The Islamic State announced it’s cracking down on the use of U.S. dollars and other paper currency within territory still controlled by the caliphate, even as their own media has shown jihadists being paid with American bills.
In a new short video titled “Inside the Caliphate,” released by ISIS’ Al-Hayat Media Center, an American-accented narrator describes how ISIS has introduced a smaller unit of currency — the bronze fals — to add to their gold dinar and silver dirham.
ISIS has extensively promoted their own currency system, stressing that using the coins is necessary to break away from the capitalism of the kuffar, or disbelievers.
The video shows religious police in a grocery store lecturing residents on the ISIS currency while waving around forbidden U.S. dollar bills.
“Despite the fierce and relentless campaign being waged by the nations of kuffar against the Islamic State,” he says, ISIS “continues striving to carry out Allah’s order and to wage war on the satanic monetary system.”
The bronze fals is being rolled out, the narrator says, “to help facilitate smaller financial transactions in a Sharia manner,” with ISIS’ monetary committee setting the valuations: one dirham equals 100 fals.
“All goods and financial transactions must now be priced and conducted using the new Islamic currency. This includes everyday goods as well as contracts, wages and services, including services provided by the Islamic State’s various departments. And wherever Islamic State coins are available, it is forbidden to deal with the insidious bank notes that have no intrinsic value.”
The video, showing a sign at a checkout in Arabic and English mandating the use of ISIS currency, declares that the implementation of the new currency policy will “make us among the forerunners in forbidding evil and enjoining that which is good.”
The Islamic State announced its plans to mint its dinars in late 2014, in an effort to escape and triumph over the “satanic usury-based global economic system.”
ISIS emphasized in 2015 that it was minting the gold coins with the intent of catapulting “into the financial sphere” where it will cast the “fraudulent dollar note” into ruins. ISIS also boast about its currency in the pages of their propaganda magazines.
A January 2016 photo essay from Raqqa said the Central Martyrs Office pays “families of martyrs who gave their blood victories for a debt service of Allah” with stipends for home costs and furnishings. A camouflage-clad worker was shown checking an online spreadsheet while marking scraps of paper with names. The paper was then wrapped and stapled around $50 and $100 U.S. bills.
ISIS has lost Mosul in Iraq and about 45 percent of its declared capital, Raqqa, is now under control of the multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian Syrian Democratic Forces.