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15 August 2020

Sharia Goldbugs: How ISIS Created A Currency For World Domination

Sharia Goldbugs: How ISIS Created A Currency For World Domination


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As Islamic State (ISIS) sought to dominate large parts of Syria and Iraq, it used a subtle weapon to go with the car bombs and suicide attacks: money.

Consisting of 10 coins ranging in value from nearly a thousand dollars to pennies, ISIS sought to replace US, Iraqi and Syrian banknotes with purpose-built coins backed by the gold, silver and copper standard. .

By trading oil using its own currency, the dinar, ISIS planned to destabilize the US economy by forcibly decoupling the dollar from the oil business.

The dinar were modeled on coinage from a medieval Islamic empire named the Umayyad Caliphate, the leader of which – a man named Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan – issued coins to economically connect Muslims who were scattered across the Middle East. .

While living in the autonomous Rojava, in northern Syria, I met with an ISIS prisoner, Mohammed Najjar, in a facility operated by theSyrian Democratic Forcesin Northern Syria.

“In Islamic State, this was a failure,” he said, grinning, “It didn’t work.”.

“It was the boom,” Najjar said, “Islamic State was making about $60 million a month.”.

Enter the dinar – or, as ISIS propaganda describes it: “the return of the ultimate measure of wealth for the world: gold – as the [caliphate] surges into the financial sphere.”.

ISIS then introduced the dinar to civilians within the Islamic State, slowly at first, with merchants giving change in the new dinar as opposed to banknotes.

It was prohibited to use anything other than the ISIS dinar in all the Islamic State areas,” Najjar said.

The Islamic State was littered with exchanges, he explained, which would swap ISIS dinar for dollars and other currencies, allowing people and businesses to trade with one another.

This came with other advantages for the Islamic State.

The New York Times reported that this tax formed the basis of the ISIS economy, stating that profit from zakat far outweighed oil sales.

Traders stopped bringing in products because they noticed the dinar was not working, so they started retreating from it,” he said.

With demand non-existent outside of the Islamic State, the currency began to exchange for less than it cost to produce. .

But Najjar said that, while he had “heard of bitcoin,” he never heard of it being used by ISIS

According to Najjar, the failure of the dinar – and Islamic State more broadly – was because it failed to implement Sharia correctly. 

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