In an announcement on Thursday heralding a liberation from the “satanic usury-based global economic system,” the Islamic State said it would begin minting gold, silver and copper coins, in likenesses similar to the days of the seventh-century caliphs. The coins will have standardized weights and values, the announcement said, and they will be the legal tender of the lands controlled by the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
There’s plenty of back and forth debate by economists, in the Times article quoted above, on whether this is purely a propaganda move that can’t really avoid the pressures of the “global economic system” or is actually a savvy investment (which also avoids the “satanic usury” of the non-Islamic banking system that is forbidden under strict Sharia law). My instinct says it won’t matter much either way, since their “state” — as a territorial, governing entity — isn’t going to last very long.
I’m wondering what they’re planning to name it. I bet it will be called a “dīnār” because that was the name of the Umayyad caliphate’s gold coins (and actually remains the currency name for a lot of majority-Arab states, including Iraq), but that name, drawn from the Byzantine “dinarius,” seems awfully western to me for the Mesopotamian enemies of the Global West.