By Richard Giedroyc
Mexico tried it and failed during the 1990s. During the early 21st century Bernard von NotHaus tried it and failed (He also got himself arrested!). Now the terrorist organization calling itself ISIL or ISIS thinks they know more about monetary systems than do all the great economics minds of the world. ISIS recently released its gold coins into circulation, insisting their specie coinage will bring the world’s fiat money financial system to its knees.
Early July reports originating in Mosul, Iraq, indicate a gold composition dinar coin issued by the terrorist group has been introduced in a serious attempt to replace the U.S. dollar. Activists in Deir-ez-Zor, Syria, have reported oil traders in ISIL-occupied oil fields are now being forced to purchase oil by using these gold dinars. Both of these reports were substantiated by the London-based Arabic daily newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
An online forum post by a German jihadi terrorist group was recently translated by The Foreign Desk. According to the translation, the jihadi group is boasting the ISIL group has shown resilience by issuing the gold coins despite the U.S. and its allies “hounding” the terrorists.
The post claims the 1-, 2- and 5-dinar gold coins will “bring about the collapse of the U.S. dollar” and the “demise of the United States.” The rationale of the post is based on the 55-minute 2015 video, “Dark Rise of Bank Notes and The Return of the Gold Dinar,” released by ISIL in which it views bank notes as “oppressive” while claiming the gold coins will bring the United States “to her knees.” The terrorists want to see all oil sales globally paid for in gold rather than in dollars.
A February report indicates ISIL continues to trade in U.S. dollars, paying its fighters’ salaries in dollars as well.
None of the dinar coins were seen in preparation for this article; however, reports suggest the 1 dinar has a weight of 4.25 grams and a purity of 0.875. This puts its value at about $156 at the time this article was being written.
The coins allegedly depict either wheat sheaths or a map of the world, with an Arabic legend reading “The Islamic State” and “A caliphate based on the doctrine of the prophet.” The sheaths are a Koranic reference.
In November 2015, ISIL announced it would issue the dinar coins to liberate the Islamic world from the “satanic global economic system,” adding it would protect followers of Islam from becoming “easy prey in the hands of the Jews and Crusaders.” The coins are issued by what the group calls its “treasury department.”
According to information released Oct. 7, 2015, by the official Turkish news agency Anatolia, six unidentified foreign nationals were arrested for operating a makeshift mint for ISIL. The mint was functional at the time of the police raid. Several sources indicated 56 coins in different denominations were seized, as were 12 coinage dies and other minting equipment. The current coins were allegedly produced within ISIL-held territory, but this hasn’t been confirmed.
In April, Islamic Ideology Council Chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani presented a paper to IIC in Pakistan. In the paper Sheerani said, “The current system of economy based on paper currency is not durable because there is nothing concrete in paper currency,” adding, “We must bring back the circulation of gold and silver.”
While Sheerani didn’t openly call for the issuance of gold or silver coins, there have been at least two other relatively recent attempts to bring back specie at the expense of fiat money. In 1993 Mexico released 1992-dated ringed bimetal 10-, 20- and 50-peso nuevos peso coins, each with a 0.925 fine silver center. The issue ceased after 1995 as the coins were hoarded rather than spent.
Royal Hawaiian Mint Company co-founder Bernard von NotHaus was convicted for counterfeiting in 2011 following his organization, National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code, releasing silver composition Liberty Dollar tokens meant to be used as money. These tokens likewise failed to circulate.
The likelihood is ISIL can’t produce sufficient coins to trade for oil and that the coins released will likely be hoarded for their intrinsic value.
This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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