By Gillian Mohney
The self-styled Islamic State (IS) claims it is now minting its own gold coins and other currency, according to a lengthy propaganda video released Saturday by the militant group.
Entitled “The Rise of the Khilafah and the Return of the Gold Dinar,” the documentary-style video features an English-speaking narrator who says the IS currency will be made up of gold, silver, and copper coins. The narrator calls gold the “only true measure of wealth.”In the video, which goes on for nearly an hour, the narrator explains that the new currency is aimed at strengthening the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate and harming the US economy. It says the new currency will deliver a “second blow” to the US and its “capitalist financial system of enslavement” after 9/11.
Speaking about the American bond market and how it relates to oil sales, the narrator calls the system the “Achilles heel” of the US economy. “When struck, it will mark the death of this oppressive bank note and bring America the symbol of injustice and tyranny to her knees,” he says.
The new IS coins will purportedly be minted from precious metals that are “made from measures of wealth that Allah created.” The narrator says that as the IS currency “surges into the financial sphere” it will cast the “fraudulent dollar note” into ruins.
At the end of the video, an IS fighter appears to introduce the coins to people for the first time. The clip also features a montage of images of the Federal Reserve, George W. Bush, the September 11 attack on the Twin Towers, Osama bin Laden, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and IS militants riding through the desert on horses with black flags fluttering behind them.
The militant group first indicated it was going to print its own currency last November in an effort to escape the “satanic usury-based global economic system.”
Experts said previously that if IS wants to create a functioning state, it will eventually have to move past just conquering new territory and actually offer services to the public. Anthony Cordesman, chair of strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told VICE News last November that IS has already taken steps to alter the educational and judicial system in territory it occupies.
“Somebody has to be managing this money at a very sophisticated level,” Cordesman said. “They’ve obviously been altering the education systems, with textbooks, Islamic purification, restrictions on the education of women. They’ve been conducting the equivalent of a local purge in the justice system, so they have essentially taken over many of the elements of the rule of law.”
Financial experts have said it’s highly unlikely the IS currency could gain traction globally.
“It’s like blood diamonds,” David Phillips, a former adviser at the UN, now at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, told the New York Times last year. “No credible financial institution is going to take this.”
Follow Gillian Mohney on Twitter: @gillianmohney – Vice News
By Gillian Mohney