HUFFINGTON POST

ISIS Debuts New Currency In Lengthy Propaganda Video

Fifty-five minutes of conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism and Ron Paul, among other things.

The latest propaganda video from the Islamic State militant group is a 55-minute feature touting the creation of a purported new currency, one that -- somewhat impractically -- consists largely of gold and silver coins. 

Released Saturday through al Hayat, the militant group's media wing, the video boasts that the new gold coins will financially devastate the U.S. and "cast into ruins their fraudulent dollar note." The narrator then offers a warped lesson in monetary history that condemns the "dark rise of bank notes born out of the satanic conception of banks."

Much of the video consists of a lengthy sermon on the virtues of gold, laced with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about why the U.S. abandoned the gold standard. At one point, there is a short clip of former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) criticizing the Federal Reserve. (The footage in question lasts from about 4:40 to 4:52 in this video.)

Finally, there is a montage of smiling children looking at the currency, followed by a music video dedicated to the group's fighters.

The Ron Paul Institute did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the Islamic State's use of the footage of Paul.

The Islamic State has long been promising to make its own currency, issuing mock-up designs in a statement last November and circulating purported images of the currency in June. While this latest video claims the group's monetary plans have come to fruition, it's not yet clear whether these coins are actually in use, or where or how they're being minted.

The currency itself supposedly consists of various copper, silver and gold coins. The gold coin worth one dinar weighs a little less than an American nickel. 

Residents of the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Ramadi, both of which are now held by the Islamic State, told Bloomberg that they had received no information about how the currency would work, nor had they actually seen it in person. Analysts have said that since no country will ever recognize the Islamic State's currency -- and since the militants will eventually run out of resources to mint the coins -- the talk of new currency is probably more for propaganda purposes than anything.

The group's claims of launching a new currency are in keeping with the Islamic State's overall pattern of promising to replicate the services and institutions of actual countries. Islamic State militants have established religious police forces, courts and even consumer protection offices in the territories they control.

These efforts are part of what analyst Charles Lister has called the Islamic State's "carrot and stick" approach, wherein the group provides societal services while at the same time committing horrific human rights abuses as it imposes an absolutist form of law. 

The militant organization gets its money primarily through extortion and taxation, along with kidnapping and oil revenue. In the video heralding the new currency, the narrator says that the Islamic State will now only accept gold for its oil.

 

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