Islamist actors operate across borders, and their transnational ideology attracts sympathisers everywhere in the world. Analysing and combating Islamism within a national framework is largely ineffective. If the phenomenon is to be fully understood, the background against which Islamism has developed must be considered in a far wider context. For organisations working in prevention, in particular, it is essential that they understand the interdependencies between global and local manifestations of Islamism before developing effective solutions to combat it. In other words, engaging in an international dialogue with other organisations involved in prevention, building networks between them, and an interdisciplinary knowledge transfer are vital when it comes to combating this transnational phenomenon effectively and in the long term.
1979 was a turning point for the development of globally active Islamist groups. In the wake of incidents such as the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Islamist movements all over the world began to gather traction. Four decades on, the Federal Agency for Civic Education wished to direct the spotlight at how these and other past incidents have impacted on the present. The conference gave greater visibility to the historical origins of current conflicts. In addition, international experts discussed the roots, the genesis and the aims of various internationally active Islamist groups. An analysis ofcurrent trends will enable participants to assess the implications of Islamist movements for the global community.
Besides the phenomenon of Islamism itself, the conference focused on the subject of prevention. Experts from a number of countries with challenges and approaches of their own convened in Potsdam to share how they deal with Islamism in their national and local contexts. Their respective perspectives, approaches and project reports were valuable sources of inspiration when it comes to developing new solutions to current problems.
The conference took place from 15 – 17 October 2019 in Potsdam. The conference languages were Interner Link: German and English.
The agenda is available Interner Link: here.