular attention to Denmark. In this connection, CIR researchers undertook field work in six cities (Parma, Verona, Lille, Leicester, Copenhagen and Aarhus) in four European countries. This set of qualitative and quantitative research was published with international recognition.
CIR also organized a series of lectures and conferences on different issues related to CIR’s main tasks ranging from ’Countering Violent Radicalization’ over ’Recruitment and Radicalization’ and ’Radical Lutheran Theology’ to ’Radicalization among Muslim Women in Denmark’.
Two conferences focused on ’North Africa and the Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities’ and ’The Extreme Right in Norway’ (after Breivik) with participation of international personalities and experts.
CIR was also active in providing analyses and information to the Danish media and to the media in some Muslim countries and was always ready to assist researchers and students from around the world.
From 2008 until today, the character of Islamism as well as radicalization processes have changed, both in Muslim countries and in Europe. We observe that today, al-Qaida is still the main terrorist organization; however it is not a main international actor anymore, especially after the death of Osama bin Laden. Islamist terrorism, which for several years occupied the centre of attention in regard to activities, has now been pushed to the periphery to locations like Mali, Somalia and Yemen. Parallel to this movement, we observe the rise of a new Islamism in the Middle East: in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.
The future of this development is not very clear, but it will be highly interesting to see in which direction the Muslim Brotherhood, once in power, will move.
Thank you again for the interest and support you have shown in various ways.
It will still be possible to access CIR’s website in the future. Those who wish to order books, download publications, listen to audio files from CIR’s conferences, use our links etc. can still do so at the same address: http://cir.au.dk/.
Happy New Year to you all!