History is not without irony and intrigue. Armed to the teeth with American manufactured weapons and flush with monies from the Arab elite, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) evolved into the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and then mutated into the Islamic State (IS).

Since ordinary people do not know how Islamic State originated, popular belief suggests that the Islamic State is staffed by a pool of diverse militants that are a direct result of the Syrian conflict. Unable to endure the slaughter of more than 200 000 Sunnis by Bashar al Assad, local militias planned to stop the carnage.

Since Iran supports Assad, the next logical target for Islamic State would be Iran. This is where the subterfuge nature of military action and terrorism meets global politics. Those who correctly condemn the Islamic State must ask from whom they received the vast quantities of US weapons. Only a fool will believe that the weapons were left by the fleeing Iraqi army.

Iran would have been obliged into another contrived war. A war Israel has been demanding from the United States for decades. This type of scenario is not unusual as the US ironically supplied both Iran and Iraq with weapons during their border war in the 1980’s. Until Saddams hanging, the Assad family aided the USA against Saddam Hussein who was a vital long term US asset until his raid on Kuwait.

Problems arose after Islamic State moved north instead of east to Iran. This threatened, Turkey a key NATO ally. This is not the first time that an imperial war strategy went off-centre. Decades ago Hamas was permitted to blossom since its original duty was to challenge the Palestinian Liberation Army. Hamas succeeded and then recalibrated its aim towards Israel. Similarly the Afghans were initially armed by the USA and Israel. Flush with weapons the Afghans fought the Soviets on behalf of the US before turning on each other. From this chaos the Taliban and eventually Al Qaeda emerged.

By aiming to navigate Islamic State into Iran and later defeating Islamic State, the USA could claim two victories. The defeat of Iran and Islamic State would advance the enslavement of ordinary Muslims to the Arab elite and the American / Israeli imperial project for generations.

Although Islamic State is not defenders of genuine Islamic values or champions of democracy, they are not the only terrorists in this latest conflict. It is the fear of any democracy across Africa and the Middle East that drive the renewed vigour of the Arab royals and imperial elite. This war benefits the US and Russian military industrial complex. It also sucks in Muslims with ideological tendencies. That is why Muslims living in the west were encouraged and not prevented from joining ISIL at its unveiling.

Those who repeat the mantra that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East must explain why the Israeli political leadership since inception remains ex-military staff. Is Israel a military state with a veneer of democracy?  Is the fear of genuine global democracy imaginary? Why does the USA, France and others support the current Arab dictators who reject democracy as valid governance?

In the words of the wise, genuine rebels hate their own rebellion. They know by experience that it is difficult as it requires courage to say things that need to be said and do things that need to be done. The murder of Alan Henning demands that all those involved must be held accountable.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress