The Islamic State has a complicated history.
They came out of nowhere
and dominated the news of the Middle East.
The amount of events and groupsconnected to ISIS is so large,
it would shock most of us.
The story goes back as far as the late 19th century
when many Arab Muslims were forcibly removed
from their land by Jewish settlers during the Zionist movement.
Zionism was the ideology of a homeland for the Jews
who had been racially and religiously oppressed for centuries
in their settlement of Europe.
They aimed to restore the ancient Jewish homeland of Israel back to their people,
then under de facto control of the British.
Wars were fought between the Arabs and the Jewish settlers
which broke out into a civil war
after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
The conflict then became regional
with other Arabic Muslim states in the area
resenting the Jewish state in an area
Muslims had controlled since the 8th century.
Arabic states saw a growing sense of nationalism,
blaming the West for their establishment and support of Israel.
Many began to harbour extreme jihadist views
in opposition to the Judeo-Christian West,
some evolving into freedom fighters,
opposing foreign interventions in the Middle East.
In the year 1979,
Soviets invaded Afghanistan
to secure the installment of a Soviet-allied Communist government.
Freedom fighters from all over the Arab world came to Afghanistan
to form the Mujahideen,
an Islamic militant group opposing the Soviet invasion in guerrilla type warfare.
These freedom fighters were funded and armed
by the US and other Arabian countries.
Among these fighters, were Osama Bin Laden,
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Mohammed Omar.
The war reinforced many jihadist views
and groups of Islamic extremism were formed.
After the war, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda were formed
with the Taliban filling the power vacuum left in Afghanistan.
The Taliban eventually became an organized movement,
harboring and funding other jihadist militant groups like Al-Qaeda.
Zarqawi is funded by Bin Laden
and his effort to create another militant group in Jordan or Afghanistan.
Following the September 11th attacks by Al-Qaeda,
US invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban government,
reducing them once again to a militant group.
The US then invaded Iraq to topple the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.
Zarqawi forms Tawhid wal Jihad to fight against the American invaders
with many freedom fighters joining from nearby countries.
The group is then further strengthened
by members of Iraq’s Sunni Muslim army
who were disbanded after the death of Saddam Hussein.
The group pledges allegiance to Osama Bin Laden,
and is renamed Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
After the death of Zarqawi,
the group changes and shifts in allegiance, leadership and loose coalitions,
eventually being led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,
a well educated doctor of Islamic studies from Iraq.
The group grows in strength,
eventually starting a civil war against Shia Muslims,
calling themselves Daesh, or Islamic State in English.
During the Arab Spring of 2011,
protesters rise up against al-Assad,
the dictator of neighbouring Syria.
When he responds violently, the protesters become rebels
fighting against the oppressive government.
This became fertile breeding ground for ISIS,
who began to grow in numbers from groups of rebels and jihadists
who are being released from prisons in Iraq and Syria.
The group expands quickly,
declaring war against the West and the support of Israel,
and condemning the US intervention in the region.
The group quickly becomes a terrorist organization
carrying out targeted attacks in the Middle East and Europe,
and becoming one of the key chess pieces
in the Syrian civil war and Middle East politics.
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