November 27, 2014
Earlier this month, the Islamic State announced that it would begin making its own currency in November. It will take the form of coins made out of gold, silver and copper, according to the statement. The value of the currency will depend on the weight of the coin.
“People expect that the currency will be first used in A-Raqqa until more quantities are produced to cover other areas under their control,” a Raqqa-based activist from the pro-opposition media campaign Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, told Syria Direct at the time of the announcement.
Financial experts, however, called the plan unrealistic and out of touch with economic reality.
IS will eventually run out of metals to make the coins, forcing them to either lower the precious-metal content of the currency and diminish their value, or use another medium for their currency.
But IS in fact has enough precious metal, Bashir Abu Shiron, a former journalist originally from Homs who now works in the Islamic State’s media office in A-Raqqa, tells Syria Direct’s Osama Abu Zeid.
If Shiron’s statements are indicative of Islamic State thinking, the tentative rulers of the so-called caliphate appear to believe that this new currency will bring down the American economy.
“America is paying millions of dollars and failing,” Shiron said, presumably referring to the air campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
“We will make their costs increase and cause their economy to fall apart.”
Q: Is it true that IS is issuing its own currency? Is it really happening?
Yes it is. The Finance Department [of IS] is now working on it.
IS distributes posters describing its new currency. Photo courtesy of @ahmadali_tooo55.
Q: Not a single country in the world recognizes your country. Do you think they will recognize your currency? Or it is only made for Islamic State-controlled areas?
It is not imperative for us to be recognized by [the West]. They will be forced to recognize. Fundamentally, the Islamic State doesn’t care about other countries’ existence. We work for the grace of God, not for the West. The challenge here is stronger.
Q: What is the general public’s opinion about the currency? Do they like it or not?
People will see a huge difference between the US dollar and Islamic currency.
But most people still don’t have a clear idea about the project.
Q: What is the purpose of issuing metal currency?
The American dollar will be hit hard, and the American economy will collapse soon, with God’s help.
America is paying millions of dollars and failing. Their economy is melting, and this will cause problems for their people [in the future]. The Islamic State will cause their [US] costs to increase by making this move and causing their economy to fall apart.
Q: When will this currency be available for use?
The currency is being prepared now. A statement will be made soon about the [launch] date of the currency.
Q: What are the currency denominations that are going to be issued?
Dinar [gold], Dirham [silver] and Fils [copper], in addition to the smaller amounts under the mentioned currencies.
Q: Some say that the gold that will be used for the currency is gold you confiscated from the Mosul Central Bank [IS captured Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, in May 2014]. Is that true?
IS has a huge fortune that will shock the world.
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